SINGER Andrea Begley says ending up on television talent contest The Voice UK was "a bit of an accident".

Little did the 28-year-old know she would go on to be crowned winner of the BBC1 competition, beating bookies' favourite Leah McFall to the title.

Since her victory in June 2103, Andrea released album The Message and will visit Bury for the first time in April to support charity Jigsaw.

She will be performing at the charity's glamorous fundraiser at the Village Hotel, Bury, on Saturday, April 18.

Andrea, from Northern Ireland, said: "I will be doing a few numbers.

"A couple of songs from the album and some new songs.

"I'm looking forward to the event and having a look around Bury."

Andrea first came to the public's attention when she appeared on The Voice UK and landed a place on The Script singer, Danny O'Donoghue's team.

She said: "It was a bit of an accident.

"I have always been singing in some way or another, whether it be competitions or just for fun over the years.

"In recent times, since I was about 20, I have been writing songs and performing at open mic nights."

Producers from The Voice UK contacted organisers of an open mic night in Belfast, run by one of Andrea's friends.

She said: "I went along and thought I will give it a shot but never really thought much of it.

"It all took off from there."

She did her audition at the studios in Media City, Salford Quays, in December 2012.

Andrea said: "It was all a bit of a surprise.

"I sang my best and gave it a go and never really thought I would get to the final.

"I definitely didn't expect to win.

"It was amazing.

"It was a surreal experience, talking to Jessie J, Danny O'Donoghue, Tom Jones and"

As well as her singing talents, Andrea has also achieved academic success while overcoming sight problems.

She started losing her sight at the age of just six and only has 10% residual vision.

She said: "A lot of people did, especially during the show, get in touch to say I have got a disability or an eye condition or my child has.

"It gave them a lot of hope for the future although I'm not one for standing up and saying I am some person to look up to because I've done well as a visually-impaired person.

"But I think if people take inspiration from it, it's only a good thing.

"I just do what I can and go through life trying to get round my visual impairment as best I can.

"If people have just been diagnosed or told their vision is going to decrease I guess it gives them a little bit of hope that it's possible to have a perfectly normal life."

As well as working on her music, she graduated from university before Christmas with a Master's Degree in law.

She said: "At the moment, I'm concentrating on the music but it's good to have it in the background.

"The last part I had to finish was the dissertation — 18,000 words.

"It definitely was a challenge.

"I kind of relish balance and having a lot of plates to spin at the one time.

"My first album came out at the end of October 2013. It did really well for me, it went to number seven.

"I have been working on more original material since then.

"I did a tour at the end of last year in Northern Ireland.

"I'm hoping to do a few shows in England and Scotland, maybe this year.

"I'm pretty pleased with the way things have gone.

"I think the show gave me a starting point and a platform but there's still a lot of work to do beyond that.

"It's not been handed to me on a plate.

"The music industry is really difficult and there are a lot of very talented people competing for the one market.

"I guess it's just a case of working hard and trying to stand out from the crowd."

Jigsaw is hosting The Big Event on Saturday, April 18, from 7pm at the Village Hotel in Bury with live entertainment, special guests and a three-course dinner.

Tickets cost £35, phone 0161 253 6853.