Flintshire man making his mark on TV’s latest talent show

Reporter:

Lois Hough

ALL-singing, all-dancing Ashley Sollars has been impressing celebrity judges on national television.

The 22-year-old is appearing on the Channel Five talent show Don’t Stop Believing, which takes inspiration from American musical comedy-drama Glee.

The show, hosted by former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, features musical groups who go up against each other every week for the chance to record an album.

Ashley, of Forest Drive, Broughton, is a member of the Supergroup who are a permanent fixture of the series.

He said: “I was pretty lucky to get on because I’ve had no formal training.

“I left school at 17 and went to work for a holiday camp in Aberystwyth and I have been doing a similar thing ever since.

“I went to audition in Manchester and then had a recall to London. I was so excited when I found out I had made it on to the show.”

The Supergroup grows each week as five new members are added.

Keeping a watchful eye on contestants is an all-star panel of judges including singer-songwriter Anastacia, actress Tamzin Outhwaite, former Blue member Duncan James and choreographer Charles ‘Chucky’ Klapow.

Ashley, a former St David’s High School pupil, said: “I love it and we have all become really close friends on set.

“We spend 24 hours a day together in the Supergroup so it can be tough but it’s very rewarding.

“Because they are whisked on and off set so fast we don’t get much time to chat to the stars. But Chucky loves to come and see us before the show and give us
support.”

Performing runs in the family for Ashley: his brother Warren, 26, is currently appearing in the West End in the ensemble of Mamma Mia!

Warren won the television competition Musicality where the prize was a scholarship to the internationally renowned Laine Theatre Arts.

Ashley is determined to do just as well and is looking for the right platform to showcase his skills as a performer.

He said: “I think Warren is what inspired me to become a musician. We were always going to watch him perform.

“One day I sang a song and I wasn’t half bad so I’ve been doing it ever since. I taught myself piano and I was away from there.”

Ashley has been dating girlfriend Lisa Evans-Hughes for a year. She starts at the Italia Conti theatre school in September.

In his spare time Ashley performs at private functions with his swing and ‘70s band The Speakers.

Proud mum Karen, 48, added: “I think they’re both fabulous but I have no idea where they get their talent from. I wish I could sing like that.”

Don’t Stop Believing goes out on Sundays from 6.25pm.

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