Falkirk singer Dionne Hickey looks forward to TV debut ahead of Christmas single launch

Dionne Hickey
Dionne Hickey

When a young singer is looking to launch her new single she could do with a bit of publicity - perhaps even an appearance on prime time telly.

While Falkirk performer Dionne Hickey did not get to insert a direct plug for her self-penned festive number ‘Won’t You Be Mine For Christmas’ into BBC1’s ‘Viva Variety’, to be broadcast at 7.30 p.m. on Monday, the fact thousands of viewers will see her belting out ballads and just being herself cannot exactly hurt.

What might sting a little bit is a certain scene which could cause Dionne to leave the room when it appears onscreen.

The former Larbert High School pupil said: “The film crew came in as I was rushing around getting changed backstage and I was taking my hair extensions out. I was so used to them filming by that point I didn’t think anything of it.

“I thought there’s no way they will bother putting that bit in, but then I saw a trailer for the show and that was the bit they used.”

Backstage adjustments aside, Dionne has nothing to be embarrassed about as the popular documentary, which has also featured Falkirk’s Barbara Bryceland, shows a young singer at the very start of, hopefully, a long and successful performing and recording career.

“The footage was filmed a year-and-a-half ago when I’d only been doing this for about a year. They pretty much told me to be myself - maybe now I think about it that might not have been such a good idea.

“They said I was really natural. I was the youngest person in the show, still trying to find my footing. They focused on that and how I juggled my singing and trying to write songs with my work at uni and my social life.

“Since that was filmed I’ve progressed so much and this year I got to perform at the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village, getting star-struck after meeting members of the Jamaican team, I’ve sung at the Scotia Pride event in Edinburgh and performed at Stirling’s Christmas lights switch on last week.”

The video for ‘Won’t You Be Mine For Christmas’ is on YouTube and the single will be available on it iTunes and Amazon from Monday, just hours before her ‘Viva Variety’ episode is broadcast to the nation.

“We decided to work it around the television programme,” said Dionne. “I wrote the lyrics and my producer Andy Haldane added all the instruments and even filmed the video for the song.”

Dionne makes no secret of the fact she wants to sing and record her own material, but the Napier University student is also realistic enough to know she still has to keep her set filled with “crowd pleasers” - at least for the time being.

“I know people at my gigs are not really interested in hearing a whole set of my own songs just yet, they want to dance to something familiar. I have started putting in a couple of my own songs though and got nice comments from people.”

Who knows? If the makers of ‘Viva Variety’ catch up with the show’s featured performers in a couple of year’s time, audiences might be yelling out for Dionne’s hits at a sell out SECC gig.

The young singer said: “I don’t have any major plans for the rest of 2014 or 2015, just the mayhem of gigs - lots of gigs. It’s always busy for singers at Christmas time, but towards summer next year I hope to perform at some festivals.”

Dionne sings live at La Banca, Vicar Street, Falkirk on Saturday from 9.30 p.m.