Collabro Win Britain’s Got Talent
Five piece singing group Collabro has won the final of Britain’s Got Talent, walking away with a prize of £250,000.
Matthew, 20, who studied with the StagedRight theatre school in Carlisle, made an emotional speech after the result was announced. “I want to thank everyone who has voted,” he said.
“Thank you so much.”
The former Richard Rose Central Academy pupil also paid tribute to second placed opera singer Lucy Kay, who was gracious in defeat, saying: “She’s absolutely incredible.”
Another band member also thanked the thousands of fans – known as collaborators – who have backed the group since they shot to fame.
Matthew’s proud parents Linda and Tony, from St Anne’s, were there to cheer on Collabro.
“We’re so proud,” she said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Earlier, Simon Cowell told the band: “You’ve got steel in your eyes.”
After the band’s performance, David Walliams commented: “Just when we thought the show couldn’t get any better you come along. It was wonderful. It really, really was. You couldn’t fault it. It was perfection.”
Ladbrokes had given Collabro odds of 2/1 of winning the talent show, while the schoolboy duo Bars and Melody were given odds of 6/4 of taking the BGT crown. They were third placed.
According to Matthew’s former mentor David McNeill, principal of StagedRight, the former kitchen salesman and his fellow band members always had what it takes to win.
Speaking before the BGT final, David said: “Whatever happens, their performance will open doors for Matthew.
“He’s very focused, and always takes stock before he performs.
“He’s worked enormously hard to accomplish this: he’s worked abroad, sacrificed holidays, and he gave up his job to work as a performer. Matthew is also a genuinely nice guy.
“This is giving him a superb chance.
“Collabro will certainly get a record deal out of it. The band will get a very successful two or three years out of this and then I believe Matthew Will go solo, probably as a West End performer.”
In the meantime, Collabro’s rise to fame – and Matthew’s key part in it – is inspiring a new generation of would-be stars who are currently working hard at StagedRight, which is now in its tenth year.
The singer spent two years working at Andersons in Denton Holme, selling kitchens.
“I’ve put a bet on him,” said one Andersons worker today.
The worker said: “We’re very proud of him.
“He’s put a load of work in achieving this and it’s amazing.
“He worked here for a couple of years and he was always just a likeable, normal lad, who liked his sport and was always very down to earth. There are about 35 staff here and people are saying they’ll vote for him.
“He’s always been level headed, but he’s also very talented.”
The worker said Matthew’s former boss at the firm, Andrew Hodkingson, has traveled down to London to watch Collabro’s performance. Matthew is a former pupil of Richard Rose Central Academy.
The other finalists were: illusionist Darcy Oake; 15-year-old singer James Smith; dancers troupe The Addict Initiative; 24-year-old soprano opera singer Lucy Kay; high-heel dance trio Yanis Marshall, Arnaud & Mehdi; schoolboy singers Bars and Melody (Collabro’s main rival, according to the bookies); the posh,eccentric and talented violinist Lettice Rowbotham; vocal harmony group Jack Pack; and dancers Paddy (age 79) and Nico.