Forget Susan Boyle, this year’s star of Britain’s Got Talent can’t just sing – he can also sort out your payroll. Our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk, caught up with the singing accountant, Christopher Stone.
When he stepped out onto the stage last Saturday to audition for Britain’s Got Talent, Chris Stone didn’t quite know what to expect – and neither did the audience. The shy, meek-looking 28 year old engendered little enthusiasm from the judges on first glance and when a weary sounding Simon Cowell asked him what he did for a living, it didn’t come as much of a surprise when he muttered under his breath “I’m an accountant.”
The lively crowd was baying for blood at this point, with many booing him before he’d had a chance to sing a single note. “I stood there thinking, this is going to be a tough crowd,” admits Chris. What they didn’t expect was a flawless rendition of Maria, from the musical West Side Story, delivered with the kind of passion that thaws ice caps.
The crowd was floored and so were the judges, who commended Chris’s performance and said they couldn’t wait to hear him sing again. Chris now needs the public’s vote to get through to the next round – and he’s hoping his fellow accountants will get behind him.
“People think that accountants are all white shirts and blue suits and that we just talk about money all the time but we’re not! We’ve got personalities too and I’m hoping my appearance on the show will improve our image,” smiles Chris.
The AAT qualified accountant had always dreamed of becoming a singer and originally studied music at university, but after the family finances dried up he decided to follow in his mother and grandmother’s footsteps and become an accountant.
He went on to work in practice and, up until his recent audition, had a few private clients doing mostly payroll work, as well as working as a payroll manager at a Nuffield Health hospital. Naturally, his old work colleagues are all excited and backing him all the way.
It’s not just accountancy that’s in his blood though; “My great, great granddad was a singer and they used to call him ‘the Yorkshire tenor’ because he was only small!”
While he’s already being touted as the next Susan Boyle, Chris is keen to avoid the ‘pop star’ tag if he makes it through the next few rounds. “I don’t have the image for pop music, but I’ve always loved musical theatre. When I was training as a singer, we had to do a lot of classical songs because that offers the best grounding for your technique. I’m hoping that if things go really well and I get to produce an album, I’ll do a West End musical theatre one and maybe a classical album too,” he says.
Although he has to wait for the results of this week’s votes before finding out if he can sing again, Chris has already decided which song he’ll tackle next. “If I get through, I’m hoping to sing ‘The Impossible Dream’ from Man of La Mancha, which is a big song.”
To do that, however, he still needs your votes. Given that he’s one of our own (and we can vouch for him being a real sweetheart!) he’ll certainly be scooping up lots of votes here at AccountingWEB towers! Check out Chris’ performance below and don’t forget to vote in this week’s show – after all, how often is it that an accountant gets to prove Simon Cowell wrong?!