Comedy juggler Steve Royle plans to make us all smile as the stage is set for the Britain's Got Talent final 2020…
The Britain's Got Talent final is almost here after five weeks of entertaining, heartwarming and often nail-biting semi-final performances.
On Saturday night, Ant and Dec host as the best 10 acts from the semis will battle it out LIVE for the chance to win that coveted slot at this year’s Royal Variety Performance and a £250,000 cash prize.
Alongside five acts who’ve been put through via public vote (to be announced on the night), there are also the five acts that have been chosen by the BGT judges: comedy pianist Jon Courtenay, dance duo Aaron and Jasmine, comedian Nabil Abdulrashid, illusionist Magical Bones and comedy juggler Steve Royle.
In 2006, Steve was the warm-up act for that year’s Royal Variety Performance. Now, after tickling the judges’ funny bones at the auditions and semi-finals of BGT with some hilarious jokes and juggling, Steve wants to prove he’s a Royle fit for Royalty.
Here Steve, 52, from Lancashire, teases what's in store in the Britain's Got Talent final...
How does it feel to be through to the grand final of Britain’s Got Talent?
"Oh, it’s amazing. I only ever did Britain’s Got Talent to try and boost my career a little bit, so for all four judges to get my sense of humour and vote me through I was proper overcome. To be in the final is hard to put into words especially after the year we’ve all had. It’s nice to have a gig to look forward to!"
What impact has the closure of entertainment venues due to the pandemic had on a performer like yourself?
"It’s been exceptionally hard. My wife is also in this business and we’ve had no financial help at all from the government. So, I'll be honest, there were some dark moments in the middle of the pandemic where I genuinely thought I’d never perform again. So many people found ways to entertain via their phones and computers during lockdown but I think we all really want to get back to performing to a live audience - that’s what we love."
How are rehearsals going for the BGT final? Can you give any teasers about your performance?
"For my routine, I’ve stuck with the winning formula of lots of gags at the beginning leading up to a big finish. So it’s gonna be musical and there are a few things that you won’t have seen me do before because I’m trying to show off a couple more talents that I’ve got hidden away. I won’t give too much away but I’m hoping my routine for the final will be spectacular and very, very funny."
You were the warm-up act for the Royal Variety Performance in 2006. Have you thought about what it would be like to perform at the event itself as the winner of BGT?
"Performing at Royal Variety would mean everything to me because I never got to perform for royalty back then. I literally went on stage and warmed up the audience for 20 minutes as people were walking to their seats. So it would be nice to perform in front of such a prestigious crowd and have the attention of the REAL royals. Not my Royles - I’ve had their attention for six months!"
So, what would it mean to you to win Britain's Got Talent and the £250,000 cash prize?
"Winning will mean paying off debts and giving me some financial security after a year of no income. I think it’s difficult for any comedian to win BGT because comedy is so subjective; what makes one person laugh, won’t make another person laugh. If I manage to get the four judges smiling again, that’s four more people smiling in the world, which has gotta be a good thing. I’m just happy to be in the final. If I win, it’ll be the greatest thing I’ve achieved in my life."
What’s the ultimate ambition?
"I’ve always wanted to do a gig under my own name. I’ve supported so many other acts as a warm-up, so it would be nice to see my own name in lights now with my own tour. When I first started in this business I wanted to act. I used to act in the Oldham Theatre Workshop - people like Marcella’s Anna Friel and Coronation Street’s Michael Le Vell also went there and they’ve gone on to do amazingly well. I’d love a part in Corrie. That would be my dream."
Britain's Got Talent: The Final can be seen on Saturday October 10 at 7.30pm on ITV.
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