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Teen to swap funeral parlour for X Factor stage

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 06, 2014

  • Singer and undertaker Rachael Ryan

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A STARSTRUCK teenager got through an audition for the X Factor - then revealed she works as a funeral director.

Singer Rachael Ryan, 18, works for her family undertakers business and spends her days organising funerals and comforting grieving family.

But mortician Rachael has been taking time off to practice for her first round audition for TV's X Factor.

And after singing her favourite songs Rachael was told she was through to the next round and a chance to sing on front of Simon Cowell and the celebrity judging panel.

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After being given a "yes" Rachael stunned the show's producers by revealing her day job.

She said: "I think they were slightly surprised when I told them I'm an undertaker.

"But I love the job - I've grown up in the family business and started helping when I was only 13.

"But I've been singing since I was five and that is my real ambition in life.

"Sometimes I have to stop myself singing in the funeral parlour - I just love it."

Rachael - believed to be Britain's youngest undertaker - was one of more than 100 hopefuls who turned up for the auditions in Newport, South Wales.

In front of two judges she sang Katy Perry's 'Unconditionally' and Emeli Sande's 'Read all about it'.

Rachael said: "They said yes straight away - I couldn't believe it.

"Then they asked me what I do for a living, I think they thought I was a student or worked in a clothes shop or something.

"They were a bit surprised when I said I'm a director of a undertakers."

Rachael, of Bettws, Newport, was made a director of her father's firm Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters Ltd on her 16th birthday joining her older sister Louise, 23, who also works in the family business.

"The X Factor people wanted to know all about what my job involves," she said.

"I get asked those things all the time - but to me it is my job and it's all I've ever known."

Her work duties will be include arranging funerals and leading hearses to churches and crematoria in traditional top hat and tails.

Her father Mike, 60, said: "We are very proud of her - she is following her dream."

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