SHE'S the singer the public couldn't bear to be without and now Amelia Lily is once again in the limelight as she comes to Manchester in the multi-award winning musical American Idiot.

Still only 21, Amelia was just 16 when she auditioned for the X Factor and went on to finish third behind eventual winners Little Mix having been voted back on to the show following the disqualification of Frankie Cocozza.

Three top 40 singles followed including You Bring Me Joy, her debut release, which reached number two in the charts.

In 2014 Amelia got her first chance to prove herself on stage when she got the part of the narrator in a touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Now she's back on the road again as Whatsername in the show based on the music of cult rock band Green Day.

"I was in the show for five months in the West End," she said, "and then had three months off and now I'm back in the show and touring the UK. The reaction we get every single night is just brilliant."

As Whatsername, Amelia is at the heart of the show.

"She's a city girl who falls for Jimmy who becomes a drug addict," said Amelia. "It's basically their story as the drugs take hold and she's faced with giving him an ultimatum of the drugs or her.

"It's quite a challenging role. I'm not in every single scene but every time I am on stage it seems I have to show a different emotion. I've really got to act as well as sing and dance which I'm loving as I think it shows what I can do."

With its driving rock score including the Green Day hits Boulevard of Broken Dream and Wake Me Up When September Ends and a character with a rebellious attitude, American Idiot could have been written with Amelia in mind.

"Oh it's right up my street," she laughed.

An added bonus for Amelia is that her boyfriend Steve Rushton is also in American Idiot playing Will.

"He's got his own love interest in the show so we're together but not together on stage. But it is so good to be touring in the same show."

American Idiot opens in Manchester on Tuesday but Amelia has already made a big impression on the city.

"A friend of mine sent me a picture of the front of the Palace Theatre in Manchester which has this giant poster of me on the front of it - I've never seen such a big picture. It's amazing," she said. "It's made me want to come to Manchester next week even more."

Having spent time in the West End and now on tour, Amelia's pop career has had to take a back seat for the moment.

"It's very difficult to do both when you are on tour but my music is still very important to me," she said. "I've also had one of my songs picked up by one of the biggest girl bands in Spain which they are going to release as a single which is very exciting."

American Idiot places great demands on its lead characters with some incredibly energetic dance routines an integral part of the show.

"I was lucky that I went to dance school when I was young," said Amelia, "but it was a bit daunting for the first few days in rehearsal."

Amelia was diagnosed with diabetes when she was three and is now a role model for many youngsters with the condition.

"I've never let my diabetes stop me from doing anything," she said. "You have got to learn to control it (as a type 1 diabetic Amelia needs daily insulin injections). You can't let it control you.

"As for any performer the important things on tour are to get plenty of sleep and to keep hydrated. I drink lots of water every day."

After next week in Manchester, American Idiot will continue to tour the UK's leading regional theatres until July.

So what does the future hold for Amelia after that.

"I've always lived very spontaneously, I don't like to plan too far ahead," she said. "At the moment I'm just loving being on stage and playing in front of such receptive audiences."

American Idiot, Palace Theatre, Manchester, Tuesday, April 5 to Saturday, April 9. Details from 0844 871 3019.