COUNTY: Sussex man through on Gary Barlow's talent show

Could it be magic? Sussex native Craig Webb is hoping so as he competes in a new UK-wide talent show on BBC One.

Craig Webb performing in Gary Barlow's Let It Shine competition
Craig Webb performing in Gary Barlow's Let It Shine competition

Craig Webb, 28, soared through the audition stage in week two of Take That-themed contest ‘Let It Shine’.

He dazzled a panel of judges made up of Gary Barlow, Dannii Minogue, Martin Kemp and Amber Riley, scoring 18 out of a possible 20 stars.

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“It was a really feel good moment for me,” Craig said about getting through to the next stage, despite admitting he found the audition ‘petrifying’.

For his audition Craig sang ‘Jealous’ by Nick Jonas.

“It was the most surreal experience,” he added. “I feel like it is not happening to me, like I am watching this happen to somebody else.”

A former student at Ifield Community College, Craig lives in West Green in Crawley but works as a singing waiter at a cocktail bar in Soho in London.

Performers for Let it Shine were chosen from thousands of applicants to appear before the panel of judges in the initial audition stage. A shortlist of those who make it through will then progress to the live shows later in the series, when the public will choose who goes through.

The five winning contestants will play the part of a pop group in ‘The Band’, a stage show featuring the music of world-famous boyband Take That.

Craig, who says he is a ‘born performer’, has been training since he was eight years old when he joined Stagecoach theatre school in Crawley where he grew up.

He also trained at the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon, which counts Adele, Jessie J and Leona Lewis among its former students.

While he is still getting used to the cameras and all the lights, Craig knows he’s right where he needs to be.

“I am a pop singer so this seems very appropriate. I am ready for this kind of exposure.

“I would mean everything to get to the live shows,” he added. “Performing is my life, music is all I do.”

While Craig is competing, his family at home in West Green are following his progress closely. Craig, however, is sworn to secrecy over how he’s doing, so his mother, brothers and grandfather have to watch the show with the rest of the UK to find out how he is getting on.

“It’s very hard. When you are going through it all you want to do is talk about it,” Craig said.

Asked who his favourite member of Take That is (apart from Gary Barlow), Craig chose Mark Owen, with ‘Could It Be Magic’ and ‘Patience’ his favourite Take That songs.

Keep an eye on Craig’s progress on the show by tuning in to BBC One on Saturdays at 7pm.

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