Search

Norwich singer Bill Downs postpones wedding after being chosen for BBC show The Voice

09:32 09 April 2012

Norwich singer Bill Downs, who appeared on BBC talent show The Voice. (C) Wall To Wall - Photographer: Guy Levy

Norwich singer Bill Downs, who appeared on BBC talent show The Voice. (C) Wall To Wall - Photographer: Guy Levy

WARNING: Use of this copyright image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Service (BBC Pictures) as set out at www.bbcpictures.co.uk. In particular, this image may only be published by a registered User of BBC Pictures for editorial use for the purpose of publicising the relevant BBC programme, personnel or activity during the Publicity Period which ends three review weeks following the date of transmission and provided the BBC and the copyright holder in the caption are credited. For any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising and commercial, prior written approval from the copyright holder will be required.

The dress had been chosen, the church was booked – but Norwich singer Bill Downs had to put his wedding plans on hold when his chance for music stardom beckoned on a TV talent show.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

The 24-year-old from Sprowston sang for an audience of millions when the prime-time BBC1 show The Voice was aired on Saturday night.

His blind audition was heard by a judging panel comprising legendary Welsh crooner Tom Jones, pop star Jessie J, Black Eyed Peas supremo Will.I.Am and Danny O’Donoghue, the singer of Irish band, The Script.

When offered the chance to join Danny O’Donoghue’s team for the competition, the singer knew it was not as simple as saying “yes” – having already made the same commitment to his fiancée Sacha Cullum, who he was due to marry in the spring.

Fortunately for Bill, his wife-to-be said the opportunity to appear on the TV series would be the only acceptable reason for re-scheduling their big day.

Saturday’s show was filmed in January, and Bill said his growing army of fans would have to wait until the end of April to see how he progresses in the next phase of the competition – and what it meant for his wedding plans.

“You could say that everything is up in the air at the moment,” he said. “We have got to wait and see what happens, and play it by ear.

“I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have a shot at singing in front of those four people. It was a life-changing audition and you only get one chance to do it if you are very, very lucky. To say that I was not going to do it because of something which, in the end, is flexible, would have been crazy.

“It was a joint decision. It was not just me saying: ‘Yep, we are moving the wedding.’ Sacha has always been so supportive of me right from the get-go, and I need her to keep me grounded.”

The high school sweethearts have been together since Bill was 14.

Sacha, 23, who works as a mobile beauty therapist, said: “I have been thinking about what I want my wedding to be like for years and years, so everything was coming together very early. The first thing I bought was the dress and we had venues and the church booked, and a photographer, the bridesmaids were all sorted and we just needed to sort the suits out.

“But I was more than happy to change the plans. I have always encouraged him to go for everything and this is the biggest opportunity he has ever been given. It could be the opportunity to make his dreams come true, so there was no way I could let it pass him by.”

After winning plaudits for his soulful rendition of Plan B’s hit She Said, Bill hugged his fiancée and asked if they could postpone the wedding. Fortunately, she replied: “Only under these circumstances.”

During the performance, Danny O’Donoghue was the only judge to hit his button and turn his chair around to face the artist he wanted to coach.

Bill said: “I was over the moon that Danny chose me. He is an absolutely amazing musician and his style is quite similar to mine.

“He plays in a band, I play in a band and we’re both quite soulful.”

Bill, who plays with Norwich band The Tracks, took up guitar aged 11 when his neighbour started playing, but kept his talent to himself before playing in a band at Sprowston High’s leavers’ assembly when he was 16.

The singer was compared to Ed Sheeran by the landlord of the Dog House, on St Georges Street, where he made his first public performance and still plays regularly, including a packed-out gig on Sunday night.

The couple live in Sprowston and, tomorrow, Bill said he would be returning to his day job, caring for adults with learning disabilities.

3 comments

  • "During Bill’s performance, Danny O’Donoghue was the only judge to hit the button and turn his chair around"... Says it all, really.

    Report this comment

    dx456

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

  • Mr Zip the rapping plasterer, on BGT has the star quality that Bill appears to miss...start googling Where and bingo Mr Zip hits fly out.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

  • Each judge now has between 7 - 8 of the 10 acts they are allowed - with only one week remaining, so they are each looking for somethingsomeone different to add to their teams, which means there are less and less times when they all turn around. Good luck Bill

    Report this comment

    dg123

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

A flood sign in water. Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Seven flood alert warnings for along the Suffolk coast and Broads areas of Norfolk are no longer in force, the Environment Agency have confirmed.

Firefighters from Suffolk and Norfolk tackled a blaze at an outbuilding in Cratfield, near Halesworth, this morning (Sunday).

07:00
Co-op Travel department, Beccles have been collectiong gifts for the Santa's Suitcase appeal.

Sarah Rice (kneeling) and Stacey Hammond with the toys.

A suitcase full of presents has been sent to a charity for women and children fleeing domestic abuse, thanks to shoppers in Beccles.

Rev John Beauchamp with his guide dog Nelson.

Leading members of the clergy are asking people across Suffolk to consider giving some of their time at Christmas to help the homeless, those short of food, or on their own.

Most Read

Firefighters from Suffolk and Norfolk tackled a blaze at an outbuilding in Cratfield, near Halesworth, this morning (Sunday).

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Billy Swaley Smith

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has called for a reform of sentencing laws after a prolific burglar admitted 90 break-ins in Suffolk and elsewhere.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00
BACK THEN: John Humby, 85, on his retirement from Beccles Town Football Club after 47 years service.

A footballing community in north Suffolk is mourning the loss of a man dubbed as “Mr Beccles.”

Read more
A flood sign in water. Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Seven flood alert warnings for along the Suffolk coast and Broads areas of Norfolk are no longer in force, the Environment Agency have confirmed.

Read more
Thu, 13:26
Police close to the scene in Bethnal Green Road, east London, after a teenager was stabbed to death.

A man arrested in Beccles has been charged with the murder of a 15-year-old boy in London.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 11°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition