Entertaining has always been way of life for Andi

Andi Mac with tribute band Counterfeit Quo
Andi Mac with tribute band Counterfeit Quo

Andi Mac has spent almost her entire life entertaining people.

She first took to the stage at the age of four, dancing in a theatre in her home city of Liverpool.

And she made her name “the old-fashioned way”, performing in social clubs at weekends from being 12-years-old.

Putting a smile on people’s faces is something she has always loved doing.

Andi, now 41, said: “I had support from my parents, but it was natural for me.

“My mum said when I was a kid, people would come round and I would sing and dance for them.”

Andi has always been an entertainer and moved from social clubs to the theatre.

She went to auditions in London and secured roles in productions touring the country, including Oliver and The Sound Of Music.

By the age of 19, she was already an experienced performer and was “spotted” by the Irish Guards.

She sang with them for 12 years, helping to raise money for charity, and appeared solo at Manchester’s MEN Arena for their Military Tattoo four years running.

Andi’s career has taken several turns and she became a member of one of the first Spice Girls tribute bands.

“The things you do when you’re 20!” she said.

“An agency saw me at Southend-on-Sea.

“I looked nothing like Geri Halliwell but I think I sounded like her and they were putting five girls together. They did this big audition.

“The Spice Girls were huge at the time.”

She also performed as tribute acts for Madonna and Shania Twain, before getting what became her big break 10 years ago.

Andi, of Charter Lane, Charnock Richard, said: “I had done a lot of live stuff and learned my trade. I was asked to do the traffic and travel stuff for a local radio show in Liverpool.

“The boss came to me one day and said the listeners liked me and they wanted me to co-present the breakfast show.

“From there, I moved to BBC Radio Merseyside.

“We had a challenge called Challenge Andi, like Challenge Anneka, and that was massive.

“I would start at the station and I would have clues for listeners to follow and then a challenge for me at the end. I would do tightrope walking and all sorts of things. People still ask me if Challenge Andi will come back.”

Becoming a household name in Merseyside due to her radio work came as a surprise for Andi.

She said: “I always wanted to do the singing and dancing and acting. That was where I wanted to be.

“I never thought I would end up in radio, but my radio career has been a lot more successful.”

The next step in Andi’s career came in 2011, when she decided to leave the BBC thanks to a helping hand from a famous friend.

Her then partner, Martin Daniels, and his father, magician Paul Daniels, asked her to join them for a surprise performance on ITV1 magic show Penn And Teller.

Andi said: “I had never done magic in my life, but the illusion was based around Phantom Of The Opera and because I had done theatre, they asked me to go.

“We were guests to finish the show and it went down really well.

“Then Paul invited me to go on the tour with him and Debbie and I left the BBC.”

She completed a four-month tour with Paul Daniels, Martin Daniels and Debbie McGee and discovered that she loved magic.

“I did come to magic quite late, but I have had a great teacher. Paul and Debbie are like family to me,” she said.

Andi decided to go behind the scenes for the next stage in her career when she set up Andi Mac Associates two years ago.

She produces theatre shows, currently at Blackpool’s North Pier and with plans to take them on tour next year.

Some of the shows she is working on include tribute act Counterfeit Quo and The Christians, both due to be held this autumn.

Andi is also taking centre stage herself, as she now appears in a show called The Magic Of The Illusionist alongside childhood friend Michael Diamond.

She said: “When I started the company, I thought I was just going to produce and put people on stage, but people kept saying I should go back on the stage and do magic. It all fell into place.

“At the moment I’m just doing The Illusionist on stage. With the other shows, I’m always backstage and running around like a crazy person.”

And Andi always makes an effort to pay tribute to those who watch her shows.

She said: “When we do shows in Blackpool, we always come out, no matter what show it is, and like to thank them. There are so many shows in Blackpool and it’s great that they have chosen to come to our show.”

Andi is also continuing her charity work, having recently become a patron with Kids Of Heroes, which supports the children of current and former servicemen.

She said: “I’m quite heavily involved in all the events they do. I like to be there, meeting children and getting involved.

“There’s more to being a patron than having your name attached to the charity.”

She has already had a lengthy career in entertainment, but Andi still has plenty of plans for the future.

“Blackpool has been like a launchpad for all the shows and we have seen what has worked well and what hasn’t. Next year the shows will be touring,” she said.

She is particularly keen to bring them to Chorley, so that local audiences can watch them instead of travelling to Blackpool.

Andi could soon be returning to the airwaves too.

She said: “I would like to go back on the radio on a local level and I’m in talks about that, but nothing is confirmed.”

And she definitely does not plan on putting up her feet just yet.

She said: “I think when I started doing the magic, that was a little break because it was different to radio and different to theatre. It’s still performing though.

“I have tried to have a little break though and something always beings me back.

“I think there’s something in me. Once it’s in you and the performance side is there, whether it’s theatre, radio or TV, it’s in your system and it will probably stay with you.”