I'd Do Anything Nancy finalist Francesca Jackson lives in London, although she origianlly comes from Wales. Francescaw, who is 24 years old, graduated from the Mountview Theatre School (where fellow 'Nancy' finalist Ashley also trained).
Sorry Francesca - You're not Nancy. Francesca Jackson was the fourth Nancy Finalist to be knocked-out of the competition on Sunday 20 April 2008.
Francesca's professional credits include playing the role of 'Bet' in Oliver!, in the touring production of the Rod Stewart musical Tonight's The Night. She has also just finished performing in the West End 're-mixed' revival of Rent at the Duke of York's Theatre.
Will the public select Francesca to be Nancy in the new West End production of Oliver at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London?
Saturday 29 March 2008: At the first of the BBC I'd Do Anything 'knock-out' shows Francesca Jackson sang the Mariah Carey song 'Hero'. Afterwards Denise Van Outen said: "Could Francesca play 'Nancy'. I have worked with her, very briefly. It was her first role out of drama school, so she has had a little bit of experience, but I am looking for a Nancy - is she right for it? Looking at that performance I'd say yes! I loved it, it was a very tough song to sing and I think you sang it well, it was lovely. But hopefully, next week, if you're here, I'd like something a bit more gritty from you. I want to see the tough Nancy." John Barrowman said: "Francesca, I thought it was a solid performance but there were some pitch problems on your top notes, just take a look at that and work on it for next week, but you do deserve to stay in the competition."
Sunday 30 March 2008: The first 'Results Show' when the results of the public telephone votes where announced - and Graham Norton revealed that Francesca Jackson come second from the bottom so had to perform in the 'sing-off' in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Amy Booth-Steel who had come bottom of the public voting. The sing-off song this week was Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Tell Me On A Sunday' from the musical Song and Dance. Afterwards Andrew Lloyd Webber said that he wanted to save Francesca - so she gets to return next week!
Saturday 5 April 2008: For the second BBC I'd Do Anything 'knock-out' shows Francesca Jackson sung the Queen song (featured in the West End musical We Will Rock You) 'Somebody to Love'. Afterwards John Barrowman said: "That was a great, good, gritty performance. I think you have overcome the hurdle from last week. The pitch problem was sorted, but there was just one note in the middle there where you slightly pushed it a little up - I'm never going to let you get away with this, but it was good, gritty performance baby." Barry Humphries said: "Very feisty. Magnificent really. But for a gin drinker, you look a bit dairy fed to me." Denise Van Outen said, "We got bucket loads of grit tonight - that was absolutely fantastic. The best thing that could have happened to you was being in the bottom two last week because let's remember Nancy is a street girl and she is a fighter, and you've fought your way back. It was absolutely brilliant Francesca. Well done." Andrew Lloyd Webber concluded the comments by saying: "I saw you this afternoon and I thought, my goodness it's not grit and it's not gravel, it's more a kind of smooth tarmac - and then this evening you came out and actually gave us the grit and gravel that was missing this afternoon. That shows that you're a professional. Well done!"
Sunday 6 April 2008: The second 'Results Show' - this week Graham Norton revealed that Francesca had, unlike last week, secured enough public telephone votes to go straight through to next week's programme - no 'sing-off' for Francesca this week!
Saturday 12 April 2008: For the third BBC I'd Do Anything 'knock-out' shows Francesca Jackson sang the song 'The Time of My Life' from the musical Dirty Dancing. Afterwards Denise Van Outen commented: "That's exactly the rawness and roughness I've talking about that is right for this role. The more I see you perform, the more you convince me you're right for Nancy." Barry Humphries commented: "Francesca, the best you have been so far, wonderful. But I would still like to see a little bit more raw emotion from you. You have to take the audience on a journey, and remember it is a musical play, it is not just one song, so there is quite a lot of dramatic acting involved." John Barrowman said: "Well Francesca, I thought that was superb, superb, superb! We've seen a softer edge, Barry thought you were a milk maid - I think you where as tough as nails. A definate Nancy contender." Andrew Lloyd Webber concluded by saying: "I'm going to say something that is difficult. But I get nervous when I watch you because I am just not sure about your pitching, and you were out of tune on a couple of important notes there and that would worry me if I was in an audience, if I was paying all that money to come to see you, it would worry me, you've got to concentrate on that. You're a good actress, so I hope you remain with us, I really do, but that is something you have to worry about."
Sunday 13 April 2008: The third 'Results Show' - this week Graham Norton revealed that Francesca had secured enough public telephone votes to go straight through to next week's programme.
Saturday 19 April 2008: This week on the BBC I'd Do Anything programme the fourth Nancy Finalist was due to leave the competition, to leave just eight Nancy hopefuls. For this programme Francesca Jackson sang the Tina Turner song 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' Afterwards John Barrowman commented: "I love watching you - I think you have that rough edge, you have that Eastend girl quality. And from what I heard in here tonight, I thought that was pretty dang good. Whether or not they hear different in Vegas I don't know - but in this studio it sounded pretty fantastic." Barry Humphries said: "Beautiful, everything you do is perfection really. But you are a glamorous performer, and I don't think you can lose that - and to me that isn't really the essence of Nancy. Missing is some kind of a 'wounded' feeling." Denise Van Outen said: "I totally disagree with you Barry, sorry. I thought Francesca, that was a very strong, edgy performance, it was edgier than the White Cliffs of Dover. I do love your voice, you've got a very unique kind of throaty belt. I think next week, if we all agree, I'd like to maybe hear something a little bit more subtle from you and open up that sound a little bit, that would be nice." Watching the show on television via a live video link in Las Vegas was Andrew Lloyd Webber who concluded by saying: "Francesca, a really, really good performance tonight. I still find you a little bit musical-theatre stagey in an old fashioned way which I would like to see roughened up - I'm rather with Barry about that. I think you've got it there, just let it go a little bit."
Sunday 20 April 2008: The 'Results Show' - Before they the results of the public telephone votes where announced, Graham Norton asked the judging panel who, based on this weeks performances only, they thought was NOT Nancy - Barry said Francesca. Graham then announced the results of the public telephone votes and it was revealed that, for the second time in this competition, Francesca had come second from the bottom so had to perform in the 'sing-off' again in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber, this time with Ashley Russell who had come bottom of the public voting. The sing-off song this week was the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Whistle Down The Wind. Afterwards Andrew Lloyd Webber had the task to save one Nancy: "Both of them sang wonderfully and it was extraordinary sing-off. I have to decide really between a fabulous professional actress and then with Ashley and what the panel obviously feel about her and I'm doing it from 5,000 miles away - this is the toughest call I've ever, ever had, and I really mean this. However, thinking about everything, just weighing absolutely everything that the panel have said up - I'm going to save Ashley" - which meant that Francesca is the fouth Nancy Finalist to leave the show. Andrew then told Francesca: "I'm gutted about this because you did it beautifully I just had to really take in mind what the panel said as well but I do feel you have a fantastic career as a professional actress and it is ging to be the begining of a long road for you. I'm sorry to have to do it." Afterwards Francesca said: "I feel gutted, but I have made so many fantastic friendships and every girl is wonderful. My favourite memory was getting into the final 12 at Andrew's house and also getting on stage at Wicked was fantastic." The television programme then concluded with Francesca saying good-bye by leading the remaining Nancy finalists in an ensemble version of 'Be Back Soon/As Long As He Needs Me'.