Travis George

📷 : COBRA Studios

Travis George auditioned for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent with a Les Misérables song – Stars, which saw him make the live shows where he performed another Les Misérables hit Bring Him Home, before singing This Is Me from The Greatest Showman having reached the Final. Recent shows for Travis have included at Blackwood Little Theatre with magic act Beyond the Illusion, Britain’s Got Talent finalists James and Dylan and illusionist Rod Williams, and he performs regularly as a soloist for Torfaen Male Voice Choir, recently touring Torquay. As an actor, Travis had his first on-screen acting role as Mark Berwick in The A Word, working with his screen mother Lucy Gaskell, as well as Lee Ingleby, and he has since played Louis Marsh in Casualty and had a guest role as Zachary Aldridge in Doctors. Travis answered our questions about his time as a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent this year, singing This Is Me from The Greatest Showman in the Final and playing Mark Berwick in The A Word.

How did you feel auditioning for Series 16 of Britain’s Got Talent and was there anything that encouraged you to be part of the show?

Auditioning for BGT Series 16 was the most amazing experience of my life so far. There is no doubt that it is the greatest platform for up-and-coming talent to try and make a career out of their craft. Friends and family had often encouraged me to go onto the show…….. this year must have just been my time.

What was it like performing in the live Semi-Final and finding out you’d made it through to the Final?

Performing in the live Semi-Final was quite terrifying, but also a humbling experience. So many very talented acts had auditioned and to be one of the semi-finalists was mind blowing. When they announced that I was through to the Final, well, I think it was obvious to anyone who saw me that I was utterly shocked! I was surrounded on the stage by some amazing, talented people and I was one of the two who went through. I was so very grateful to the public who voted for me.

How did you prepare for your Final performance of This Is Me from The Greatest Showman and how did you find the experience being a finalist?

There was not a lot of time to prepare for the final performance, especially as my song was changed last minute…….. I hope that didn’t show. However, the arrangement was so beautifully done that I was able to learn it in time. Being a finalist was just fantastic. I made my family and friends proud and that meant so much to me. I am in awe of the talent I met at BGT and have made friends for life.

How was it receiving feedback from the judges on your performances and seeing the fan response to your time on Britain’s Got Talent?

The judges are some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, they live and breathe performing and are naturals on TV and stage. How could any performer not be delighted by feedback from them? I loved the praise, who wouldn’t? It is heartwarming to know that all the work you put in was appreciated. When Simon (Cowell) criticised Bring Him Home, I could not disagree — he was right and I took note of his comments.

I still get fantastic mail and messages, I’m stopped in the street and, wherever I go, people ask for selfies, it hasn’t slowed down yet.

Can you tell us about performing at Blackwood Little Theatre with Beyond the Illusion and 2020 Britain’s Got Talent finalists James and Dylan?

Since BGT, I was lucky enough to support the magic act Beyond the Illusion, BGT’s finalists James and Dylan and illusionist Rod Williams at Blackwood Little Theatre. That was a great show and a tremendous experience.

They are great magicians and all-round great people, I hope we can work together again.

You recently performed at Cwmbran House alongside Torfaen Male Voice Choir, how was this?

I sing with Torfaen Male Voice Choir often as their soloist. We recently performed at Cwmbran House. The residents sang along with us….. it was a joyous thing. We have just completed a tour in Torquay that was very enjoyable and I was thrilled to find that people knew me and wanted to talk to me.

We understand you’ve been part of a number of other events over recent months including The Awen Project’s Banquet in the Woods evening, can you say about some of them?

Wales at Six has interviewed me, as has local radio Vitalize.

I had the pleasure of attending a Banquet in the Woods evening for The Awen Project where I met the very lovely Charlotte Church. I have opened a Tui shop in Cwmbran and presented awards to leavers at Greenmeadow Primary School and at the National Stars leavers award ceremony.

Performing at a private party alongside Boys y Bryn at The Celtic Manor was a highlight for me.

I performed my own show for Able at Cwmbran to help raise funds for projects for adults with learning disabilities. That was such a pleasure.

As an actor, you’ve played Louis Marsh in Casualty, what is the show like to film?

As an actor before singing on BGT, I played Louis Marsh in BBC’s Casualty…… that is an amazing show to work on. There is a high number of Welsh people in the cast and it sounds cliché but it’s like joining the family. Everyone is so friendly. I thoroughly enjoyed my two episodes there and I hope that further Casualty work comes in the future.

How was it having a guest role in Doctors as Zachary Aldridge in 2020?

Having a guest role in Doctors playing Zachary Aldridge was another situation that felt like working with family. I filmed the episode just before lockdown started and was told they would like me back, however, unfortunately Doctors is ending soon.

Do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role of Mark Berwick in The A Word for your first on-screen acting role and what are some of your favourite memories from working on the show?

My first ever acting role was Mark Berwick in The A Word, the character was a joy to play. He was much like me when I was younger, I was able to draw from my own experience as a schoolboy. I feel very lucky to have got that role!

While browsing autism groups online, my mother came upon an open audition for the role of Mark. She had to work hard to encourage me to go for the audition as I was reluctant. I didn’t think I would be good enough. I had done some local youth amateur dramatics, but was not a trained actor, I didn’t think those performances qualified me to apply for a BBC drama! In the end, I went to the audition and I was the last but one to be seen in the whole of the country and a few weeks later we had a call to say that I got the part!!!

I was over the moon. I have some very wonderful memories of The A Word.

My on-screen mum, Lucy Gaskell, is a friend for life and Peter Bowker, the amazing writer, and some of the production team keep in touch.

It was also a pleasure to work with Lee Ingleby (Joe’s dad on The A Word) for the National Autistic Society because of our work on The A Word. Lee is an amazing actor and I hope I have the chance to work with him again.

Where does your love of performing come from and how did you get into both acting and singing?

Being autistic can make social interactions difficult and, when I was young, I would watch others to learn how to behave and how to be accepted…. so I think I was acting long before I realised.

Singing was something I did from a very young age too, but only in my bedroom, never in public. I have always loved music, it was an escape from a world that often felt alien to me. I would put on my headphones and be in my own ‘safe world’ when listening to music and singing.

I was a teenager before I allowed others to hear my voice, when a friend put a video of me singing on social media. It was well-received and I think it gave me courage, because when I was in a youth group called Hope GB, a group for autistic young people, a man called Peter Karrie, who was The Phantom on stage for many years, came along to do a charity fundraiser. The Hope GB group put me forward to sing with Peter and I had a standing ovation. I realised at that moment that performing was what I wanted to do for a career, both acting and singing.

Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch and music artists to listen to, and how do you like to spend your free time?

Favourite film is probably The Shawshank Redemption.

Favourite singers…. There are so many, but here’s a few: Bryn Terfel, Michael Ball, John Owen Jones (all with Welsh Connections)! Alfie Boe! Josh Groban!

Spare time? What is that? 🤣

I enjoy walking… not hiking, just walking! I love to find old songs and learn them and give them my own twist… I often do this while walking.

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