Charley Birkin hopes The Voice will help her find biological father
Published 23/01/2016 | 08:06
A contestant on The Voice is hoping to find her biological father by appearing on the talent show.
Charley Birkin, 52, decided to enter the BBC singing series after discovering seven years ago that the man named on her birth certificate was not her biological father.
The singer from Newcastle Upon Tyne said she has been searching relentlessly and has exhausted every avenue.
However, she hoped appearing on The Voice in front of the all-star judging panel of will.i.am, Boy George, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson will aid her search.
"I've spent so much money and got nowhere and I got really despondent," she told the Press Association.
Birkin has chosen to sing Fontella Bass's Rescue Me, saying: "It was a great song to get into because you have a short window of time to express what you are capable of and I love that song. It's a feel good song."
These days, Birkin is a charity worker, but she said she has always loved singing.
She became determined to make the music industry her career after winning a talent show at the age of nine.
At 15, she joined a band called Zoots Navarro and went on to tour the world with them.
Birkin left the band when she was in her 30s and determined to focus on being a full-time mother.
"It wasn't until I had my son and became a more mature person and happier with myself that I questioned my paternity, and my mother just came clean and told me," she said.
"And even though it was seven years ago and I had an inkling, it still cut through me, I can't describe to you how I felt.
"I suddenly felt lost, I didn't know who I was, where I came from, and the thing that hurt was there was a guy out there who was 50% of my genetic make-up and I didn't know him."
In the third week of blind auditions, Birkin will compete with pop star wannabes including bagel shop worker Lauren Lapsley-Browne, former Miss Saigon performer Irene Alano-Rhodes and Brook Waddle, the daughter of former England footballer Chris Waddle.
::The Voice is broadcast on Saturday at 7.45pm.