SINGING publican Herbie Armstrong says he is glad to be back behind the bar after his exit from Britain’s Got Talent.
The 66-year-old landlord of The Fountain, in Rowlands Castle, reached the semi-finals of the ITV talent show but didn’t get enough of the audience vote to go through to the finals with his rendition of the song Mandy, made famous by Barry Manilow.
‘I feel quite good – in fact I feel a bit relieved to be honest with you,’ said Herbie, a former Van Morrison backing musician.
‘I got good support from the judges but the thing is there are the four young boys, New Bounce, and Ronan Parke, and they were really great, just superb.
‘I think one of them will win it. It’s great to have got as far as I did, it was an incredible experience.’
Despite enjoying being in the spotlight, Herbie had some strong words for the judges.
During the auditions, Amanda Holden stopped him midway through his first audition song and was greeted with booing from the audience.
After that she went on to support him.
He said: ‘I don’t think she should be on the judging panel.
‘She is very contradictory. At one point she said she felt sorry for me – I don’t know why – but I found that very patronising.’
And he was also shocked that performers could not play without backing.
He said: ‘Simon said he liked my voice but he thought I had chosen the wrong song and it was a little bit karaoke.
‘But I’ve never sung with a backing track in my life and they wouldn’t let me sing with my acoustic guitar because they wanted a big production.
‘So why did Simon say it was like karaoke?’
Comedian Michael McIntyre and Baywatch star David Hasselhoff were both big fans.
Now Herbie is back from London, he has no regrets.
He said: ‘It was great but I’m glad to be home playing music in the pub.’