A TEACHER won over the Britain’s Got Talent judges with his showstopping voice to secure his place in the next round of the competition.

Tom Ball, a secondary school teacher from Burgess Hill, impressed reality TV supremo Simon Cowell with his version of Sam Smith’s song Writing’s On The Wall.

The 23-year-old said he was “very excited” to perform and was ready to surprise his pupils with his talent.

He told the judges: “I love teaching, I absolutely love it. The kids don’t know I’m here. I wanted it to be a surprise.”

Tom was given a standing ovation from the crowd at the London Palladium and judges Simon, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon.

Amanda said: “That was an exceptional audition. You are one of the best singers we have had in the last 16 years.”

The Argus: Judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell were impressed with Tom's auditionJudges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell were impressed with Tom's audition

Alesha said: “That was really, really special. You’re a lovely character and your sweetness and humility - all of that mixed together - just made for the perfect audition.”

Music mogul Simon said there was something “very likeable” about Tom and his personality added to the performance.

He said: “There’s lots and lots of good singers out there. I always believe your personality plays a huge part in these auditions as well, and there’s something very likeable about you.”

Tom received four "yeses" and remains in with a shot at gaining a place in the live semi-finals.

Following his audition on Sunday night’s show, people on social media were quick to point out similarities to Tom and former contestant and runner-up Susan Boyle.

One Britain’s Got Talent said: “First weep at #BGT. Well done Tom Ball. I can see him as the new Susan Boyle.”

Another added: “We’ve just seen the next #SusanBoyle moment on #BGT.

“Tom Ball = Susan Boyle. Absolutely AMAZING! Well done fella”, wrote another viewer.

Saturday’s launch episode saw 32-year-old Loren Allred, the original singer of the track Never Enough from the 2018 musical film The Greatest Showman, awarded Amanda Holden’s golden buzzer.

The ITV talent show returned to screens on Saturday for the first time after it was cancelled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain’s Got Talent continues on ITV.