Amanda Holden releases her first ever single, ‘Over The Rainbow’, to help raise vital funds during the Covid-19 crisis, with all proceeds of the track being donated to NHS Charities Together.
Like many of us in the UK, Amanda wanted to show her enduring support and gratitude to the NHS in some way. The idea of releasing ‘Over The Rainbow’ fell into place a week ago when Amanda was speaking to her friends at Marks & Spencer, having already recorded the song late last year.
As a result, Amanda, who is a long-standing M&S Food Brand Ambassador, has joined M&S in its ‘All In This Together’ campaign. As part of the campaign, M&S has designed a special rainbow T-shirt in support of the NHS, with 100% of the profits also going to NHS Charities Together. Amanda has used M&S’s T-shirt design as her inspiration for the single artwork.
With the rainbow being a strong symbol of hope to everyone, commonly appearing in windows across the country in support of the NHS, alongside the message of hope behind the lyrics, ‘Over The Rainbow’ felt particularly apt to Amanda.
Speaking openly about her own experiences with the NHS, Amanda explains,
“Life has taken a really funny turn but one thing that I think has become really clear is that we are all in this together. And more than ever, we’ve reconnected with love and hope during this time. The wonderful team at Marks & Spencer have designed these beautiful rainbow t-shirts with all proceeds going to NHS Charities Together.
This campaign and the NHS mean a lot to me because, as I’m sure you’ve read over the years, they’ve saved my life. They’ve saved my sister’s life after she was in a car accident. And, of course, our son Theo was born sleeping at an NHS hospital where all the staff were utterly extraordinary and treated us with so much empathy and love. So, I feel like I owe them so much. I feel like we all owe them a debt now and of course for the future to come.
Last year, I recorded a version of Over The Rainbow’. It’s a song I used to sing as a girl with my nan and grandad and one I love to sing with my daughters, Lexi and Hollie. When Marks & Spencer and I were chatting last week we remembered this song and lyrically it feels more relevant now than ever. My record label, VirginEMI, have kindly agreed to put the song out with all proceeds going to support this wonderful cause for the NHS.”
Ellie Orton, the CEO at NHS Charities Together, said:
“Everyone has their own reasons to be grateful to the NHS and it is brilliant that Amanda has decided to use her profile and talents to raise money in support of the NHS staff, volunteers and patients who are dealing with the crisis right now. I love the message of hope in the song and fingers crossed it will raise lots of money for the appeal.”
Everyone has a connection with our extraordinary NHS and for Amanda they helped her through one of the most difficult times of her life. In 2011, at seven months pregnant with her son Theo, a scan tragically revealed his heart had stopped. She and her husband Chris opted for a caesarean at West Middlesex University Hospital, where Amanda had undergone midwifery training for an ITV documentary called ‘Out Of My Depth’ in 2009. She had remained close pals with three of the midwives – Jackie Nash, Pippa Nightingale and Natalie Carter – who all rushed to be with her.
Their care and support in the following months convinced Amanda that all parents of stillborn babies need extra help through their grief. She decided to set up a fund known as ‘Theo’s Hope’ with the aim of providing bereavement counsellors in maternity units around the UK.
Amanda is renowned for her TV talents and most prominently as a judge on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, which is sponsored by M&S Food. She is currently judging on the ITV show for a 14th year alongside Simon Cowell. In the mornings Amanda presents nationally on the biggest commercial radio station in the UK, Heart Breakfast.
Amanda is no stranger to performing and singing, receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her role in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ in 2004. She starred in drama series ‘Wild At Heart’ and her musical theatre career has seen her perform in ‘Shrek, The Musical’ and ‘Stepping Out’.
The classic song ‘Over The Rainbow’ was first made famous by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz in 1939 and has since been covered by a host of iconic performers including Eric Clapton, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. Now Amanda joins the list of stars with her beautifully tender version of the song.
All proceeds of the single will go to NHS Charities Together.
Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business at M&S, said:
“We are really proud to be supporting NHS Together Charities as we are all so grateful for everything the wonderful NHS Teams are doing. Our customers love our new T-shirts and they sold out within in hours. It’s great to see our long-standing M&S Food Ambassador Amanda wearing one this week as she launches her charity single, just in time for our next batch landing online for our customers.”