A talented young singer has been thrown a lifeline in a national competition.
Sasha France, from Ashington but now living in Jarrow, has been chosen as the wildcard act to go through to the final of national singing contest TeenStar.
The ten-year-old will now take to the stage at Birmingham’s NEC on July 19 in a bid to win the competition.
Sasha performed her version of John Lennon’s Imagine at the area final in Huddersfield last month, but failed to make it through to the next stage.
But after some deliberation from the judges, the talented youngster was hand-picked to advance in the competition.
Sasha’s dad David said: “We’re just over the moon for her, we’re really proud.
“Watching her at the area finals was nerve-wracking.
“When I told her the news she screamed and asked ‘did I really get through?’.
“It was a really tough competition and the talent was so high, and she was the youngest in her age category, so we weren’t sure if she’d get through.
“We were a little disappointed for her, but so proud that she managed to get so far in the contest, and it was all great experience for her.
“I don’t know what to expect from seeing her on stage at the Birmingham NEC, but it’ll be really exciting for her.
“She’s excited, so I’m excited.”
TeenStar is organised by Future Music, the company which discovered acts such as former X-Factor contestants Lucy Spraggan, Jahmene Douglas and Union J’s Jaymi Hensley.
Prizes include the chance to attend singing auditions across the country, recording-studio time, music-development classes and £5,000 in cash.
And on Sunday, Sasha also performed in Jesmond as part of the first Heart and Sole run in aid of CHUF, the Children’s Heart Unit Fund, where Sasha had two heart operations as a baby.
David added: “Sasha would not be here today if it was not for the Freeman Hospital , so she was delighted to perform at the run.”