How Britain's Got Talent's little star almost lost a lung

The ten-year-old girl who starred in Britain's Got Talent tonight nearly had part of a lung removed - which would have left her unable to sing so sensationally.

Hollie Steel developed severe pneumonia when she was four, with one lung so full of fluid that surgeons considered the drastic surgery.

But instead she spent three months in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital having several other operations to drain her lungs - and the condition cleared up.

Hollie Steel

Back on song: Hollie Steel, 10, stunned judges with her performance of I Could Have Danced All Night on Britain's Got Talent yesterday

And her mother Nina is convinced that had the lung removal gone ahead, Hollie would not have been able to compete in the ITV talent show. 

Hollie appeared singing I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady, while performing a ballet dance in a lilac tutu.

Her routine prompted judge Piers Morgan to say: 'We have seen a lot of children on our show over the past three series and I have never heard any of them sing as well as you do.'

Hollie Steel

Made of Steel: Hollie was nearly forced to have a lung removed after developing pneumonia aged four, which would have seriously limited her now powerful voice

Now Hollie, from Accrington, Lancashire, wants to follow in the footsteps of Britain's Got Talent's first winner Paul Potts and perform the aria Nessun Dorma in the semi-finals next month.

But Nina said: 'It almost didn't happen. If anything had gone wrong, Hollie wouldn't be singing now - you can't sing like that with one lung.'

Amazingly, Hollie's chronic lung condition was missed at two doctor's appointments before she ended up in hospital.

Hollie Steel
Hollie Steel

'Fantastic': The ten-year-old danced before singing the My Fair Lady classic on the ITV show last night

Nina said: 'We went to the GP twice and the first time they said it was just a cold and the second time a urine infection.

'She was getting pains through her back and so we eventually took her to A&E, where they knew exactly how serious it was.

'Sometimes doctors just don't listen to parents. It was a consolidated lung, which is basically having so much stuff in the lung that it seizes up.

Amanda Holden
Kelly Brook

Emotional: Judges Amanda Holden, left, and Kelly Brook, right, were enchanted by ten-year-old Hollie's performance

Hollie Steel performs. Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden, Kelly Brook and Simon Cowell.

Advice: Hollie won four yes votes from the panel, but Simon has warned the schoolgirl to focus ahead of the semi-final

'She had a couple of operations to have her chest drained. The doctors were talking about removing her lung, but decided to treat it instead to start with.

'It wasn't clearing and she was in hospital for three months.  When she was discharged it was still possible they would have to remove the lung.

'But when it was checked on her next visit, it had cleared up completely.'

Ant & Dec

Captivated: Hosts Ant and Dec watch Hollie's performance from backstage with the young star's parents and members of the crew

After Hollie's amazing TV performance, Nina said: 'I'm just like any other mother - I think my children are great and I want the rest of the world to know that too.'

Simon Cowell was impressed by Hollie's singing, but told her: 'I didn't like what you were wearing - you looked like any other little girl wanting to be a ballerina.'

Hollie Steel

Budding star: Hollie, aged 2, already performing with a microphone

Hollie told The Mail on Sunday: 'I was kind of scared at the beginning but then I got used to it, and then everyone was clapping and cheering. It was fantastic.

'I was scared because I was wondering if they would say bad things or good things, but I'm glad they said good things.

'I'm going to do what Simon says and stop the dancing. I want to sing Nessun Dorma.

'I would love to be on the stage in the West End, in Wicked. I've been to see it twice, I would love to be able to sing like Kerry Ellis [the star].'

Both Nina, 37, and her husband Jason, 38, are NHS audiologists, helping elderly people and children with hearing problems.

Hollie, a pupil at Oakhill College in Whalley, Lancashire, has been singing from the age of six, following in the footsteps of her 15-year-old brother Joshua, who has ambitions to act in the West End.

She has performed shows including Annie and Joseph And His Technicolor Dreamcoat. 

ITV is hoping Hollie and last week's singing sensation Shaheen Jafargholi, 12, will be able to compete with the phenomenon of 47-year-old Susan Boyle from West Lothian.

The show's judges have recently been trying to temper the extraordinary international interest in Miss Boyle, amid fears that the rest of the competition will become irrelevant.

Clips of her singing I Dreamed A Dream have amassed nearly 100million hits on YouTube so far and she has been interviewed by most of the world's media.

Hollie Steel

Sensation: Hollie poses for the camera with parents Jason and Nina

And on Friday night Cowell warned Miss Boyle that it could all go 'horribly wrong' because she is being distracted by the public interest.

Attention on the middle-aged spinster focused on her bushy eyebrows and unkempt hair, and she embarked on a makeover last week, with a new hairdo courtesy of stylist Nicky Clarke.

Cowell said: 'She has got four weeks to prepare for the biggest night of her life, and she has got to sing better than she sang before with all those expectations on her.

Susan Boyle
Shaheen Jafagholi

Tough competition: Hollie will be up against phenomenon Susan Boyle and singing sensation Shaheen Jafargholi from earlier shows

'But it could all go horribly wrong for her because there are so many other distractions.

'Get yourself together sweetheart for the big one - the semi-final. Shut the door, choose the right song and come back as who you are, not who you want to be.'

Cowell added that he was considering adding two more auditions to America's Got Talent, the U.S. version of the show, on the back of Miss Boyle's success.