Former Sunderland takeaway worker apologises for FA Cup Final gaffe

Karen Harding sings the national anthem before the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Karen Harding sings the national anthem before the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

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A singer who went from working in a city takeaway to a top 10 hit has apologised after missing her cue to sing the National Anthem at the FA Cup final.

In a major coup for her career, Karen Harding, 24, from County Durham, was chosen to lead God Save the Queen ahead of yesterday’s clash between Manchester United and Crystal Palace.

The singer, who used to work in her parents’ Taste of the Orient takeaway in Chester Road, was seen smiling and fiddling with her ear piece, not realising that the music for the National Anthem had started.

Whilst Wayne Rooney and the rest of the players are seen singing along, Karen didn’t join in until midway through the second verse.

She took to Twitter afterwards to say she was “mortified” by the mistake, blaming technical difficulties for the mistake which happened in front of a stadium audience of nearly 90,000 and a TV audience of millions.

“OMG. Biggest audience of my life and I get technical difficulties! Argh so sorry Guys!!! Xx,” she said. She added: “Mortified. Don’t know what happened,” before tweeting links to how she would have sounded had the performance gone to plan.

Singer Karen Harding after performing the national anthem during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Singer Karen Harding after performing the national anthem during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Fans tweeted the singer, who last year scored a top 10 with dance track Say Something, to show their support.

Rebecca James tweeted: “You are beautiful and an incredible singer no matter what girl. These things happen xx”

BBC match commentator Guy Mowbray pointed out afterwards: “There’s a lot of noise around the place, it’s easy to miss your cue.”

Over the years, Karen has featured in the Echo many times as she chased her dreams of a singing career, appearing in talent contests throughout the region and winning the title of Miss Philippines.

In 2009 she already showed a strong talent for singing and she hit the headlines after sending Barack Obama her interpretation of Strange Fruit, an anti-racism song originally recorded by Billie Holiday in 1961.