Britain’s Got Talent singer Sam Kelly... as you’ve never seen him before
Even before his show-stopping appearance on Saturday's Britain's Got Talent, Sam Kelly was no stranger to the limelight – as these pictures show.
As a student at Sprowston Community High School, the Spixworth teenager took the lead role in a school production of musical Return to the Forbidden Planet where he showcased his acting and singing talents.
His teachers yesterday told how proud the school was of the 19-year-old, remembering how he sold a CD of his songs to raise money for charity, and performed movingly at the opening of a school memorial garden.
Deputy headteacher Liz Wood said teachers and pupils were aware that he had a special talent even then.
'He was cast in Forbidden Planet because of his voice, but he did a really good job of acting too.
'It's fair to say his solo performances stole the show.'
Despite starting out as a shy student, he soon became a regular performer at end-of-year shows and assemblies.
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'Whether it was covers or his own songs, there was always that moment, just like on Britain's Got Talent, where everyone was silent.'
As part of his GCSE Citizenship course, Sam wrote, recorded and sold a CD of his music, raising �200 for Unicef.
He also played at the opening of the school's Nick Reeve Memorial Garden, in memory of a teacher killed in a car accident, where his 'intuitive understanding of the music and what the situation required' shone through.
Sam's former head of year, Pete Sewell, said he had been very popular with his peers.
'I remember in Year 8 and 9 he was very quiet and unassuming, but he soon turned into a mini celebrity with the kids.
'He used to perform with another student, Nathan Fisher, and played at the leavers' assembly. It was very moving,' said Mr Sewell.
'It was obvious at the time that he had a lot of talent. His performance on Saturday night, and his guitarwork, was beautiful – he has a voice which is powerful but also very sensitive.
'It's a gift, and it's being recognised.'
Miss Wood said excitement was building at the school following Saturday's performance.
'I think he can go all the way. He's got the personality, modesty and commitment, and he won't let it go to his head. He'll work hard and recognise that this is a huge opportunity for him.
'We think he's special, and we want to see him back at Sprowston Community High School performing as a celebrity.