Interview taken from The TV Mag 08-14 January 2000:
Heather Peace tells us why she's hoping to be hot in pop
Burning beauty Heather Peace has a red-hot new challenge
to shout about - becoming a pop star.
Heather, who returns in a new series of the fire-fighting drama, is preparing to set the charts alight by releasing a Bette Midler song.
Bradford-born Heather, who plays sexy fire girl Sally Fields, has been signed up by record giants RCA after talent spotters heard her sing during an end-of-shoot party. Viewers will see Heather singing as part of a storyline in the third episode of the action packed £8million series.
A few weeks later, she will follow in the footsteps of former Blue Watch singers John Alford and Steven Houghton and release her debut single, The Rose, then an album.
Heather, 24, was a talented jazz singer before she joined the lads at Blackwall Station, but she admits she is more scared of pop stardom than fighting fires. She says ; I'm absolutely terrified. I have been gigging for years, so I don't mind the idea of doing Top of the Pops and things like that, but I'm panicking about how people will react. I'm scraed that they will think 'Oh no, not another actress trying to be a singer!' It looks so cheesy when telly stars put out records, but hopefully this one will be different"
Unlike other actors who have tried their luck in the charts, Heather was a seasoned singer before she turned to acting. As a child, she sang in her local church choir, then starred in musicals and tried in vain to break into the music business. She says: "It was my ambition to be a singer above acting. I studied drama at Manchester Polytechnic for three years, but I was far happier singing. I never rated myself as an actress and when I did musicals it was always a case of getting through the dialogue to get to the songs. The lads in the show knew I could sing because I was travelling p to Manchester during the filming of the last series to do some gigs in a club. They kept nagging me to sing for them and I finally agreed to sing at a party to mark the end of the series"
"I wasn't really up for it because I wanted to get drunk and have a good time, but I did a 20-minute set. It turned out some A&R people were there and they loved it and I couldn't believe it when they offered me a record deal. At first they wanted me to record a cover version of Eternal Flame, but I said 'Forget it' because it was too comy. I love jazz music by the greats like Ella Fitzgerald, so we found a compromise with The Rose. Its a lovely song and no one has recorded it since Bette Midler."
The chance of a pop career is just one example of how London's Burning has changed Heather's life. She says: "The show has done so much for me, especially financially. I used to get by on next to nothing, but now I can do what I want within reason. I still can't afford a posh flat or a flash car, but I can go on great holidays and I was able to take my mum to Milan for her birthday. Things have been amazing for me since I've been in the show. Now I have got the single coming out as well. It makes me feel very lucky"
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