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English - Enterprising People

Enterprising People 5 - Susan Boyle

Enterprising: (adjective).  Showing initiative and willingness to undertake new projects.


Susan Magdalane Boyle (born 1 April 1961) is a Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on reality TV programme “Britain’s Got Talent” on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. Her first album was released in November 2009 and debuted as the number one best-selling CD around the globe.

Global interest in Boyle was triggered by the contrast between her powerful voice and her plain appearance on stage. The juxtaposition of the audience's first impression of her with the standing ovation she received after her performance led to an international media and internet response. Within nine days of the audition, videos of her had been watched over 100 million times, an online record. Despite this, she later finished in second place in the final of the show, behind dance troupe Diversity.

Born in Blackburn, West Lothian, to Patrick Boyle, a miner, World War II veteran and singer, and Bridget, a shorthand typist, who were both immigrants from Ireland. She was the youngest of four brothers and six sisters.

Born when her mother was 47, Boyle was briefly deprived of oxygen during the difficult birth and was later diagnosed as having learning difficulties. Boyle says she was bullied as a child and was nicknamed "Susie Simple" at school.

Leaving school with few qualifications, she was employed for the only time in her life as a trainee cook in the kitchen of the local College for six months and took part in government training programmes. She visited the theatre to listen to professional singers.

Mr S. Sutton

Try Our "Brain Challenge"


Five Questions!

          1. What age is Susan today?
          2. On what date did Susan come to the public’s attention?
          3. What seems to have started people’s interest in her?
          4. Why was the internet important in Susan’s story?
          5. What happened as a result of her “difficult birth”?

Five Words !

Write the following words in your jotter. Look at the words in in a dictionary, or ask an adult to help with their meanings. Write the meaning for each word in your jotter, beside the word.

debut             juxtaposition                media                audition              diagnosed


Research/Personal Investigation

Find out what Les Miserables is, and what it is about.

Find out 3 facts about Blackburn, West Lothian.

Mr S. Sutton

e-mail : english@kilmarnockacademy.co.uk                                                 tel: 01563 525509

  N. McIlvanney 2011