On last night’s final auditions show of BGT, we met singer Rachel Knowland, who wowed the audience and the judges with her powerhouse voice.
However, her joy at doing so well at the audition masked the secret heartache of being “abandoned” by her father when she was just six years old.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Rachel revealed that even now that she’s an adult and has children of her own, she still struggles to cope with understanding why her dad would want nothing to do with her as she grew up.
And she also admitted that she only heard her father has narrowly survived a serious illness when a mutual friend told her about it, despite the fact that her dad lived close to Rachel and her mum.
She said, “Me and my dad have been estranged for most of my life through his choice.
“When my parents got divorced it was quite messy and he just didn’t like me…
“He’s lived around the corner from me most of my life but wasn’t interested in having anything to do with me.
“I still don’t know why it happened. All I do is make excuses for something I find inexcusable.
“The impact it had on me was subtle and I didn’t realise the extent until I got out of the negativity. I’ve moved beyond that now and dealt with it.
“But it’s taken longer than I’d have liked.”
However, Rachel does now have some contact with her dad since his life and death illness.
She explained, “I heard about it at school through someone who knew my dad – it was pretty crazy.
“He hadn’t been in my life at all but then I heard he was nearly dead. It made me want to build bridges.
“I’m in contact with him now because I think he could be a good grandfather.
“When they see him I make sure it’s a positive experience. I just want my children to be happy.”
She concluded, “After having kids I started to realise life’s too short to think you’re a write-off without giving things a shot.”