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BGT's Oliver singer Callum is "autistic"

BGT's Oliver singer Callum is "autistic"
BGT's Oliver singer Callum is "autistic"

Britain's Got Talent's latest child star Callum Francis suffers from autism, according to the papers. The News Of The World reports that the smiley 12-year-old - who impressed the judges on Saturday's show with his rendition of Consider Yourself from Oliver - has problems with his attention span and other social skills on account of his disability, but that it also explains his singing talent. "He struggles with things like attention and he takes everything literally," his mum Linda told the paper. "Someone said to him they hoped he'd go on BGT with "all guns blazing" and Callum got really worried, thinking there'd be guns on stage or something. He was terrified of Simon and the sound of the buzzers. "But with the way his mind works, if he watches something like Billy Elliot or Les Miserables on stage, he'll remember every hand movement and gesture. He really tunes into stuff like that." Linda added that Callum - a pupil at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London - has now sketched pictures of Simon, Amanda, Piers and the Queen - so he can practise his performing in front of them.

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.