Dolly mixture!

Andrea Pattison with Dolly Parton

Andrea Pattison with Dolly Parton

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WORKING nine to five has gone out of the window for Dolly Parton tribute act Andrea Pattison.

The impersonator has proved a big hit on her first national tour, performing her show The Dolly Parton Story to sell-out crowds.

And now the 41-year-old is looking forward to making her debut appearance as the American country star in her home city of Sunderland later this month.

Andrea, who started her career as a wedding singer, said: “I can’t quite believe how the last few years have gone.

“It’s more than I could ever have dreamed of.

“After spending 10 years as a wedding singer, to be able to spend the last three doing the Dolly show and performing in front of a huge audience is mind-blowing.

“It’s really exciting to be performing in Sunderland for the first time though as it’s my home.

“I’m a very proud Makem.”

The tribute show, written by the life-long Parton fan and her husband Richard Rutherford, takes in some of the iconic singer’s most celebrated music.

And after coming face-to-face with her idol during a meet-and-greet session before her gig in Manchester last year, the singer has added new material to her act.

“I had all these things I wanted to say to her,” Andrea said.

“I wanted to tell her all about the show and how much I liked her and I just froze.

“I never expected in my life to actually be able to stand next to her and it was so overwhelming.

“I was awe-struck.

“All I managed to say was ‘my Mum made my clothes when I was a little girl too’.”

“At the end of my show, I drop out of character and tell the audience a little bit about myself so I’ve started including this.”

Andrea’s Dolly tribute act received a boost after she appeared on an impersonators’ edition of The Weakest Link.

She and Queen of Mean Ann Robinson hit it off and the show, which was filmed in Glasgow, led to a mini-tour of Scotland.

Last year, Andrea, whose favourite Parton song is Little Sparrow, hit the headlines when a Hong Kong company mistook her for the real thing.

They took photos from her website and used them for Dolly Parton smartphone covers that were flogged on eBay.

“I was really quite flattered,” Andrea said.

She added: “Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved Dolly Parton.

“She’s always been amazing with the way she maintains herself and her glamorous image.

“The clarity and pureness of her voice has always enthralled me. She’s adorable.”

Andrea will be performing a solo show of The Dolly Parton Story at the Quayside Exchange on July 27.

Tickets are £10 and include a two-course buffet and disco.

For tickets, phone 514 4574.

Twitter: @sunechochief