Wogan's support raised Melua's profile and when Call Off the Search was released in November 2003 supported by a TV campaign financed by Batt, it entered the top 40 UK albums chart.The single achieved the number 10 spot in the UK chart.The oddest thing about this job is the sense of superiority you get. I was completely out of it for two weeks, and in hospital for six.There was a bunch of things going on, things at home and crazy work schedules, and you really believe the world revolved around you and it doesn’t." This changed in 2000, at the age of fifteen, when Melua took part in a talent competition on British television channel ITV called "Stars Up Their Noses" (a spoof of Stars in Their Eyes) as part of the children's programme Mad for It.After completing her GCSEs, Melua attended the BRIT School for the Performing Arts in the London Borough of Croydon, undertaking a BTEC with an A-level in music.When studying at the school, Melua began to write songs and met her future manager and producer, Mike Batt.This changed when BBC Radio 2 producer Paul Walters heard the single and played it on the popular Terry Wogan breakfast show.Wogan played "The Closest Thing to Crazy" frequently in the summer of 2003.
In 1993, in the aftermath of the Georgian Civil War, the family moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where her father took up a position at the Royal Victoria Hospital.I was really quite nervous, but I knew all I had to do was let myself go and it was going to feel amazing. I thought that, if we went far enough in both directions, we could end up in the same place".Melua's debut album, Call Off the Search, was released on 3 November 2003 and featured two songs written by Melua: "Belfast (Penguins and Cats)", a song about Melua's experience of her time in the troubled capital of Northern Ireland, and "Faraway Voice", a song about the death of Eva Cassidy. Silver ("Learnin' the Blues"), John Mayall ("Crawling up a Hill"), Randy Newman ("I Think It's Going to Rain Today") and James Shelton ("Lilac Wine", originally a UK hit for singer Elkie Brooks).Melua's second album, Piece by Piece, was released on 26 September 2005.Its lead single was "Nine Million Bicycles", which was released a week before the album on 19 September and was number 3 in the UK singles chart.