TV singing star Jenny Douglas was victim of bullies

WITH her slim figure, glowing complexion and striking blonde hair, 18-year-old Over the Rainbow finalist Jenny Douglas looks every inch a celebrity as she performs in front of millions each week.

Yet the former Tynecastle High School pupil has revealed how she was bullied as she was growing up for being fat.

Things got so bad for the talented performer that just under two years ago she decided to take action, putting herself on a strict diet to lose a gruelling four stones in six months, giving her the confidence she needed to follow her dreams.

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She said: "I feel great now. Not too big, not too skinny, just right."

The young South Queensferry singer said the bullying started when she moved from Stenhouse Primary to Tynecastle High: "It was nothing to do with the school itself, but I got a tough time. Everyone was trying to fit in and find a good group of friends.

"I suppose it's part of growing up and kids can be very cruel. It was a big achievement for me to lose all the weight."

Jenny was selected from thousands of musical theatre hopefuls to become one of the final 11 performers in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Saturday night BBC talent show.

Each week a girl is ejected from the competition, ending their hopes of being chosen as the leading lady in his West End production of The Wizard of Oz.

Jenny, a first-year student at Motherwell College, has hung on since the beginning and continues as one of the remaining seven finalists, giving her all week after week, singing and dancing as she could never have imagined possible in her early teenage years.

She said: "I watch people on all these reality TV shows and I always think 'what a sob story!'. I suppose this is mine though.

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"Maybe if people read this they will see I'm just a normal, average girl. Yes I got bullied, but there could be some wee girls who watch me on TV and they too are feeling self-conscious, just like I did. Maybe they will think I could do that too – I could follow my dream."

On Saturday night, Jenny gave an emotional performance of Duffy's Warwick Avenue, but was told by celebrity judge John Partridge, who plays Christian in EastEnders, that while her vocals were flawless, she needed to focus more on her acting.

She said: "I really did try hard, but I will work ten times harder. I need to push my acting. It's something I feel comfortable with on stage, but in rehearsals I often feel I could have done with more training.

"I really am trying to get John back on side. I suppose he just wants to get the best out of me."

Jenny said a simple "thank you" was not enough to show the public, who have voted her to stay in the competition each week, how much she appreciates their support.

She said: "What can I say? You have changed my life and let me fulfil my dreams."