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George keeps his feet on the ground
GEORGE Sampson is an ordinary boy in an extraordinary situation. His breakdancing performances on Britain’s Got Talent won him £100,000 and offers of work – and marriage – have started to flood in.
But Birchwood’s 15-year-old dancing sensation is keeping his feet on the ground.
“I thought about this last week. Did George Sampson, of Birchwood, really win Britain’s Got Talent? It seems like a dream and my head is still up in the clouds,” he said.
“It’s not changed me but it’s changed my lifestyle – I’m always tired, I’m always busy.”
Indeed, George hardly had a moment’s rest before he was whisked off on the ITV show’s tour.
He performed his winning dance moves to the remix of the Frank Sinatra song Singin’ in the Rain to audiences nationwide.
"Did I really win Britain’s Got Talent? It seems like a dream and my head is still up in the clouds."George Sampson
“The best bit was travelling to places I’d never been before but my favourite cities are still Manchester and Liverpool,” said George.
His mum Lesley added: “His loyalties lie in the north west. That was where he was born and where he has danced.”
George returned to Warrington during the tour for a brief performance at Chicago Rock Cafe to celebrate his 15th birthday.
“There were 1,000 people and everyone was screaming,” he said.
“My friends were stunned by it all. It’s come as much as a shock to them as it has done to me.”
It was a far cry from when the youngster used to busk on the streets of Warrington, Manchester and Liverpool to pay for the dancing lessons that his mum could not afford.
During the tour of the country, George also signed as many autographs as he could.
“He loves to make people happy. That’s been George from day one,” said Lesley.
When he spoke to Limited Edition, he was enjoying a much-deserved week off but talked of his challenges for the months ahead.
He is due to appear in a West End production called Into The Hoods.
“It’s an urban, hip hop version of Into The Woods. I’ve done a lot of theatre but I’ve never done anything like that,” he said.
But it is the date of December 11 that George is particularly nervous about, when he will appear at the 80th Royal Variety Show.
“I am scared out of my pants,” he added.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to it. It’ll be a great experience.”
He will perform before the Prince of Wales.
“That’s what’s scary although I’m quite honoured. I’ve never met anyone like that in my life,” said George.
In conversation George continues to show off that thoughtful, genuine and enthusiastic nature that so won over the viewers of Britain’s Got Talent.
It is worth pointing out that in between his commitments to his flourishing show business career, he is still a teenager at Birchwood High School.
In fact, on George’s first day back at school after the competition he had to sit a music exam before performing the dance that secured him first place in a special assembly.
George was worried that fellow pupils would treat him differently after his brush with fame, but little changed.
“School is really good. Everyone still treats me like normal,” he said.
In an era when teenagers are hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, George’s story is a breath of fresh air.Anne Bright, headteacher at Birchwood High School, said: “It’s his commitment, determination and hours of practice, which have led him to success.
“George is a regular lad, he is friendly, unpretentious, engaged in learning and a supportive member of our school council. This is only the beginning.”
Lesley added: “The kids of today seem to have no respect and I’ve always tried to bring up George with respect. He is happy and he’s not changed one bit.
“He won the competition because of his personality and because he’s a hard worker.
“He’s always been a performer and loves the stage. But when he comes off the stage, he’s so different, he’s a bit shy but he’s coming out of his shell a bit now.
“I hope that the doors keep opening for him. I now want him to do things in his own name, in his own right.”
One of the most touching elements of George’s story is that he offered to pay off his mum’s mortgage with the cash prize – but she would not let him.
After George treated himself to an Xbox 360 computer games console, the pair agreed to put the money in a savings account as a nest egg for the future.
His mum Lesley is very wary of the money because of the impact it could have.
“I do not even want to see the money,” she said.
“At the end of the day, money isn’t everything. I had money when I was 18 and I went wild.
“Money can be the root of all evil and can damage people – I don’t want George to be damaged by it.”
With the cash now safely tucked away, George has plenty of time to map out a bright future for himself and his family.
So what are his career plans?
“I am not sure,” said George.
“I’ll just take life as it comes. All I know is that I’m keen to keep dancing and dancing...”