viernes, 21 de octubre de 2011
viernes, 14 de octubre de 2011
domingo, 9 de octubre de 2011
sábado, 8 de octubre de 2011
Ronan Parke doesn’t give two hoots if he’s picked on these days. ‘I’m living my dream. No one can spoil that,’ he says, smiling shyly through his sweeping fringe. Which, given the brilliance of his eponymous debut album, Ronan Parke, is probably true.
Ronan, of course, is the 13-year-old runner-up from this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, on ITV1, whose astonishing voice made him the bookies’ favourite.
Indeed, we all seemed to take this angelic-faced child to our hearts – that is, until the nastiness started. An anonymous blogger posted a 2,500-word essay claiming Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco, had signed Ronan two years earlier and coached him to win the show. Nastier still, the blogger claimed this sensitive child had been encouraged to camp up his act.
Getting stuck in: Ronan Parke is the 13-year-old runner-up from this year¿s Britain¿s Got Talent, on ITV1, whose astonishing voice made him the bookies¿ favourite
Understandably, Simon, whom I’ve known through the years to be a kindly soul to kids, was spitting nails. And so, he appeared live on Britain’s Got Talent to tell 11.4 million viewers the allegations were nothing more than a ‘deliberate smear campaign’ against Ronan and the show.
But, as they say, mud sticks. Ronan came second to Scottish singer Jai McDowall.
‘Mum didn’t want me to see the internet blogger thing, but I did anyway. It was all just lies. I was upset that people could say things like that. Simon called my mum up and said he was really sorry about it and very angry. He is such a lovely man. My parents said, “We know the truth. You just need to concentrate on your performance.”
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'When I was on the stage in the final I closed my eyes and forgot about all of it. Then when I finished and looked at Simon he gave me a little wink. I thought, “Oh,” and wanted to smile.’
This ‘oh’ comes out as the kind of excited shriek a child with his first PlayStation would make. ‘When I didn’t win I guess I was quite close to tears, as anyone would be.’ He swallows.
‘But like my mum says, everything happens for a reason.’ And I glimpse that dazzling smile through his fringe.
Ronan, in the flesh, is even more engaging than he appeared on TV. As we sit in a booth at the All Star Lanes bowling alley in London, where he’s sharing chocolate buttons with me, he seems a tiny slip of a boy drowning in an oversized jacket. He’s not at all precocious as so many child stars are. Indeed, spend any time with him and you realise he’d no more be part of a scam than take a sweetie from a pick ’n’ mix without paying.
This shy, artistic child was brought up in a Norfolk village, the youngest son of builder Trevor and nurse Maggie. He was always more interested in fashion and music than sport, which hasn’t always made for an easy childhood.
‘I’m not like your typical boy. I don’t wear baggy stuff – I’m a bit feminine really,’ he says with an earnestness that pulls at my heart. ‘I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
Family boy: Shy, artistic Ronan was brought up in a Norfolk village, the youngest son of builder Trevor and nurse Maggie
'Some kids would call me “gay” when I’d walk past them. Some of the other boys just care about sport. I’m not like that. Instead I like to plan with my best friend Julia what our flat will be like when we’re older. But everyone on TV gets things like that and I accept it.’ His smile is fainter now and I can’t help but want to strangle the anonymous blogger.
Ronan, who had wanted to be in showbusiness since playing a fir tree in his primary-school play, says it actually took him two years to pluck up the courage to apply for the talent show. A family friend finally persuaded him. ‘I’d been thinking, “Yes I can do it… no I can’t!” for so long, I was really pleased when I actually did it.’
He did not tell his parents, who thought it was a hoax when the TV talent show called.
‘My mum said, “No, it’s not real. Just hang up the phone.”’ Ronan admits. ‘But Dad said, “No, it sounds important.”’ Ronan confessed, and the family were soon on their way to an audition that was to enter the ranks of reality TV’s most memorable moments.
When Ronan performed Feeling Good in front of Amanda Holden, Michael McIntyre and Louis Walsh in London, the 2,500-strong audience and three judges were on their feet before the song had finished. ‘Sometimes I have to pinch myself,’ Ronan says. ‘I can remember saying to my brother Declan after the audition, “Has this just happened?”’
Today this air of disbelief remains. The shock of performing on the same stage as his idols Beyoncé and Lady Gaga when appearing at the O2 for the Britain’s Got Talent tour is still fresh. ‘When I stood on the stage where they’d stood, I just said to myself, “Wow!”
'Some kids would call me “gay” when I’d walk past them... But everyone on TV gets things like that and I accept it.’
‘The past few months have been like a crazy dream. Even doing this sort of thing,’ he says, meaning this interview. ‘I really can’t believe it. After the first audition I’d wake up on a Monday and think, “Oh yeah. It’s a school day.” Then I’d think, “But I’m on Britain’s Got Talent.”’
He was overawed when meeting Simon Cowell properly for the first time. ‘I was really star-struck. The person from Sony I was with at the time had to speak for me, because I couldn’t stop staring at him, thinking, “Oh my God, he looks just like he does on television.”’
But Ronan had better get used to it. Sony executives are quietly confident he is going to be as huge as Justin Bieber. Already he has 40,000 followers on Twitter and 168,000 Facebook fans – and that’s before his debut album has even been released. He’s already had a taste of what it’s like to have an adoring public. ‘Girls do come up to me crying and shaking and say, “I love you so much.” One day Julia and I were walking home when two girls saw us and just stood there, screaming. Julia was so shocked. To her I’m just Ronan, her best friend.’
Which is the appeal of this thoroughly delightful superstar-to-be. He is just Ronan, for all the fuss. And so, I suspect, he will remain – if the industry allows him to. ‘My mum says you should always be who you are,’ he admits. ‘If you try to change, you’ll only be unhappy. I’m me.
'The messages from my fans on Twitter say the same thing, “Stay true to who you are.”’
And the kids at school? ‘The ones who used to shout things at me smile at me now. I just smile back. But inside, I’m laughing to myself.’
With which he flicks back his fringe and laughs out loud. It’s impossible not to laugh with him.
Ronan Parke’s self-titled album is out on 24 October on Sony Music. Visit www.ronanparke.com
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2046466/Britains-Got-Talent-2011-Ronan-Parke-Britains-Justin-Bieber.html#ixzz1aBxtYhoM