As the Let it Shine live shows begin, Bradley Johnson will be hoping his band can get one step closer to winning a place in Gary Barlow's new musical, featuring the songs of Take That
Bradley Johnson, 19, became a hot favourite on Let it Shine after he delighted the judges at his first audition with his performance of Bring Him Home from the musical Les Miserables.
Now through to the first live show this Saturday, where five boy bands will battle it out for a part in Gary Barlow's musical, Bradley's already got his eye firmly on the prize...
Congratulations on making it through to the Let it Shine live shows, how does it feel? "It feels amazing. This whole experience has been great so far; it's been brilliant. My mum's thrilled I’m doing Let it Shine. I’m really close to my mum and my grandparents and they’re all really supportive."
Bradley Johnson impressed the judges at his first audition
At your first audition, you got a standing ovation from the judges and you were awarded 20 stars for your performance of Bring Him Home from the musical Les Miserables. How did that feel? "It was such a surreal moment; I just remember standing on the stage wanting to get through so badly. Then, when all 20 stars lit up, it's the most relieved I’ve ever felt in my life!”
Last weekend, we saw you being put into a ‘boy band’ with Jason Brock, Julius Wright, Danny Colligan and Huw Roberts ahead of the first Let it Shine live show this Saturday. How are you all getting on? "We’ve bonded really well as a group. It's hard not to bond when you're in rehearsals together all day and, as a band, I think we sound really good. There have been no arguments or anything like that – we all just clicked."
Meet Nightfall! Bradley (far right) with fellow members (L-R) Huw Roberts, Danny Colligan, Jason Brock and Julius Wright
So there have been no major fallouts at all? Surely that’s all part of being in boy band… "I'd like to say there have been, but there really hasn’t. I’m really enjoying the dynamic of being part of a group. Being a solo singer can get quite lonely but, in a band, you’ve always got the other boys to help you out. I’m definitely more of a singer than a dancer. I can move, but I can’t do cartwheels or anything!"
So what 'type' of boy band member are you? "Oh god, I’m definitely not the serious one! I'd say I'm the 'cheeky' one, I don't take myself too seriously!"
We don't know who's the bigger Gary Barlow fan, Bradley... or his mum!
Have you always been a big fan of Take That? “Yeah, I’ve always been a massive fan. My mum loves Take That and Gary Barlow, especially, and I remember as a kid, she was always been playing Take That around the house. I’ve always wanted to see them live, but I haven't… yet!"
What’s your favourite Take That song? “I love The Garden, that’s a really nice song, and one of my favourites. And, of course, all the old classics like Relight my Fire. Performing for Lulu at the collaborations stage of the competition was mad! She's Take That royalty!"
Nightfall was chosen out of eight boys who performed with Mel C at the collaborations stage
So how are you feeling about your first live performance this Saturday? "Well, I am excited, but I'm also a tad nervous because there’s such a high standard in this competition, everyone's so talented. So we know we’ve really just got to put the hours in, rehearse loads and get it spot on because it is live – it's not pre-recorded any more; we know we've only got one shot to get it right."
This Saturday, the viewers at home will be voting for their favourite band, and the band with the fewest votes will be eliminated. Are you worried about the public vote? "I'm excited to see what the public thinks of us, but it’s not a nice feeling to think you might go out first. As long as I know in myself that I’ve given it my all and as a group we’ve done our best, I’ll be happy with that, and what will be, will be. But I’m quietly confident we can do enough to get through the first round."
What would it mean to you to win a part in The Band, the new musical featuring the songs of Take That? "I'm only 19 and I’ve been trying to get a break in the performing arts industry, but it's so hard to get in to, so getting to earn a living doing what I love would be awesome. I know a year-long tour, doing eight shows a week will be hard, but I reckon I'll cope just fine. I'll miss my grandma's Sunday roast, though, and a good Bradford curry!"
The Let it Shine live shows begin on Saturday February 11 at 6.55pm on BBC1.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!