Ventriloquist won't let Tourette's ruin his Britain's Got Talent chances
The argus,
May 23, 2014

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Ventriloquist won't let Tourette's ruin his Britain's Got Talent Chances

A ventriloquist will appear on Sunday’s episode of Britain’s Got Talent.

Sam Jones performed his act in front of 5,000 people at The Britain’s Got Talent auditions and millions of television view- ers will see him on the ITV show.

The 21-year-old from Seaford suffers from Tourette’s syndrome but controls the condition to carry out his act.

Said his phone call from Britain’s Got Talent came completely out of the blue.

He said: “I don’t know who nominated me.

“I just got a call saying that they’d seen clips of me on YouTube and would like me to audition for Britain’s Got Talent, I was over the moon.”

Sam usually gigs just once a year to an audience of around 100 people at The Barn Theatre in Seaford, so performing in front of 5,000 people at the Hammersmith Apollo was a completely different experience for him.I was a bit nervous, but it was the best experience of my life so far.”

He added: “I was a bit nervous when I heard that Simon Cowell wasn’t going to be judging, as a lot of my act revolved around him.

“I’ve been doing ventriloquism for all my life though so I was fine winging it, there’s a lot you can get away with, with a puppet on your hand.”

Sam was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome at the age of nine.

Liz Jones, Sam’s mother said: “He’s had Tourette’s all his life but he was only diagnosed at the age of nine because it was so hard to get a diagnosis.

“Somebody sent in a clip of Sam performing and the people from BGT didn’t realise that he had Tourette's, they just thought he was a brilliant performer.

“Of course, there have been hard times but Sam’s a brilliant kid.”

Sam added that he was proud of who he was and that he sees having Tourette's as a positive. He said:

“If I didn’t have Tourette’s then I wouldn’t be as good at what I do because I wouldn’t practise as much and I wouldn’t be as focused.

“I feel people should be who they are, no matter the circumstance, and do their best to do whatever they want to.”

Sam has visited schools including St. Andrews and Seaford Head to tell children about his life experiences and how they should not let anything get in the way of doing what they want to do.

Sam also volunteers as a chaperone for Seaford Musical Juniors, where he mentors young children with disabilities.

Paula Woolven, Director at Seaford Theatre Musical Juniors, said: “He’s one of the best entertainers I’ve ever seen.

“Sam shows that you can overcome Tourette’s and make a success of your life, now he’s performing in front of 5,000 people.