Comic Steve Royle leaves 'em laughing as he juggles his way into the final of Britain's Got Talent
The Lancashire comedian wowed all four celebrity judges to book a coveted spot in the decider which will be shown live on TV in October.
Steve, a Lancashire Post columnist, Blackpool panto regular and local radio host, emerged as the clear winner in the first semi-final of the talent show - putting himself within touching distance of a dream appearance on the Royal Variety Performance.
"It seems crazy," said the Chorley-based comedian. "It's absolutely unbelievable."
And, after six months of sitting at home unable to work due to the Covid-19 lockdown, he told the judges: "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to perform again.
"It's the first time I have performed for people in six months and it was like a release."
Steve won the vote of all four judges - David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Ashley Banjo - to go through to the final.
For the first time the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals had no studio audience, just 500 viewers on TV screens,
After his performance, David Walliams said: "I so nearly pushed the golden buzzer for you in the heats, it was one of the funniest performances I have ever seen on this show. You have funny bones and you are a very, very special comedian."
Alesha Dixon said: "You are superhuman. You are perfect for this show."
Amanda Holden told him: "I think you are absolutely what the nation needs. That was a phenomenal act, it was better than your audition.
"I want this for you so much because I know you have been on the road and you have honed your act over years and years, so you deserve this shot."
And Ashley Banjo added: "It was an incredible act and I really, really enjoyed it."
Steve told the judges: "I can't begin to thank you for that. It's true I have been working for years and years and especially the last few months have been so hard to not have any work.
"My kids are watching and all I want to do is provide (for them). I have managed to do that in a very tricky career in nearly 30 years and that last few months has been bloomin' hard."