THERE'S pros and cons to being able to do superb impersonations of people, says Britain's Got Talent star Francine Lewis.

"When I was at school I did an impression of a bully, and she got to hear about it and threatened to beat me up if I didn't stop... some people take it the wrong way" she said.

Fortunately for Francine, now 40, the Essex folk are known for their sense of humour, and are constantly asking her to mimic them, much to their amusement. This should stand the Hertfordshire lass in good stead when she comes to the Towngate Theatre next week, to support the 4 Tunes.

"I will do lots of Essex voices, such as the Towie girls, keep the Essex people happy" she laughs, "in your area it always works really well."

Francine says she started realising she could take off people from the age of six, when she would practise in front of the mirror and make her family laugh.

"From there I just kept doing it, and every time I spoke about someone, or repeat what someone had said, I would always do it in their own voices. It got so wherever I went, parties or in the playground, people were always asking me to do impressions of other people."

Francine's career as an impersonator found her by chance, while she was at a party and someone there had an agency. From there she went on a show, as part of the audience, and did an impression after being picked out. Someone watching was so impressed, they rang up while she was on the show, and offered her a summer season at an entertainments company.

After doing various shows and television work, she stopped to concentrate on her family.

"Then I got an email from a researcher on Britain's Got Talent" she said. "They asked me to try out for the show, but I refused. I thought I couldn't put myself through all that, I'd done lots of television, and the thought of sitting there with them and their buzzers... I just didn't want to do it. But the researcher said they had searched up and down the country and they couldn't find one single other female impersonator. In the meantime I'd been doing well on social media, and was always putting my own little bits up, and something made me keep thinking about it, and I'd actually always wanted to meet Simon Cowell... so I eventually agreed."

Clearly not regretting her decision, since her appearance on the show in 2013, her career has rocketed. Online clips of her performances went viral, with them becoming the most viewed clips from BGT, watched by millions worldwide.

She is renowned for her mimics of Sharon Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Kim Kardashian and even male celebs including Alan Chatty Man Carr.

All the while she manages to juggle a home life, being married with two children aged 13 and nine.

"I do feel guilty sometimes" she says, "such as when I did panto, working so much over Christmas, but my children love it, and I don't say yes to everything. I actually turn down quite a few things, particularly if I think it might take me away from the children."

She has a busy schedule coming up, with a couple of endorsements lined up, as well as the tour, and more projects in the pipeline.

"I also have my YouTube show - Francine Lewis TV and an app called Francine's Voice Factory. People can download it and use it to play pranks and things like that" she said.

Francine was recently a guest at the Greenwoods Hotel and Spa in Billericay where she underwent a microdermabrasion facial, which is said to give skin an amazing glow.

Perhaps she wanted to get that Essex glow, ahead of her string of Towie impersonations which you can look forward to at the Basildon based theatre.

Joining the stage with Francine - which takes place on Saturday April 23 - will be the Daniel Boys from BBC's Any Dream Will Do in 2007.

Daniel is an award-winning performer whose career encompasses TV, West End musicals, national tours, as well as numerous concerts and recordings. His appearance on the hugely successful talent show firmly established him as one of the UK's brightest emerging musical talent.

Daniel’s West End bio is impressive, with highlights including Sir Lancelot in Spamalot (Playhouse); Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q (Gielgud/Noel Coward – Winner of 2009 Theatregoers Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role); Roger in Grease (Victoria Palace & Japanese Tour); Anthony in Sweeney Todd (Royal Festival Hall); and most recently, Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris (Charing Cross Theatre).

This night will be completed with male singing quartet, The 4 Tunes.

This group of award-winning singers have been wowing audiences around the country singing iconic pop and musical songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, December 1963, Unchained Melody and Signed Sealed Delivered.

The 4Tunes and Friends

Towngate Theatre

St.Martin's Square


Saturday April 27 at 7.30pm

Tickets: £17.50

Concessions: £16

VIP Tickets £37.50