WEST END STORY: Rachel Tucker (I'd Do Anything)

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Rachel Tucker was one of the only contestants to have worked in professional theatre before entering the competition, along with Francesca Jackson who had been Rachel's understudy in a 2006 touring production of Tonight's the Night.

Throughout the competition Rachel received glowing feedback from all the judges and the Lord himself, but despite this found herself in the bottom two in week 8 alongside Niamh Perry (the only other contestant from Northern Ireland) singing 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall'. Andrew chose to save Rachel, but the next week she was back in the bottom two again, this time with Samantha Barks singing 'Memory', but ultimately he chose to save Sam.

When talking recently, Rachel commented that she has no regrets about her time on the show. "I threw myself into it and I gave everything I could because it was an opportunity of a lifetime. I'm really, really glad I did it."

Since leaving the show Rachel has gone from strength to strength and has experienced a substantial amount of success. During September 2008 she performed with Niamh Perry at the Belfast Proms, with a selection of Nancy and Joseph finalists in Hyde Park at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th Birthday Party, and finally landed a West End role, joining the cast of the Queen musical We Will Rock You as Meat.

Throughout her time with the show she understudied the lead role of Scaramouche and played the part numerous times. She also represented the show on the 2009 West End edition of The Weakest Link, and took a primary role in the show's West End Eurovision entry, giving a performance of 'Love Shine a Light' which caused judge (and the song's original singer) Katrina Leskanich to say "as long as I live I don't think I will ever hear a better version".

Rachel was also able to indulge her love for comedy when she took part in So Jest End, a theatre parody showcase (in the style of Forbidden Broadway) written by her We Will Rock You co-star Garry Lake. She was also thrilled to perform at Hampton Court Palace in an open air concert celebrating the Best of Broadway.

After leaving We Will Rock You in September 2009 Rachel moved into television (after a short break for her honeymoon!), taking advantage of the fact that I'd Do Anything had thrown her into Northern Ireland's spotlight. Firstly she acted as a judge on Find Me the Funny, an Irish reality show to find the next stand-up comic, and then later co-presenting alongside Eamonn Holmes on The Friday Night Show, a prime-time entertainment show in Northern Ireland.

However, after her brief television interlude it was announced that Rachel had landed the coveted role of Elphaba in Wicked, and joined the cast in March 2010 alongside Louise Dearman as Glinda (a pairing which had been pre-empted 11 months earlier when they played the same roles in So Jest End), with Lee Mead, winner of Any Dream Will Do, joining the cast recently in May 2010 as Fiyero. Rachel has received rave reviews as Elphaba and is thrilled to be in a role which has always been a dream of hers.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/racheltucker1

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Julia Hogg Julia was born and raised in London, had a brief (10-year) interlude living in New Zealand, and moved back to London in 2007. She has spent a slightly worrying amount of time and money in West End and fringe theatres ever since, where her unabashed love for musicals has flourished. She has a very normal day-job in order to support her theatre habit, and can often be heard to comment "well, it'd almost be rude NOT to see it". She has a background in psychology, a keen interest in Deaf culture and is currently learning British Sign Language. If you need to contact her, she will most likely be in a theatre somewhere.


 

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