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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Teacher saw Collabro's Matthew turning into star at school

Matthew Pagan’s former teacher has lifted the lid on his rise to stardom.

Wendy Boothman photo
Wendy Boothman and dance students at the Richard Rose Central Academy

Wendy Boothman began teaching the Britain’s Got Talent sensation at Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle when he was 12.

Now aged 20, Matthew is on the cusp of worldwide fame as he and his bandmates from Collabro prepare for Saturday’s live final.

His old performing arts and dance teacher Mrs Boothman has told how Matthew has blossomed from a shy and retiring boy to an ultra-confident singing star performing in front of millions.

She said: “He was always a talented student but he never wanted to be at the front and wasn’t at all pushy.

“He was happy to be sat at the back playing his trumpet whenever we did any music concerts.

“He came on a school trip to Italy in 2008 and he played with us, which gave him his first taster of what it’s like to be part of a big performance.

“Then, when he was in year 10 he began studying BTEC performing arts and had singing lessons.

“We were delighted to find he had a really nice singing voice and I still have a recording of him singing Ain’t it a Kick in the Head.”

When Matthew was in year 11 he performed at the prom and made the transition from the orchestra to landing the part of Kenickie in a school production of Grease.

“It was what he had learnt in the performing arts course that enabled him to do that,” Mrs Boothman said.

The next stage in his development saw him crowned a winner as part of the school’s entry into the national finals of the Rock Challenge competition.

It wasn’t long before Matthew had caught the performing bug and followed in his course mates’ footsteps and joined local theatre school StagedRight.

And while in his last year of school he took part in a tricky African-style dance piece in front of a packed house at The Sands Centre.

Mrs Boothman said: “Dance wasn’t his first love but I knew it would be good for him to do it.

“He was dreading his first dance lesson but after a few weeks he really started to enjoy it.”

Matthew then went on to study music and performing arts at the Richard Rose Sixth Form College.

But he still found time to return to his old school to host its first-ever big dance show in 2011.

She also revealed that Matthew even contacted her after his first audition with Collabro on Britain’s Got Talent to offer to host the big dance show again.

The event was held the week before his first TV appearance at the end of March but he still came back to take on presenting duties.

Pupils at Matthew’s old school are now backing him and the rest of the band to go all the way and win the show.

A special display board has been put up featuring photos of Matthew.

“All the hard work has paid off and we are all immensely proud of him and are rooting for the band to win.”

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