TWO young hopefuls have made it through to the next stage of Britain’s Got Talent.
Ventriloquist Sam Jones, 21, of Seaford, impressed the judges with his audition in which his puppet Baby Leo did an impression of Kermit the Frog.
After the show he was with his family opening bottles of champagne.
He said: “I’m over the moon – it’s been an incredible night. I’m delighted and overjoyed with the whole experience.
“I’ve been rehearsing non-stop and when I’m not rehearsing the script is going over and over in my mind.”
Sam, who has Tourette’s Syndrome, has more than 20 puppets – each with a separate character and voice.
Sam’s sister Georgie, 18, a student, said: “I’m extremely proud of my brother. I always knew he would be famous one day. Well done Sammy, I love you.”
Singer Richard Hadfield of operatic boy band Collabro had been waiting to hear if they had gone through in the ITV show.
Richard, 20, of Blackthorn Close, Portslade, said: “The whole band were together with a few friends when we heard the news. It’s gone absolutely mad here.
“I feel ecstatic – I have no words. Now we have to get ready to prove we deserve a place in the final.
“We’ll now be heading into town with a few friends for a restrained celebration.”
Collabro’s next performance in front of the judges will be the live semi-final which airs tonight at 7.30pm on ITV.
Richard’s mother Diana, 51, who works in insurance, said: “This is what he’s always wanted to do. He’s very passionate about whatever he does.
“I’m so proud of him. As a family we have always backed him and would do anything for him to fulfil his dreams.
“Whatever the future holds with the band and the show, it’s been a fantastic platform for the public to see them.”
Richard and Sam are not the only Sussex performers to make it to the semi-finals – they join 43-year-old impressionist Jon Clegg from Brighton.
Richard said: “The other acts from Sussex are great – it’s good that we have such talent on a national level coming from Sussex.”