Nana sets legend's girl on showbiz trail

You might think that being the daughter of one of this country's most legendary entertainers would guarantee you a job in showbusiness.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 11:44 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Kitty Harris

But for Poulton’s Kitty Harris, the 16-year-old daughter of ventriloquist Keith, it wasn’t a manager or an agent who found her latest role... it was her ‘nana’.

Kitty’s grandmother, Marie Metcalf, was reading The Gazette when she came across an article asking for dancers to audition for a part in a brand new play called Gangsta Granny.

Kitty told The Gazette: “My nana bought the paper and it had a little article in it.

A chip off the old block- Kitty Harris, daughter of ventriloquist Keith, has landed a role in a touring production after answering an advert in the Gazette

“She knew that I danced so she gave it to me and I just thought I’d go for it, not really expecting to get it. But I did so it was exciting.”

Kitty’s audition impressed producers so much that they gave her the part, making a special exception for her, due to her being taller than the maximum height specified in the article.

The show opened at Preston Guild Hall this week and Kitty admits that she didn’t know exactly what her role would entail until the very last minute.

Speaking ahead of the show, she said: “I’m not sure what I actually do!

Kitty Harris

“I just know there’s a part where I run on and do the piece of dance and then go off again.

“But apparently I come on quite a lot of times but I won’t know until the show, so it’ll be a surprise to me as well!

Despite dancing since the age of four, at Langley Dance Centre, Kitty’s biggest love is singing and she is working towards a BTEC in Triple Music at Blackpool Sixth Form College.

“We do a lot of gigs and it’s great experience,” she said.

Keith Harris and Orville

One singing gig in particular Kitty has this year is alongside ventriloquist and longtime family friend Steve Hewlett on the Blackpool leg of his tour, in August.

As a ventriloquist, Steve was mentored by Kitty’s father Keith Harris, and Keith was also a huge inspiration to Kitty herself.

She said: “Obviously my dad was in showbusiness as well, so it’s just in my blood really.

“Growing up with him was great.

A chip off the old block- Kitty Harris, daughter of ventriloquist Keith, has landed a role in a touring production after answering an advert in the Gazette

“I used to make props with him because he did a lot of shows and we also used to get to watch them.

“He was very proud.

“He was happy that I did performing as well and keep the Harris name going I guess.”

Gangsta Granny will run at Preston Guild Hall until Sunday.

Tickets are priced from £12.50, with school, group and family discounts also available.

To book, call the box office on 01772 804444 or visit www.prestonguildhall.com.

Kitty Harris
Keith Harris and Orville