A DEVOTED mum organised a priceless surprise for her daughter’s 18th birthday.
Emelia Bartlett from Flint celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, and found herself opening card after card from big name British stars.
Astonishingly, Roger Rowley, who plays Buddy Holly in the current tour, also agreed to serenade Emelia during her birthday party, making an appearance at her house.
Mum Melissa Roberts, 45, worked out how to give her daughter Emelia a coming-of-age she would remember not by busting the bank but by drafting in a small army of celebrities.
Mrs Roberts, who runs a home jewellery-making business, said: “I’ve been thinking for months about how I’d be able to put together something special for Emelia.
“We don’t have a lot of money, so we couldn’t afford a big party, but I did something similar for my husband a few years ago.
“He’s a big Star Wars fan, so I got the cast to write happy birthday messages to him.
“I’ve been working on Emelia’s surprise since just before Christmas.”
Mrs Roberts contacted a number of singers, dancers, TV personalities and actors asking them to sign a card and include a flyer or photograph of themselves.
She said: “The response was amazing. Only three didn’t get back to me at all. One lady said not to bother sending her a card – she bought Emelia a happy birthday card herself.
“Another said they didn’t have a publicity photograph, so they tore the front of their autobiography off and slipped it into the envelope.”
Among the names wishing Emelia best returns were Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, Joe Pasquale, presenter and, former Apprentice Saira Khan, Michael Ball, Terry Wogan, Bobby Davro, Tony Robinson of Blackadder fame, Stephanie Beacham, Gary Wilmot and Gok Wan, veteran Murder She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury and Shakespearean actor, Broadchurch detective and former Dr Who David Tennant.
The cast of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Willy Wonka and the Buddy The Musical also pitched in.
Mrs Roberts said: “The first card Emelia opened was from Roger – who plays Buddy. She was chuffed because she’d met him at the stage door when he’d performed in Rhyl.
“As she opened more and more her face changed to disbelief. She had a different reaction for every one. She kissed the one from Roger. She screamed when she saw the one from David Tennant.”
Mrs Roberts, who collects signed images from celebrities, is carrying on a family tradition.
She said: “My own mum always used to take me to musicals and we’d wait by the stage door to meet the cast, and she collected signed photos too. So that’s probably how it all started.”
Emelia may end up signing photographs herself soon. She studies performing arts at the Alun School in Mold and this week found out that she has been accepted to study Musical Theatre at the University of Gloucestershire.