Since triumphing on Britain's Got Talent in 2014 Collabro have wowed with the nation with their mix of musical classics and pop ballads. Now the fab fivesome - Jamie Lambert, Thomas Redgrave, Richard Hadfield, Matt Pagan and Michael Auger - are about to bring to a close their incredible 29-date Act Two tour.



Before they do, we sat down with the band to discuss Simon Cowell, celebrity fans and why they're not as innocent as they look...

- You're signed to Simon Cowell's label SyCo. Has he been to any of your shows?

Jamie: He's been very busy since he had the baby so we haven't really spoken to him much. He's sort of turned into this soft, devoted father so we haven't seen him much recently.

- Are you close to Simon i.e. do you get invited to his house for dinner?

Richard: It's not really like that. He's a great boss and we seem him here and there, at venues, nothing gets signed off without him listening to it and coming back with suggestions. But obviously, he's a huge businessman across the whole world so getting hold of him is incredibly difficult. We see articles now and again where he's over in Monaco, then south America. He's all over the place.

Michael: He just lets us get on with it, actually which is quite nice in a way because you feel like you haven't got that extra pressure?

- How do you feel whenever he's in the crowd?

Michael: He introduced us onto the stage at the Royal Variety Show and it was nice to know that he was supporting us.

Tom: We haven't done a show that he's been at where he hasn't stood up and given us a standing ovation.

Matt: How many standing ovations have we had now?

All: Twelve

Tom: So every time we perform in front of him we get him on his feet, which is very nice.

Richard; The most nerve wracking performance in front of Simon, apart from Britain's Got Talent, was his birthday party, which was...

Tom: In this tiny, tiny Italian restaurant surrounded by celebrities

Michael: We were all stood in amongst people.

Tom: Jamie accidentally elbowed Alesha Dixon in the head and she found it funny.

Jamie: She didn't even flinch. I full on elbowed her in the face and she didn't even flinch. I was like 'Ah! Sorry!' but she didn't even listen to me. It was really strange. I was walking out the door and was like 'ah! Sorry!' and it I've got quite pointy elbows. I remember Sinitta being quite distressed the whole way through the performance. She was very emotional the whole way through. Emotionally touched, hopefully!'

Tom: We were once performing at Windsor Castle for Duchess Ferguson and on her table were Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. We were singing Come What May and they were standing up, conducting along. It was incredible

- You had a chat once in the gents with James Corden. What did he say?

Jamie: He said 'guys you need to cover Mumford and Sons' I Will Wait acoustic style'. At the time we were like 'yeah, cool' and now we're doing it on the tour. We haven't seen him to tell him because obviously he's so busy doing super, global things. We were interrupted half way through because he was shouting at someone having a wee but it was really funny.

- Now you just need to get in his car for the karaoke carpool..

Michael: We won't all fit!

- What other celebrities have you encountered since you found fame?

Tom: Richard danced with Emma Thompson in a night club.

Richard: We were at the Walking On Sunshine movie premiere and went to the after party and Emma Thompson was dancing and having a bit of a laugh and I ended up dancing with her and twisting her around on the dance floor. That was a really good laugh. Also, Louis Walsh, at the Katie Piper Foundation Ball was sitting on our table and we asked him what he'd like to hear on the second album. He suggested one of those big boyband numbers 'No Matter What' and we ended up doing it on our second album. We asked the fans what they wanted to hear on the second album but we also asked celebrities so it's really been a collaboration of other people's ideas.

- Has anyone said 'I don't like that song'?

Richard: One of that really split people down the middle was I'll Be There For You. Some loved it because it was so different to the original. Others hated it.

Matt: A woman came up to us at a meet and greet the other day and said: 'are you doing that I'll Be There for You?' We were like 'no' and she went 'good'.

Michael: She said it was too depressing!

