MELTING Amanda Holden’s heart wasn’t an easy task for Herbie Armstrong.
And now the pub landlord will have to impress ruthless Simon Cowell in tonight’s semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent.
The 66-year-old, who runs The Fountain Inn, Rowlands Castle, was put through to the live rounds by the judges on Sunday.
He will have to win the hearts of millions of viewers in tonight’s show to earn himself a place in the final.
Herbie said: ‘I’m feeling pretty good but nervous at the same time.
‘I’ve been up to see the new stage which I will be performing on.
‘It looks amazing.
‘At least this time I won’t have to walk straight out onto the stage when it’s all unfamiliar.
‘I feel like such an old grandad because everyone else there is so young.
‘I hope everyone watches and votes for me.
‘I’m no Susan Boyle but I’m a singer who sings from the heart and I hope they like it.’
Herbie is not put off by the much-anticipated return of TV’s Mr Nasty, Simon Cowell.
He is full of praise for the show’s boss and hopes Simon will return the compliments.
‘I think he’s brilliant,’ Herbie said.
‘Whether people like him or not he knows what he’s talking about.
‘If he doesn’t like me then obviously he sees something in me I don’t see.
‘He could say anything but I hope he likes what I do because I admire him.
‘People say he is destroying the music industry but I don’t agree.
‘No record label out there would open their door to me right now.
‘His show gives people like me a chance to get noticed.
‘Whether you are good or bad, you get a chance.
‘That’s the important thing and I think it’s great.’
Punters packed into his pub on Sunday night to watch him get put through to the live rounds.
Herbie got off to a nerve-wracking start in the auditions round earlier this month.
Judge Amanda Holden stopped him in the middle of his first song, to a chorus of boos from the audience.
But Herbie went on to wow the crowds with a cover of Van Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.
The 66-year-old was a backing musician for Van Morrison in the 1960s and has been playing the guitar since he was 11 years old.
Britain’s Got Talent is on ITV1 at 7.30pm and 9.30pm tonight.
Viewers can vote for their favourite act to keep them in the competition.
If Herbie receives the highest number of votes he will be automatically put through to the final.
It is then up to the judges to pick one more act to go through from the runners-up.
You can watch Herbie’s impressive first audition for the show online by visiting bit.ly/jXEtX7.