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Manchester Arena Inquiry: Olivia Campbell-Hardy loved 'music and singing'

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media captionHer grandfather recalled how the 15-year-old loved music, dancing and singing.

The parents of Olivia Campbell-Hardy, who died in the Manchester Arena attack, said their daughter loved "music, dancing and singing".

Two weeks of the inquiry into the 2017 bombing were dedicated to relatives of the 22 people killed to provide a personal insight into the lives of their loved ones - and how their lives were changed forever.

Olivia's father Andrew Hardy described the 15-year-old from Bury, Greater Manchester, as a "daddy's girl" with an "infectious smile" while her mother Charlotte Hodgson said her daughter had been her "princess" and her "shadow".

image copyrightManchester Arena Inquiry
image captionLivs Trust was set up in memory of Olivia Campbell-Hardy for the education of dance and music for the under 25s

In a statement read to the inquiry on his behalf by Olivia's grandfather Steve Goodman, Mr Hardy said his "loving" daughter was "born with a twinkle in her eye" and was "full-on" from the minute she woke up until she went to sleep.

He said "music was her life" and had performed at the Manchester Arena and auditioned for Britain's Got Talent as well as singing at family parties.

Mr Hardy remembered his pride as Olivia served as a bridesmaid when he married his wife Sharon.

He spoke of her excitement at going to see Ariana Grande and how her family spent hours searching for her when she failed to return to Bury tram stop after the concert.

He said her death had left the family devastated.

image copyrightManchester Arena Inquiry
image captionOlivia Campbell-Hardy's favourite colour was blue

In a separate "pen portrait", Olivia's mother described the daughter she called ‘Ollie’ as a “funny kid” who "will always be in my heart".

Mrs Hodgson said she was a “tomboy in make-up” who "loved her sport" and always made an entrance.

She discovered her love of music at Tottington Primary School, where her school reports described her as “funny and cheeky”.

“She was always doing things to make people laugh,” said Mrs Hodgson. "She just wanted everyone to be happy."

“But the one thing Ollie was serious about was her music and her singing. She loved performing.

“Ollie wanted to make music her career, either in the West End or as a music teacher.

“She told me she was going to be famous one day and get a house in New York, and she wanted me to have a big house and a cleaner to do my ironing so I could have a break.

“Ollie had so much to give. With her determination she would have accomplished whatever she set out to achieve.

“She always put 100% into everything but she did it with a smile on her face.

She also described how her daughter went to her primary school prom dressed from head to toe in blue - her favourite colour – and even arrived on the back of a blue scooter.

Mrs Hodgson also read out tributes from other family members that described “how the fun and laughter had gone” before recordings of Olivia singing On My Own from Les Miserables and Faith Hill’s There You’ll Be.

Mr Goodman also shared he and his wife's memories of his granddaughter, who called him "papa".

Wearing a black tie and the emblem of a charity set up in memory of Olivia - Livs Trust - he talked of the "joy" she brought them.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionOlivia Campbell-Hardy dreamed of being famous so she could get her mother a big house and a cleaner

"She was boisterous and loud - but she had a gentle side," he said.

Mr Goodman told the inquiry how Olivia had been excited about the possibility of going to see Ariana Grande because a friend at school had a spare ticket and she was "with three others in the running".

Poignantly, he said he knew she would get the ticket as she was "a determined young lady".

He talked about her love of musicals and watching live bands and how Saturday nights were Strictly Come Dancing night as well as her love for holidays.

Mr Goodman said she had changed her plans so she could go on holiday with them but instead Mr Goodman had identified her body that week.

His words were followed by a slideshow of family photographs and videos of Olivia singing and dancing including ballroom dancing with her "papa".

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