SINGING sensation Susan Boyle made a surprise appearance in Edinburgh at one of the biggest events in the music industry calendar - and revealed she is set to take on the world of jazz music.
The 52-year-old, who has already sold almost 20 million albums, said she was looking for a big new challenge after tackling her first major live tour, starring in her first film role and recording an album of Christmas songs.
In the capital to collect a major honour at the Radio Forth Awards, Boyle, who staged several shows in Scotland earlier this year, she was already planning her first major tour of the UK and Ireland in 2014.
She said she was hopeful she would get the chance to walk down the red carpet at a Scottish premiere of her film debut, The Christmas Candle, in which which she appears along with on-screen love interest Braveheart star James Cosmo in a 19th century festive costume drama.
Boyle, who received a standing ovation from the 2000-strong crowd at the Usher Hall as she collected a musical icon award, said: “I was shaking before I went on stage. I was just so excited about the whole thing, the atmosphere was so electric. I’ve had some awards before, but nothing like this.
“I was a bit nervous before the tour as it was the first time I’d done anything like that. It was exciting and challenging, but it was a lot of fun as well. You wouldn’t want to do it without that element. There are plans to do more touring in the spring, around the UK and Ireland, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for those.
“I’d love to do a jazz album next time. It would be an entire break from what I’m use to doing.
“It’s a challenging area and very specialised. Jazz is something I would really like to be involved in. Watch this space - anything can happen.”
Boyle, whose Christmas single will be a digital collaboration with Elvis Presley on the classic song O Come All Ye Faithful, has just released a whole album of festive material, and is also
awaiting the release of The Christmas Candle, which also features fellow Scots John Hannah and Sylvester McCoy.
She added: “I’ve seen bits of the new film, but not the whole thing yet. It’s very odd seeing yourself in the movies.
“I’m hoping there will be a premiere in Scotland, but I don’t know if there will be at this stage, it will be up to the powers-that-be.
“I can’t say too much about it at the moment, other than that I play a church warden’s wife and do an awful lot of giggling. James Cosmo was a great guy to work with, very helpful and kind. I hope to go on and do more acting now.”
JLS were named artist of the year at the awards, which were being held for the 10th time, while Boy George, who performed three songs - including acclaimed new single King of Everything - received a special music recognition award.
Boy George, who had his first hit with Culture Club in 1982, told The Scotsman: “It doesn’t really feel like more than 30 years.
“My past career feels like a myth. I kind of know it was me, but I don’t really remember much about it. I’m much more interested in what I am doing now, I think any artist is.
“The past is great, but it’s gone. To wallow in it is not good. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s what you are doing now that is important.”