PERFORMING on a prime-time television show was one of the best moments of upcoming music star Marley Blandford’s life.
The 19-year-old, from Portsmouth, was one of seven musicians and singers who took part in BBC1’s Frank Sinatra: Our Way, which will be aired tonight at 7pm.
The show will see the relatively-unknown acts perform their own version of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra.
The performers will be critiqued by a panel of celebrity and expert judges, with the one contestant winning the opportunity to perform at a special concert in London later this year to mark the centenary of Sinatra’s birth.
Marley, of Drayton Road, North End, will be playing the piano and singing one of Sinatra’s slower numbers.
He said: ‘It was incredible and overwhelming. It was one of the best nights of my life. It feels so good to work up to something like that.’
Marley released his debut album Shine last year and was short-listed in The News’ Guide awards as best solo artist.
He also supported American singer Christina Perri at Koko in London in November.
He said: ‘It’s been a bit crazy – the last part of the year has been so busy.’
The former Mayfield School pupil filmed the show a few weeks ago and is tight-lipped about tonight’s result.
He won a place by performing a cover of Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon on YouTube channel S1mple Music.
The music video was filmed in Foxes Forest, in Hilsea, and was spotted by researchers from the BBC, who invited him to the show at Elstree Studios in London.
Hollywood legend Joan Collins, actor and comedian Rufus Hound, singer Mica Paris and musician and producer Leo Green form the panel of judges. Presenter Alexander Armstrong and Rochelle Humes, from The Saturdays, front the show.
Marley said: ‘It was so surreal being with all those celebrities and I even had my own dressing room.’
Marley studied music at school, where he started to learn the piano in 2007 before teaching himself to sing and to play the guitar and drums.
Since leaving school he has been playing gigs at places such as Southsea Beach Cafe and earning money as a session musician.
He said: ‘I’m so happy about it all. It is going to be mental to see myself on telly but I am looking forward to it.
‘The Portsmouth music scene is awesome, with the likes of the Victorious Festival getting bigger and bigger each year. I’m so proud to represent it on television.’