IN a small music studio in West London, Diana Vickers looked like a true professional as she blasted through a final run of the set for her first-ever UK tour.

There’s no sign of the girly, shoeless X Factor semi-finalist, or her ‘claw’ hand movement, which she has consciously toned down, and it’s a cool rock chick that is launching her pop career.

The tour band — guitarist, bass, keyboard player and an excellent drummer — which Diana hand-picked herself, have been rehearsing for weeks with the 18-year-old singer in the intimate Grove Music Studios, close to Notting Hill.

They have clearly bonded and exchange smiles and jokes (including giggles at Diana’s Lancashire accent) as they run through the catchy, electro pop set.

It has a lot more of an indie rock feel to it than anyone will expect from the former Westholme pupil. She almost resembles a modern day Debbie Harry, with a slightly ’80s sound to match.

Watching her work with the musical director and demand the attention of the room — albeit in a lovably modest way — it is easy to forget she’s still only a teenager.

But she admits she is feeling the pressure.

“I’m so nervous. This is me now. I’m not Little Voice pretending to be someone else.

"It’s me and its scary!” said Diana, from Huncoat, who won London Newcomer of the Year at the WhatsOnStage Theatregoers’ Choice Awards for her West End run as Little Voice.

“I know the words off by heart. I did write a lot of them so they're imprinted on my brain and I feel like I’ve rehearsed them a million times, but it’s all about what happens on the night.

“Today was the first time I’ve done it in front of anyone.

"And I normally face the band so it was weird having them behind me like it will be when it's for real.

"I can’t believe that was my last rehearsal.

"Next time I do that it’ll be a real gig,” said the singer, who is signed to RCA, part of the giant Sony BMG Group.

The set includes tracks taken from her new album, Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree, out at the beginning of May, which features Jumping Into Rivers, co-written by the other pop sensation of the moment, Ellie Goulding.

Diana’s foot stomps to the beat as she rocks out to song after song, including one which starts with her playing the trumpet, an instrument she learned at school.

Her single, Once, written by Cathy Dennis and due for release on April 19, is a clear favourite for the entire team, who sang along to every word in unison.

And she’ll also be talking to the crowd each night, she revealed, but she’ll be keeping it short to preserve her voice for the 10-day tour, which comes to a sold-out Blackburn's King George’s Hall next Saturday.

Diana still can’t believe her dream is finally a reality.

“We’ve got a really cool tour bus,” she told me. “It’s got tellies and playstations.

"The only thing is I’m with the smelly boys,” she joked.

“I was with my sister the other night and we were reminiscing about when we were kids and we used to tie skipping ropes to our prams and pretend they were horses.

"If someone had come up to us then and said I was going to be a pop star I’d never have believed them.”

And it is her Lancashire fans she thanks for making it all happen.

“I'm so excited about the Blackburn gig,” she oozed.

“I can’t wait to step out on the stage at King George’s Hall. I’ve got about 80 people I know coming, so it’s going to be so cool.

"We’re all going to go out in Blackburn and then Manchester afterwards.

“I’m really grateful to all my fans in Lancashire.

“They have made all this happen for me by voting for me on X Factor.

"They gave me this opportunity and I’m so thankful,” she smiled.

As she embarks on her solo career it’s clear to see she’s not ‘little Diana’ anymore.

This youngster is already every bit the rising star.