George Sampson: Performing arts have been hit with tonne of bricks in 2020

Former Britain’s Got Talent champion George Sampson has said the performing arts industry has been “hit with a tonne of bricks” this year, and he hopes to remind people in 2021 of what they missed out on.

The street dancer, who won the second series of the ITV programme in 2008 when he was 14, will return to the show’s stage for its Christmas special.

Sampson, who is best known for his routine to Singin’ In The Rain, said: “It’s always nice coming back to BGT! It’s like a gentle, humble reminder of how it all started and it’s nice to go back and give it my all to the people who gave it all to me.

“Christmas is also a very special time of year so it’s nice to know we are going to be trying to put a smile on people’s faces after a really tough year. It’s nice to be a part of that.”

He added: “You can expect high energy, as always from me! I’m going to give it everything I’ve got, especially when it comes to the BGT stage.

“And maybe something Christmassy to put everyone in the festive mood with a strong message as I always like to do, and without rain (maybe!).”

Discussing his hopes for 2021, Sampson said: “I think we all have the resolution that we want 2021 to be better than 2020!

“Personally, I think for me, it’s more just to enjoy life, because things can change, and things can happen that you would never have dreamed of. I probably do take what I do for granted, and this year has been a real eye-opener as to how quickly things can change.

“The stage and performing arts industry has been hit with a tonne of bricks this year, so next year when we are hopefully back to normal I want to really enjoy performing arts more and try to remind people what they missed in 2020.

“I also want to remind myself why I fell in love with performing in the first place, because I miss it, that I am blessed to do what I do, and to do all of that with my girlfriend Kaz!”

A dance supergroup, featuring 2009 winners Diversity, 2018 semi-finalists DVJ and Sampson, will open the festive special show with a Christmas-themed performance.

Dance group Mersey Girls and comedian Steve Royle will also perform during the show.

Royle, who was a runner-up in the 2020 series, said: “It would have been strange to not be with the BGT team this Christmas as I’ve spent most of the year with them!

“Seriously, though, I was both excited and flattered that they asked me back to perform at such an amazing venue.

“Expect intellectually challenging political satire or, more likely, it’ll be me trying to be as daft and stupid as ever!”

Discussing his hopes for next year, he said: “My New Year resolutions are to spend more time at home with the family and to home-school the kids.

“Oh sorry, that was last year’s (I stuck to them all!) This year, I vow to tour the country with my new Royle Variety Performance Show and “wow” audiences across the land!”

Britain’s Got Talent: Christmas Spectacular is on Christmas Day at 8pm on ITV.