Veteran West End performer Elaine Paige has paid tribute to Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle, who admitted she is a huge admirer of hers.

The 47-year-old – who has achieved global fame since her audition was shown on the ITV1 talent show last Saturday – told the judges before she sang that she aspired to be like Paige, whose many stage successes include Cats, Evita and Sunset Boulevard.

“It seems her performance has really captured the hearts of everyone who saw it, me included,” said Paige on her Radio 2 show on Sunday afternoon.

“Ever since Susan’s appearance on Britain’s Got Talent my inbox has been flooded with e-mails. Perhaps we should record a duet?”

The 60-year-old added that she hoped Susan, from West Lothian in Scotland, would make it to the final.

“I will continue to watch and I wish you every success,” she said.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that British punters have placed thousands of pounds worth of bets on Susan to win the series.

Bookmakers William Hill said they had taken more than 3,000 bets on her in the past week.

“Around 93% of the bets we have received for Britain’s Got Talent have been for Susan Boyle, and the turnover is into five figures,” said their spokesperson Graham Sharpe.

“We have had some bets of several thousand pounds which is unusual for reality television, as it is based on the reaction of the judges and the public.

“Susan is the red-hot favourite just now and to have one (contestant) that is utterly monopolising the betting in this way is pretty much unprecedented.

“However, we don’t believe that all the best acts have been seen yet, so it may change.”