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Carlisle singer's group Collabro are Britain's Got Talent favourites

Cumbrian singer Matthew Pagan and his band are the early favourites to win Britain’s Got Talent after stunning judges on prime time TV.

Matthew Pagan photo
Matthew Pagan

Matthew, a former shop worker, watched at home in the city’s St Anne’s area with his emotional family as the show was screened and the group Collabro wowed stars such as Simon Cowell in front of millions of viewers.

His dad, Tony, a maintenance fitter at Carlisle’s Pirelli factory, described how proud the family were of the budding star, a former pupil at St Aidan’s School.

Matthew, 20, speaking to the News & Star, said how incredible the experience was and how much support he has had from people in Carlisle.

Members of the judging panel on the talent show originally raised their eyebrows after hearing that the group had been together for just a month.

But the five-piece boyband won them over with a performance of Stars from the musical Les Miserables.

Collabro, who got together through social media over a love for musical theatre, received a standing ovation from the audience and the panel, also including comedian David Walliams, TV star Amanda Holden and singer Alesha.

Within minutes of their appearance on the show bookmakers Coral were already offering odds of 5-1 on the five-piece boyband being crowned 2014 champions.

Other bookies were offering odds as short as 11-2 on them winning.

Watch Collabro sing Stars from Les Miserables on BGT. Article continues below...

Matthew said: “For us it was an incredible feeling being on the stage in the first place. To get a standing ovation from the audience and the judges was unbelievable.

“It would be incredible to win. But there is a lot of tough competition in it this year.

“We were all really happy to go out there and prove musical theatre is for young people as well. We are just young lads with a passion for musical theatre.”

Dad Tony said: “The family hadn’t seen anything of it, it was a surprise for us as well. Obviously the reaction was fantastic. We are very, very proud of him. It made the hair stand up on the back of your neck.”

Matthew, who has now moved to London, used to work at the Andersons home fittings showroom in Denton Holme and is a former member of the Carlisle-based StagedRight theatre school and Lakeside Castings.

“StagedRight helped me with an incredible amount, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without them,” he said.

Matthew added he was inundated with messages on social media after the show. “I’ve had so much support from my home city it’s been incredible.”

When the group came onto stage they told the judges they had been together for a month.

Simon Cowell rolled his eyes at this and Alesha asked them what made them think that after a month that they were good enough to win the show.

But after the performance Amanda Holden said: “Oh my God, you reduced me to tears. I could just burst with pride for you because that was brilliant.”

Simon Cowell said: “You know what, when the five of you came out I thought, ‘Here we go again, another boyband, this is going to be awful. But it was an absolutely brilliant audition. Brilliant.”

David Walliams said it was a “faultless performance” and a “great song”.

Have your say

Collabro's sound blew me away. It gave me "goose bumps". I hope these guys have a long and successful career.

Posted by Joe Cappo on 9 August 2015 at 13:20

Loved your audition, and had no doubt you "Collaborators" would be winners!
Hope you will tour the USA in the future.
I have your first CD and listen to it all the time in my car.
Sharon Kreitzer

Posted by sharon kreitzer on 9 March 2015 at 18:18

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