Danielle Hope is Dorothy at end of the Rainbow
Danielle Hope was the winner in the final of 'Over the Rainbow' last night (22.05.10) landing the coveted role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new West End production of 'The Wizard of Oz'
Danielle Hope was crowned the winner of 'Over the Rainbow' last night (22.05.10).
The 18-year-old brunette from Manchester beat Sophie Evans, 17, in the BBC talent search show to land the role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new West End production of 'The Wizard of Oz'.
Upon being told she had won the most viewer votes an overjoyed Danielle hugged Sophie and told host Graham Norton she was so "grateful" to have landed the prestigious part.
She said: "I really, really don't think a thank you is enough to the crew, to backstage, to the panel, to Andrew, to the amazing public and everyone who comes and supports us every week and the girls.
"All I can say is thank you, it really does come from in here. It feels like not enough, but I'm just so grateful, I know we all are for this amazing opportunity."
Lord Lloyd Webber also praised Danielle describing her as "the most fantastic, talented kid with a huge future ahead", adding: "I'm really pleased with the result, the nation has never got it wrong yet. Now the hard work starts but my goodness me, you can act with soul and that's something that's very, very special."
Danielle - who was a full-time student in Knutsford, Cheshire, before she signed up for the series - put on Dorothy's ruby slippers before closing the show with a rendition of 'Over The Rainbow' from the musical.
She will don the iconic footwear again next March when the show opens at the London Palladium in the UK capital.
Earlier in the night, fellow Dorothy hopeful Lauren Samuels, 22, was eliminated from the final at the end of the first live show after she received the lowest number of viewers' votes.
The dog who will play Dorothy's pet pooch Toto was also revealed as Mini Schnauzer Dave.
During the series, 11 contestants battled it out for the coveted role - made famous by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie - under the watchful eyes of Lord Lloyd Webber, 'EastEnders' star John Partridge, singer Charlotte Church and actress Sheila Hancock.