It was the moment everything changed for Susan Boyle: the time 10 years ago today when the “daft woman with mad hair” walked on to the stage of Britain’s Got Talent and became a global sensation.
A decade later, the Scot has recalled the impact of social media on her career, transforming her from a woman living in a council house in West Lothian to a performer who has sold more than 23 million records and racked up 680 million YouTube views.
Miss Boyle, who has just applied for her provisional driving licence at the age of 58, will return to BGT with a guest appearance on the reality programme on Saturday, April 13.
But she admitted that her original experience in 2009 had turned her world upside down overnight and she thanked Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher for sharing the social media clip of “I Dreamed a Dream” with his millions of Twitter followers.
She said: “When I look back on the audition, I blush, because I was very green about things. I turned up looking like I had got dressed in the dark, I had to wait ages to actually go on stage, and when it was eventually my turn, I was as nervous as hell.
“I stomped on stage and everybody was laughing at me, they thought: ‘Who was this daft woman with the mad hair and bad choice in clothes?’ And nobody had any expectations. They thought I was a joke, then I started to sing.
“The response was unbelievable. Everybody went from sniggering to applauding and they gave me a standing ovation at the end. I think I left a few of the audience slack-jawed. I felt a huge sense of achievement and pride.
“But I didn’t have access to the internet or a computer at the time and I had no idea about YouTube. Social media was in its infancy.
“I went home [to Blackburn], but suddenly, in the next few days, the clip had spread like wildfire – I have Ashton Kutcher to thank for that – and I had all the press on my doorstep.”
Miss Boyle admitted she didn’t always cope well with the trappings of fame when it happened, but after years of looking after her late mother, then performing in front of the Queen and the Pope, she added that probably wasn’t surprising.
But she has endured and will release her latest album TEN across the globe later this month.
She said: “I was a lady who, for the first 47 years, was a spectator looking in. But now, I’m very much part of life and I’m enjoying it.
“It shows you should never give up, it doesn’t really matter what age you are. Enjoy your music and remember to be grateful and humble and work hard, because nobody likes a diva.”
She is looking forward to her guest spot on BGT this weekend. Even if, as she added, she still hasn’t worked out how to use her new oven.