Jamie: One of the funniest things for us is we've got this parallel career with Little Mix. I'm good friends with Jade [Thirlwall] and we grew up singing together. They performed on the final when we won Britain's Got Talent then they performed at the Royal Albert Hall with us when we co-headlined a charity event then she also came to the Palladium and set the audience off laughing because she clapped during our version of I'll Be There For You. It was awkward. Her advice when we won was 'it's going to get really crazy but you need to knuckle down and work hard'. We probably talk more now and whenever we see her she makes sure she comes and says hi to all the guys.

- Has Jade tried to set any of the band up with her single bandmate Perrie Edwards?

Tom: There was a rumour going around that Michael and Jade were dating. Started by me, unintentionally. I said something in an interview once and they must have got my words twisted around the wrong way somehow and suddenly they were dating.

Michael: People had merged pictures of me and her together to make it look like we were dating. There was no truth in the rumour.

- Michael, if you could date any celebrity who would you choose?

Michael: I used to say Cheryl Cole and she's with Liam now. All the girls I like are into One Direction. If I could pick anyone to date I'd say Perrie Edwards. Let's see if she replies!

- Jamie, you're single too. How would you pick?

Jamie: Judi Dench? I like dogs. I'd rather have dogs around, they're nicer than people. I've got a pug called Peggy who is lovely and I'd like lots more dogs. I prefer dogs to relationships. I just don't have time for a relationship. It's probably quite difficult to find a relationship when you're in this situation so I'm not really trying.

- Do you single boys party hard together?

Michael: No, the opposite. Richard likes going on a night out. Him and his girlfriend party hard.

Richard: Go hard or go home. Me and Matt had a mad night in Carlisle on tour. I don't remember half of it.

Matt: I don't either. Let's not go into that.

Michael: We all went out at first then we all filtered off. Tom went off first, then Jamie, then me then these two went out proper clubbing. Then Matt left and Richard stayed out with people he'd never met before.

Richard: I just remember the strip club being closed.

- People imagine you as very straight laced. Does it annoy you that people have this misconception?

Jamie: We're all very family orientated people who have a close group of friends. We're not rock and roll in many ways.

Matt: Speak for yourself. I sit at home eating a box of Maltesers watching EastEnders all the time.

Jamie: We're just normal young people who do whatever we want. We don't live up to anyone's preconceptions because we'd rather just be us.

Richard: If any one of us turns up for work hungover we let down the team. If you're not head straight, voice in perfect shape because you went out the night before you let everyone down.

- So has anyone ever turned up for work really hungover?

Richard: Me! The British Summertime Festival was my worst. I shouldn't have done that. I've learned from my mistakes. Actually, I don't turn up for things because I sleep in too much. I got left in Japan after we'd all been out to karaoke.

- Simon Cowell has signed a fair few artists from his talent shows and not all of them do well. What's the secret to your success versus the people that don't...

Jamie: Talent.

Tom: I just think we've got really loyal fans. People have grabbed hold of us and ran.

Jamie: We don't appeal to one particular person. Our audience, if you look in the concert, is from 14 to 80. It's completely mixed and that's because of musical theatre. Many young people don't like musical theatre but they like boybands - we're a boyband. Many old people don't like boybands but they like musical theatre. We've transversed the two and ended up in a place where we've got this really dedicated, fantastic fanbase. That's why we've kept going to the point we have because people do drop off the radar after competitions, but we haven't.

- Matt Lucas said recently that West End productions are pretentious and not as good as Broadway. What do you think?

Jamie: I would tend to disagree. I think that's disheartening for the west end scene, which is doing really well at the minute and it's the type of musicals that are doing really well that is sadder. Les Mis and Phantom do amazingly but it's the poppy musicals that there have been a big uprise of and people who are very legit musical theatre view those as not as good. I would disagree. I think it's great to get anyone involved in anything. To say that it's pretentious knocks a lot of really good stuff that's in the west end at the minute.

- And if you could turn one thing into a musical...

Jamie: Us! Collabro the musical would be great.

For tickets to see Collabro live go to

By Gemma Calvert

Tagged in