Belfast singer’s tribute to disabled brother strikes chord with Britain’s Got Talent audience
A Co Down man has wowed Britain's Got Talent fans with his moving tribute to his severely disabled brother who lives with locked-in syndrome.
The audience responded with a standing ovation to Mark McMullan's (23) poignant rendition of Bring Him Home from the hit musical Les Miserables which aired on ITV on Saturday night.
The Saintfield-born architecture student said he is determined to give Declan (26) "a better quality of life, and raise awareness" of the condition that left him paralysed, blind and only able to communicate by blinking.
Simon Cowell was visibly moved by the audition which prompted him to predict success on stages in London and New York City.
"I wouldn't be surprised off the back of that performance that you started getting calls from West End producers and possibly Broadway because you are that good," he told the singer.
But Mark was only there to impress his sibling whose life changed forever when he suffered a cardiac arrest in 2012, leaving him severely brain damaged.
"Declan can't communicate verbally," he explained to Sunday Life.
"When I walked backstage to meet him and my family he was kind of panting and almost crying.
"When Declan cries it tends to be about things he is happy about.
"I think it was just an overwhelming experience - but in a good way."
Judge Amanda Holden was also moved close to tears by Mark's performance.
"You have the most gorgeous tone and quality to your voice," she told him.
"When you listen to the words and know the background to your story - it just made so much sense and it was just so much more poignant."
David Walliams said he was hooked on every word before adding: "I think you did your brother very proud today."
Mark's favourite song has taken on new meaning since Declan suffered the life-changing injuries.
The audition also struck a chord with viewers who took to social media after being reduced to tears. "Sad story, great song, lovely guy with a good voice," one woman posted. "I was in bits."
"So sad but beautiful, I was crying," another wrote.