192.com reunion reignites singing career
Long-lost sister helps Dean Jones conquer stage fright, launching TV stardom
"Stage fright is like a fear of heights, explains Dean 'Buzz' Jones, star of Sky TV's Music Express. "You get clammy hands, a dry mouth and your stomach churns. Sometimes I fear I'll forget how to sing. But I imagine my friends are in the audience and then I'm flying."
Dean aged 39, from Deri, South Wales, nearly gave up performing after crippling stage fright made it too uncomfortable for him to stand near the front of a stage. Jones's confidence was restored when a sister he never knew last year used the online directory 192.com to pinpoint Dean's contact details, allowing the long-lost siblings to reunite and celebrate their first Christmas together.
Allison Reade, 42, from Preston conducted a name search on 192.com, utilising the site's 300 million edited electoral roll records. Mrs Read said: "It was wonderful finding Dean. It's like looking into my own eyes when I am with him - except he's a rather taller version of me. When I heard Dean's voice for the first time I was completely blown away. He's brilliant."
"We are so much alike," Dean says. " I wonder what would it have been like if we had grown up together. Allison has given me the fight to attack my stage fright head on," adds Dean, who's singing career restarted in March 2012. The 192.com reunion between Dean and Allison also inspired the siblings to lose weight. Dean has shed six stone going from a rotund 22 stone to a more streamline 16 stone.
From being a nervous karaoke artist, to performing on a nationwide scale, Dean's star continues to rise. After performing on Sky TV's showcase channel 191 on the Music Express programme, Dean will next year be one of 12 performers selected from across the country to appear in a pilot for the UK's version of Australia's hit programme, 'The Tribute Show' which has been covered by Fox TV.
In September, Dean toured with Paul Child, Wales's biggest independent selling artist and featured singer at international rugby matches at the Millennium Stadium. Next year Dean will link up with Paul Child and the Welsh Television Orchestra on March 1, St David's Day, at the Royal Princess Theatre, Port Talbot.
Gas Engineer Dean sings as a tenor, and is inspired by countryman Tom Jones. Dean and has created a Tom Jones tribute CD and also written his own music, produced by John Barry, who wrote the 'Forever Bond' album with Dean singing the 8th track, 'Thunderball'. This is currently available at HMV, Sainsbury's, itunes and Amazon.
"192.com reunites thousands of family and friends a year and Dean's already got the Christmas number one in our office," says Dominic Blackburn, Product Director at 192.com.
Dean Jones is currently engaged in a tour of the UK and Europe, including gigs in Manchester, Bordeaux and Lanzarote, and will perform a Tom Jones tribute for a live audience when shooting an hour-long DVD to be pitched to a Sky TV music channel.
"Before I go on stage I put on a necklace given to me by wife. I stay standing for a good thirty minutes, before curtain up, warming up like a boxer," says Dean Jones. "I tell myself that I can do this, that I'm ready to attack."
"I make sure I'm well prepared, and know both the music and the performance space. I get to the venue early, and get a good feel for the room where I'll be performing," he adds.
Dean is not represented by an agent, instead using social media under the pseudonym 'Buzz Singer' to create a fan-base. A recent Facebook update from him reads: "I have a big sister with a big heart to look after me now. It's a happy time of my life."