The winner of TV talent show The Voice has told how she found it difficult to deal with public recognition after her triumph – and has admitted she “hid away” after the win.
Leanne Mitchell said she concealed herself in the studio in the wake of the BBC1 competition which she won last year.
The singer – who is shortly to release her debut album after landing a major record deal as her prize – said she had not been seeking “fame” when she entered the show.
Mitchell, 29, who won the show last spring after being mentored by Sir Tom Jones, said: “When the show finished I was at my most recognisable. I found it really hard people coming up to me thinking they know you but they don’t know you.
“I found it difficult to come to terms with being in the limelight, as it was something I never thought possible. I knew that it definitely wasn’t fame I was after, so being recognised out and about took time to get used to. I hid away in the studio.”
Mitchell said she found it “soothing” to work on her self-titled album which is being released by Decca Records on May 27. She went on: “Focusing on writing the album was the best thing I could have done at the time. I found it soothing, and rewarding, and now I can’t wait to get it out there.”
The BBC is preparing to screen a second series of The Voice which is expected to launch later this month. Runner-up Tyler James has already released his album A Place I Go, but despite being signed to Island Records he made it to just 49 in the charts.
Mitchell – who had performed professionally at a holiday camp prior to the show – said it was the chance to win a record deal which had attracted her to the show, rather being in the spotlight.
“I liked this competition because the prize wasn’t a cash prize, it was a record deal. Quite a few years ago a couple of friends pushed me to enter The X Factor.
“I got through to Boot Camp. I found the whole experience quite daunting. Luckily I was never on the telly.
“After The Voice I found the hardest thing was people recognising me. I never wanted to be famous, and would never enter something like a TV show for that reason. Obviously, not knowing what would happen, it’s a little difficult now. But I can handle it, as long as the music always comes first.”