Newcomer Danielle Hope has won Over The Rainbow to star as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

Danielle Hope, winner of Over The Rainbow

An 18-year-old student from Greater Manchester has won the BBC One talent show Over The Rainbow, winning the star role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s multi-million pound production of The Wizard of Oz.

In a closely fought final show, Danielle won the right to wear Dorothy’s ruby slippers against 17-year-old Sophie Evans from south Wales.

The new production of the classic musical will be staged in March 2011 at the London Palladium.

Last night’s final also saw the part of Dorothy’s dog Toto cast for the West End show, with Mini Schnauzer “Dangerous Dave” winning the part.

Danielle said last night: “All I can say is thank you, it feels like not enough but I am just so grateful.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber, judge on the show and producer of the West End musical, said that, “you’re the most fantastic, talented kid with a huge future ahead. Now the hard work starts”.

Danielle is a a full-time student in Knutsford, and recently quit her part time job as a waitress to focus on her studies and her dream of becoming a renowned entertainer and Broadway performer.

Her big passion is drama, but she has danced in front of large audiences at local dance festivals, including BBC African Dance Project at Bridgewater Hall, and the Dance House Annual Cheshire Platform. Danielle takes dance classes at least six times a week to hone her skills.

Book tickets to The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium