Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett performs at show to raise money for Basingstoke flood victims

Basingstoke Gazette: Steve Hewlett on stage at The Vyne Buy this photo Steve Hewlett on stage at The Vyne

AN ENTERTAINER who came fourth on Britain’s Got Talent returned to the place where it all started to perform in a charity show in support of Basingstoke flood victims.

Steve Hewlett entertained an audience of nearly 200 at The Vyne Community School – where he performed his first-ever public show, aged 13, when he was a pupil at the school, in Vyne Road.

The ventriloquist, who was propelled into the spotlight when he competed in the ITV show last year, was joined at The Vyne by other Basingstoke artists, to raise money for the victims of the winter floods, which badly affected people and homes in the Buckskin area of town.

Tickets for the event only went on sale seven days beforehand, and were promoted by staff at the school, including headteacher Mark Kingswood.

Steve, who is currently on tour and comes to The Haymarket on June 21, said: “My family were key to getting people there too. I can always rely on my mum to tell everyone what I’m up to and, with my sister-in-law plugging away on Twitter as @arthursangels, we will always have an amazing event.”

He added: “Tickets are nearly sold out for The Haymarket on my tour and because of this I put together new material for The Vyne in case people had tickets for both shows.

“Seeing familiar faces was great and seeing a few friends with their children was sweet, especially David (Diddy) Thomas, who was part of my technical team on my first-ever school assembly in 1988 at The Vyne, 26 years ago!

“I love my past and Basingstoke – I will always come back.”

Fellow Britain’s Got Talent star Lauren Thalia, who also comes from Basing-stoke, joined Steve on stage, along with Natasha Watts, a pop/jazz singer from the town.

After the show, Steve and his puppet Arthur Lager posed for pictures with fans.

It is hoped that the show will have raised about £1,000.

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