Oulton Broad girl’s Olympic birthday

TEENAGER Jessica Peek is jumping for joy – after lining up a birthday to remember.

Jessica, from Oulton Broad, will turn 19 on July 27 and her 'birthday party' will be one the year's biggest events.

For she will be performing in front of a massive global audience as one of the dancers at the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics.

Jessica was chosen to perform in the ceremony after passing two gruelling auditions.

She is now preparing to join the total cast of 15,000 people who will take part in the London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies, which will be watched by an estimated worldwide audience of four billion.

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Jessica has loved dancing and performing since she was three and has performed for the Lowestoft Players, the June Glennie School of Dance and the Venue of Performing Arts among others.

Describing how she felt on hearing she had passed her Olympic auditions, Jessica told The Journal: 'I could not believe it at first. I am so excited about it – but I am not really that bothered about appearing on television as I have been on Blue Peter three times, singing around the Christmas tree.

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'As it's my 19th birthday on the day of the opening ceremony too, it's going to be an extra exciting birthday – one like I'll never have again. The only thing I will miss on the day is being with my family.

'And I will miss out on my birthday cake!'

Jessica, who is studying to be a primary school teacher at Bedford University, auditioned for the opening ceremony after her mother, Amanda Craft, saw the opportunity advertised on the internet.

She will form part of one group of 400 performers and she is travelling up to London every week for four-hour rehearsal sessions.

Because of the secrecy surrounding the spectacular ceremony, Jessica could not tell The Journal exactly what she would be doing for her performance. But when the time arrives for her group to take centre stage, her family will be at home in Chestnut Avenue, cheering her on – and tucking into a birthday cake for her!

Her mum said: 'I am so excited for Jessica. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which she will be able to tell her children and grandchildren about.'

The opening ceremony's artistic director is Danny Boyle, director of the hit films Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours.

As reported in The Journal last month, Naomi Barber, 21, from Lowestoft, will be among the dancers performing at the Olympics closing ceremony on August 12.

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