Alexandra Burke almost turned down West End career before mum Melissa Bell's life-changing advice

Virgin Radio

2 May 2024, 09:35

Alexandra Burke, Alexandra with mum Melissa Bell

Credit: Getty

Singer and actress Alexandra Burke has revealed the sweet moment that mum Melissa Bell inspired her to start a career on the West End. 

The X Factor winner is returning to the stage as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act at the Dominion Theatre in London from 10th June to 31st August. 

2024 marks 10 years since Alexandra first stepped foot on a West End stage, making her debut as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard in 2014, and it turns out her big theatrical moment only came after a stern-talking to by beloved mum Melissa Bell. 

Melissa, who herself was a singer in Soul II Soul and worked with the likes of Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder, was the one to persuade Alexandra to pursue the West End stage after originally turning down the chance to star in The Bodyguard when she was just 23-years-old. 

During an exclusive chat with, we asked the Hallelujah singer about her most memorable moment over the last decade of her time on the stage, and she revealed the heartwarming - and life-changing - advice her mum gave in her time of need. 

Alexandra explained: “I got offered The Bodyguard when I was 23. I turned it down because I didn't think I was good enough to do it and I didn't think I could do Whitney justice. Then I got asked to do it again at 26. 

“I was living in New York and my mum… she'd come to visit and I had the call. I said, ‘Oh my god mum. I was offered three months at the Adelphi Theatre to do Bodyguard!’, and she went, ‘You better get your backside on that plane or I'm doing it for you!’” 

Having her mum’s approval was all Alexandra needed to say yes to her first big stage role, and it was even more precious to her given her mum’s history with Whitney. 

She continued: “I thought to myself, my mum is approving of me singing Whitney, a woman that she'd done backing vocals for, a woman that my mum and I absolutely adored. We loved her. The fact that my mum thought that I could do Whitney justice, I hold my mum's opinion really high. 

“The fact that she thought I could do it meant the world to me. Even if I’d just done one show, the fact that my mum believed in me is the biggest highlight of my entire theatre career.”

Alexandra was chatting to as part of her campaign with gut health drink Symprove

Of her experiences with digestive issues, the Broken Heels singer shared: “I probably have been suffering with IBS for a very long time and I didn't know. I was living in the world of the unknown in the sense of experience and all of these symptoms and all this pain and having to put a smile on and just keep going and in a way, feeling a little bit of shame to talk about it.”

As a Symprove fan, Alexandra added: “I'm now at that point in my life where I'm not afraid to speak up about it because it's something natural and something that people need to talk about because we want to feel good in life. We only have one life so why not feel good and it starts within it starts with your gut health.”

Alexandra Burke will be at the Dominion Theatre, London, for Sister Act from 10th June to 31st August.