Success is about realising the dream, says singer Paul Potts
So does he miss that Carphone Warehouse he so famously left behind when he became the country’s first Britain’s Got Talent winner?
Not surprisingly, the short answer, is no.
But that doesn’t mean classical singer Paul Potts has got used to the success that has continued to come his way.
Paul, who plays The Hawth in Crawley on Tuesday, November 3, confesses: “I am still bemused I even got into the competition in the first place. I find the fact that I am still going nine years later incredible, and it is great to be touring the UK again – even though it still scares me a little bit.
“It’s a bit like those adrenaline-junkies who go bungee-jumping. I don’t think I could ever do that, but going on stage is kind of like it. You are baring all in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and you don’t get used to that. It’s important that you never get used to that.”
So yes, he’s still pinching himself: “It still bemuses me in some ways, that I have done more than 600 concerts, that I have performed in 44 countries. I have done some of them a lot. I have been to Korea 24 times. I have been to Japan 14 times. I do spend a lot of time in Asia.
“So yes, I do find it a bit strange, but I also feel very honoured that I can do what I am doing. That, for me, is the definition of success. It is not the money or the fame. It is whether you are realising the dream.”
And sustaining it? After all, plenty of talent-show competitors have won and then dropped out of sight. Not so Paul.
“Some of them have disappeared, but that doesn’t mean they are not doing what they love. They are just doing it at a different level, and if they are still doing what they love, I would still argue that they are successful. People have a very narrow definition of success, just whether you are in the papers or whatever. For me, that’s not what it is about.”
Things certainly changed rapidly for Paul: “One moment I was serving customers in Carphone Warhouse, and then the next I was flying to New York. Everything changed completely. But my attitude has never changed. I have always taken each day as it comes, and I am married to a good person that makes sure I don’t get carried away. It has been down to my own attitude as well even though it meant that at school I got bullied even more. I have always been determined to be who I am. I had an opportunity at school to be someone else in order to be popular, but I have always just wanted to be me.”
Since then, of course, it’s a tale which has famously been told on the big screen in the film One Chance, starring James Corden as Paul – a film which Paul believes remains wholly faithful to his determination to remain himself.
“It’s hard in a 90-minute film to relate my whole life. I did make a stipulation that I didn’t want it to be a documentary. I wanted it to be something that didn’t take itself too seriously.
Relating 40 years into 90-odd minutes and compacting things, then they will change, but the message is still there. That’s exactly on song still. I did write an autobiography that accompanied the film, and for the full facts you can go to the autobiography, but I was very pleased with the film and with James’ performance.”
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