Playing the bad boy is nothing new to George Sampson.
He may have won a place in the nation’s hearts when he won Britain’s Got Talent at just 14 with his street dance routine to a remix of Singin’ In The Rain.
But nine years later, George has carved himself a bit of a niche playing the cheeky bad boy, and he’s doing it again in Our House, the musical based on the music of ska legends Madness.
‘The director got in touch with my agent and said we’ve got a part in the show we think George would be great at playing.
‘This is the part for me, it’s the best part to play, and the best part to do. I love being bad. It’s just fun, it’s that thing of when you’re at school, I wasn’t one of the bad kids, but sometimes I’d look at them and think, I’d love to do that and get away with it. But now I’m getting paid to do it!’
George wanted to make sure that he could put his own stamp on the role of Reecey, though.
‘I did come into this thinking, is there going to be set choreography? Is the choreographer going to let me do my kind of thing? And he absolutely has. And I have to sing quite a bit but I love Madness, so that’s great. I can sing but I’m not a trained singer, I never went to performing arts college to sing, but I had singing lessons when I was younger.
I play the character of Reecey and he’s the bad boy, it’s the part for me, the best part to play, and the best part to do. I love being bad. It’s just fun, it’s that thing of when you’re at school, I wasn’t one of the bad kids, but sometimes I’d think, I’d love to do that and get away with it.
But now I’m getting paid to do it!’
While George had an unconventional end to his schooling – winning BGT meant he only spent one day in school in what should have been his final year. The sudden fame which led to appearing in the West End and touring meant he had to have private tutoring.
But he has stayed the eternal student in shows since then.
‘I’ve done it many a time, my show in the West End, I played a high school student. I was in [BBC1 school drama] Waterloo Road, where I went back to school, essentially. I was a school student for two years in [Sky1 comedy-drama] Mount Pleasant, and now I’m the bad student in this – it never ends!’
How long does he think he can keep getting away with playing a student? ‘As long as possible, I hope. When I was doing Waterloo Road, some of the cast were in their 30s and still playing school kids, so I’m hoping for the same.’
As the first and so far only solo dance winner of BGT, George is proud of his role in bringing street dance to the masses.
‘When I won BGT, I think people were fed up with singers – there were other shows for singers. When Paul Potts, won it, and he was a very talented person and a lovely guy, but I think after that people wanted something a bit different, and I was something a bit different. After me winning there was a successful string of dancers – Diversity won it the year after me.
‘I’m the only solo dancer to have won it though, unless you consider a dog a solo dancer,’ he chuckles, ‘Spellbound were a gymanstic-based dance group, Attraction were a silhouette-danced based group, there’s been a bit of variation.
‘It goes in waves, but people aren’t fed up with dance, they know it’s well-established now. It’s nice that we’re up there with the elites and the singers, and that’s all we want as dancers.’
Our House is at The Kings Theatre, Southsea from October 30-November 4. Visit kingsportsmouth.co.uk.