Leona's special gift from Suffolk

IT'S not every day you get to have a meal with a worldwide singing sensation - but for a young Suffolk woman it was her dream come true.Ellen Diaper even got to give X Factor winner Leona Lewis a special gift of a bracelet, and later in the day the star was snapped by the paparazzi wearing the jewellery.

IT'S not every day you get to have a meal with a worldwide singing sensation - but for a young Suffolk woman it was her dream come true.

Ellen Diaper even got to give X Factor winner Leona Lewis a special gift of a bracelet, and later in the day the star was snapped by the paparazzi wearing the jewellery.

“She must have really liked it because she was pictured in several newspapers wearing it - she was so sweet and it was amazing to meet her,” said Miss Diaper, a tourism management degree student at University Campus Suffolk.

A big fan of Leona - who sang at the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing - she entered a competition on the singer's website with the top prize of a face-to-face meeting for a meal.


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Just eight winners were selected from 5,000 entries - and Miss Diaper, 20, cut short her holiday in Ireland to fly back with friend Ella Pickover for the date last week with Leona at Mildred's vegetarian restaurant in Soho in London.

“I was a bit shocked when I heard I had won - I didn't really believe it,” said Miss Diaper, of The Walk, Walton, Felixstowe.

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“We travelled to London and met some people from her recording company at a pub and then they took us on to the restaurant.

“Leona was quite shy to begin with but she was really sweet.

“She was exactly how I expected her to be and was very nice and completely normal and natural, chatting to us and texting on her phone.

“She answered everyone's questions - everyone wanted to know what it was like to be famous.

“She said she was still able to do everything she did before she was famous, though she does get recognised and a hat and glasses came in very handy!”

The competition winners had set places around the table but after a while the seating was swapped and Miss Diaper got to sit right next to Leona.

“I gave her the bracelet and she really liked it, which was really cool. It was a great day and it will always be great to look back on,” she added.

Have you had the chance to meet a big star? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Leona Lewis

Leona, 23, dreamt since she was five of making an album and attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and performing arts academy The BRIT School.

She shot to fame in 2006 after winning the TV show X Factor.

Her first single A Moment Like This was downloaded 50,000 times in 30 minutes - a world record.

Her debut album Spirit entered the album chart at number one and became Britain's fastest-selling debut of all time.

It sold more than one million copies in five weeks and has now sold 2.5m worldwide and been number one in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.

Bleeding Love, a single from the album, also topped the charts in 30 countries.

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