Belfast Telegraph

Teenage Manchester attack survivor makes it through to BGT semi-finals

Hollie Booth, 13, returned to Manchester for the first time since the attack with her dance troupe, Rise.

A teenage survivor from the Manchester Arena bombing is among the acts through to the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals.

Hollie Booth, 13, returned to Manchester for the first time since the attack with her dance troupe, Rise, to audition earlier this year.

The group were among the 35 acts put through to next week’s live semi-finals on Saturday night – just over 12 months after Booth attended the pop star Ariana Grande ’s concert where a suicide bomber killed 22 people including her aunt, Kelly Brewster.

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Britain’s Got Talent 2018

A stand-up comedian who cannot speak also made it through, as did a singing priest who brought the crowd to tears.

Lee Ridley, 37, who performs under the name Lost Voice Guy, has cerebral palsy which has left him unable to speak and so uses his iPad to deliver a unique comedy routine.

Father Ray Kelly, 64, from Oldcastle, County Meath, in Ireland, was one of Cowell’s “favourite ever auditions”.

Also making it through was a cake-eating opera singer, a handcuffed daredevil who hid inside a water tank, and a choir made up of descendants of Second World War veterans.

The show’s judges, Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams, worked together to pick the final 35 acts who will join the five golden buzzer acts in the semi-finals which take place across every evening next week.

The golden buzzer acts include magician Marc Spelmann, opera singer Gruffydd Wyn Roberts, singer Lifford Shillingford, and gyrating entertainer Donchez Dacres.

Favourites for the Britain’s Got Talent crown remain father and son singing duo Jack and Tim who were Cowell’s golden buzzer act.

While Ant McPartlin has been on-screen for the pre-recorded auditions, he will not appear alongside Declan Donnelly in the live semi-finals.

McPartlin stepped back from his presenting commitments when he was charged with drink-driving earlier this year.

He was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit.

ITV confirmed he would be absent before the series started in April, saying “We send Ant all our love … and we know that Dec will do a brilliant job.”

Jack and Tim are 5/1 to take the crown while Spelmann is at 6/1.

The Britain’s Got Talent live semi-finals begin on Monday at 7.30pm on ITV.

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