As sultry jazz singer Jessie Taylor in BBC2’s new drama Dancing On The Edge, Angel Coulby has wowed critics with her amazing vocal performance.
But astonishingly, the actress had never sung in public until she auditioned for the part.
Stephen Poliakoff, who wrote and directed the series about a Thirties jazz band, last night admitted he had no idea that Coulby could sing until she decided to audition for the part at the 11th hour.
‘What is so extraordinary is that Angel hadn’t told her agent she could sing and she had never sung in public before,’ he said. ‘When we were casting, we decided to have open auditions because we thought we would need a professional singer who could act on the side. Angel turned up very late in the process and had to audition for us at Ealing Studios without musical accompaniment. But as soon as she opened her mouth, we knew we had found our Jessie. In the words of the old cliche, we were blown away.’
Angel’s character is based loosely on real- life singer Florence Mills, who is said to have had an affair with the Duke of Kent and who died at 32 after contracting tuberculosis.