Britain’s Got Talent star inspired by mate who died in Manchester bomb blast
Britain's Got Talent’s Rob King has revealed the secret inspiration behind his rise to the live semi-finals – his best pal who was killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack.
Rob, 28, was heartbroken when Martyn Hett, 29, was one of 22 killed in the terror blast after an Ariana Grande concert in the city’s arena two years ago this month.
Making it through to the live semis of the ITV talent show last night, barman Rob says his friend was his biggest fan.
“Martyn believed in me more than I did,” he said . “The symptom of Martyn’s friendship was that he made you feel like a star.
“After everything that happened, I thought that if he believed in me as he did then I should start believing in myself.
“We talk about the spirit of Martyn, which means doing what you want to do. Live your passions. We’re all doing that in some way at the moment. And that’s Martyn’s influence.
“I don’t want to work behind a bar the rest of my life. I want to take it to the next level.”
Rob sang at Coronation Street superfan Martyn’s funeral and vigil, which led to an invitation to close Manchester Pride 2017.
That gave him the confidence to audition for BGT.
Rob wowed with his version of Rise Like A Phoenix, first sang by Austrian Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.
“Singing at the vigil and funeral gave me strength,” said Rob, of Altrincham, a barman at Salford’s Lowry theatre. “That’s 100 per cent down to Martyn. I’ll be forever grateful. He changed my life.”
They became pals seven years earlier after following each other on Twitter . Rob came to the rescue when he was stranded in Nottingham.
He said: “Martyn fell asleep on a train and ended up in Nottingham, so he tweeted, ‘Do I know anyone there?’. I happened to be there so I said he could stay.” They became such firm friends, Martyn went to all Rob’s gigs.
Now Rob’s success is bittersweet, as it coincides with the terrible anniversary. He was at work when he heard about the terror attack on May 22, 2017. “I’m always thinking about Martyn but it comes to the forefront at this time of year,” he said.
“We spent the anniversary on Wednesday at Martyn’s mum’s house with family and friends. We hung out, drank prosecco and ate bratwurst. Martyn’s whole life was a celebration, so we celebrate him.”
Looking ahead to this week’s performance, Rob says he’s ready to give it his all when he takes on a well-known musical theatre song – with a twist. “I’m treating like it’s an exam,” he said. “I’m constantly practising and trying to keep myself healthy.
"If I encounter anyone with a slight sniffle, they’re sitting at the other side of the building.
“I see this as the chance of my life.”
BGT live shows start on Monday at 7.30pm on ITV.
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