Mum of Bars and Melody singer Charlie Lenehan is 'over the moon' after 15-year-old comes third on Britain's Got Talent

Leondre Devries and Charlie Lenehan at the final of Britain's Got Talent

Leondre Devries and Charlie Lenehan at the final of Britain's Got Talent

First published in News
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Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

BRITAIN’S Got Talent singing star Charlie Lenehan is hoping for a pop career after coming third in this year’s final of the talent competition.

Fifteen-year-old Charlie, from Frampton Cotterell, had been favourite to win the show as one half of Bars and Melody alongside rapper friend Leondre Devries, 13.

But coming third has not stopped the Winterbourne International Academy schoolboy being hailed a hero when he returned to school on Monday.

His mum Karen James, 38, told the Gazette: “I saw the videos and pictures from Monday and everyone was asking Charlie for his autograph.

“I am awfully proud of him. They went in with quite low expectations at the beginning and I can’t believe they have come third.

“I am over the moon.”

She said the final on Saturday (June 7), which Charlie’s little sister Brooke, 8, watched on TV in a nearby hotel, had been too close to call.

“The atmosphere was fantastic,” added Karen, a cook at New Siblands and Gillingstool schools in Thornbury.

“We knew it was so hard, all the acts were incredible and even back stage we couldn’t call it.

“Quite often in these competitions the favourites don’t win, like One Direction, JLS and Susan Boyle, but they go on to do really well.”

Bars and Melody were voted straight through to the live shows after head judge Simon Cowell pressed his golden buzzer, a new feature on this year’s contest, when they performed a reworked version of Faith Evans and Twista’s Hopeful, which told of Leondre’s experience of being bullied at school.

Their audition was viewed more than 29 million times on YouTube and led to media interviews including an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show in America.

The teenage duo, who met through Facebook, won their semi-final and again performed Hopeful at the final.

Simon Cowell told them at the final: “You are just the nicest, sweetest kids I’ve ever met and I hope my son Eric turns out like you.”

Judge David Walliams said: “Well boys you smashed it tonight. It’s a beautiful song. I’m so glad you sang it tonight.”

Rumours have now been circulating that the boys will be offered a record deal.

Karen said: “It is a waiting game at the moment but it has been quite nice to get back home and back to some normality.

“Hopefully we will hear something by the end of the week but Charlie is being a 15-year-old boy and can’t wait. He keeps asking me, why haven’t they phoned yet?”

She added: “He has got some catching up to do at school but hopefully it has not affected his work too much.

“We can’t take things for granted. His favourite subjects are music and drama, and it was the school who picked up on what a lovely voice he has, but he also likes engineering and would like to be an engineer if not a singer. He’s a very intelligent lad.”

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