When Britain’s Got Talent came to Morecambe

Pensioners Ron Carey and Roger Obertelli perform at the Britain's Got Talent auditions at Morecambe Winter Gardens. Photo by David Forrest.

Pensioners Ron Carey and Roger Obertelli perform at the Britain's Got Talent auditions at Morecambe Winter Gardens. Photo by David Forrest.

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A tap dancing pensioner, a singing cleaner and a man who read his exam results out of a plastic bag – welcome to the weirdly wonderful world of Britain’s Got Talent in Morecambe.

Scouts from the ITV talent show visited the Winter Gardens theatre on Sunday to watch hopefuls from our local area try to impress with singing, dancing and more unusual acts.

Impressionist Heath Ellis at the Morecambe Winter Gardens Britain's Got Talent auditions. Photo by David Forrest.

Impressionist Heath Ellis at the Morecambe Winter Gardens Britain's Got Talent auditions. Photo by David Forrest.

The two Britain’s Got Talent researchers told performers that if they caught the eye, they may find themselves on the telly in 2017 in front of the notorious Simon Cowell.

A large crowd also came along to watch from the audience and cheer on their favourites.

Acts included 84-year-old tap dancer Roger Obertelli from Morecambe.

Roger performed solo and then later joined in when his friend, singer Ron Carey, did an encore of his own song about being a senior citizen in the digital age.

The audience at Morecambe Winter Gardens for the Britain's Got Talent auditions. Photo by David Forrest.

The audience at Morecambe Winter Gardens for the Britain's Got Talent auditions. Photo by David Forrest.

TV casting researcher Joe Bass encouraged the audience to sing along with Ron’s chorus as Roger tapped along to the beat on stage.

Another performer was singer Ann Radcliffe from Morecambe, who works as a cleaner at Matalan.

Ann impressed with her rendition of Bruno Mars’ ‘When I Was Your Man’.

“I was nervous but it was nice, I live here so I thought I’m not going to pass the opportunity up,” said Ann, 53.

Britain's Got Talent auditionee Al Alvarez had the audience bewildered and in stitches with a unique act based around his achievements in life.

Britain's Got Talent auditionee Al Alvarez had the audience bewildered and in stitches with a unique act based around his achievements in life.

“I used to sing for living, I performed with Ken Dodd and The Nolan Sisters. But I’ve had long break. I’ve only just started singing again.

“It would be great to get on the television. I tried once before in the 80s. I did Opportunity Knocks with Hughie Green but I didn’t get on then.”

Children also auditioned, including 10-year-old Olivia Hunter whose powerful vocals were like a mini Susan Boyle on her performance of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’.

Impressionist Heath Ellis, who works as a barber by day, also stood out with accurate and hilarious take-offs of Keith Lemon, Paul O’Grady, Michael McIntyre and Chris Eubank.

Perhaps the most unusual act came from Al Alvarez.

The audience was bemused at first as Al read out a list of his life achievements from certificates, which he pulled out of a carrier bag.

In a monotone voice, he rattled off his school exam grades, which drew a round of applause and even cheers!

When he brought out a colouring book he’d drawn in as a child and proudly showed off a house, a garden and a skeleton, some of the crowd were in hysterics.

Unable to work out if Al was being serious or had deliberately come up with a clever comedy routine, researcher Joe asked him what inspired the act.

“Well, I’ve done a lot of courses,” replied Al, deadpan.

Afterwards, Joe smiled when asked if Al’s unusual act might make the cut for TV.

“The main thing we look for is something we haven’t seen before. If you can show us something that can surprise us, it’s going to go a long way.

“We’ve had a great afternoon, we had a real mix of talent, with people as young as five and people as old as in their 80s. The Winter Gardens is amazing, a beautiful venue. Jon Richardson was here a couple of weeks ago and so some of these performers have just appeared on the same stage as a multi award-winning comedian.

“We’ve got a lot of acts we can take back and show the producers and hopefully we can get somebody from Morecambe on the show next year.”

Joe said he was travelling all over the North West to similar auditions to find talent for the TV show. He was due to be at a holiday park in Lancaster tonight (Monday) followed by Bolton and Warrington later in the week.

He said all of Sunday’s acts were filmed and performers will find out if they will be invited to the TV auditions by February 2017.

Around 35 acts performed on the day, although twice that number registered to audition.

Organiser David Brayshaw, chairman of Morecambe Carnival Committee, wondered if this was down to “cold feet” or perhaps the sunny weather outside meant people decided to give it a miss.

Overall though, David said the auditions had been a hugely successful event for Morecambe.

“It exceeded my expectations,” he said.

“The Britain’s Got Talent team were very pleased. The venue was spectacular and with the quality and quantity of acts it was a special day.”

He also said the BGT team may return next year and who knows, Morecambe might even get The X Factor auditions too!

See our Facebook page HERE for videos of the auditions on Sunday.