You Little Belters!

You Little Belters!

Manchester children’s choir, Little Belters, melted the hearts of the dragons on Sunday’s Dragons’ Den as sisters and owners Claire and Tina O'Brien look to grow their business.

Entering the den, the choir made up of kids aged 5 to 11 years, belted out their own arrangement of ‘King’ by Years & Years, they even moved hardened business-man Touker Suleyman to tears with their performance.

Claire said: “We’ve performed in front of thousands of people before, but this was certainly the toughest gig yet!  Waiting to enter the den was probably the scariest thing we’ve ever done but the kids just loved it and were the stars of the show.

“Of course we hoped that one of the dragons would invest, but Tina and I were in it for the experience and to show the world just what Little Belters is all about.”

The pair, who grew up in Wythenshawe, teach five to 11 year olds to sing in a group setting, giving their own unique twist to classic rock anthems, current chart hits, indie anthems and contemporary folk.

They started Little Belters in Altrincham in 2011 and now have around 150 members, running classes in Cheadle Hulme, Didsbury, Sale and Chorlton.

The sisters were grilled by Peter Jones and Nick Jenkins and took criticism of their business acumen on the chin.

Tina, said: “There’s plenty for us to take away and learn from. When we started Little Belters we had no idea that 4 years later we’d have 150 members across 5 locations and we’re still growing rapidly. So we must be doing something right!”

Tina studied at the Royal Northern College of Music before joining Glyndebourne as a trained opera singer, performing at the last night of the proms. Claire studied music at Hull University and then sang across the UK, Europe and the USA with highly respected chamber choir, the Joyful Company of Singers.

Claire added: “Watching ourselves on TV was terrifying but we have no regrets. Our philosophy at Little Belters is to take things on that people would never expect from a choir, so the same rules apply to us. Dragon’s Den was a challenge but getting out of your comfort zone, experiencing new things, building confidence and working as a team is what it’s all about.”

Little Belters pitch can be viewed on BBC iPlayer (show aired BBC2, 9pm Sunday 21st August).