Comedian Paul Burling will make his return to the Britain’s Got Talent stage, but the dad revealed that he wasn’t always so outgoing. Read the interview below where Paul talks about his shy childhood, his biggest ever audience and his previous claim to fame.
When and how did you discover you had your talent?
I was quite shy at school but would do my impressions at primary school to my friends, it was mainly cartoon impressions when I was younger so it just developed from there but I never thought I would make a career out of it. I remember being on a school trip and sitting around a table and everybody asking me to do some impressions which I did, and then I realised one of the teachers were recording it, I don’t know where that tape is now but people said I was funny and said I should do it on stage. Everything really started to develop when Robbie Williams father Pete heard that I had this talent and he asked me to join his act, so I did and this really helped to develop my talent into a career and I started working at the holiday parks, so I have Pete to thank for that. Robbie was young and it was before he was in Take That but he always enjoyed listening to my impersonations and would ask me to do different ones.
What is the largest audience you have performed in front of before this show?
I would say at Butlins, I think there are normally 1000 to 2000 people in the audience.
Before the show, what was your claim to fame?
Well I suppose the Robbie Williams story but also through pantomime I met people like George Takei, Shane Williams (Barry from EastEnders), Shane Lynch and Tom Oliver (Lou Carpenter from Neighbours).
What would you do with the prize money?
Well I am taking it all a stage at a time but if I did win I would use the prize money to pay off some debts. I am renting at the moment so would be great to buy somewhere and maybe go on a nice holiday.
Who is your inspiration?
When I was younger my inspiration was Bobby Davro, I would watch him a lot when I was younger and I would copy his impressions. I sometimes do that, I listen to how other impressionists do voice’s and learn from that. I remember getting really frustrated as I just couldn’t do Tony Blair and I wanted to do him as he had just got into power, and then I watched Harry Enfield’s Christmas Special and he did something called Tory Boy and it was his impression of Tony Blair. I watched him do this and then something just clicked and I could do the Tony Blair voice off the back of watching Harry Enfield. Another person who I think is great is Robin Williams, he does amazing voices and is just a great entertainer.
What’s the ultimate dream?
I would love to be part of a TV show and do my impressions, which would be great. Also I would love to do a voice for The Simpsons and maybe do a voiceover for somebody like Pixar or Dreamworks.