ITV Britain’s Got Talent’s star on working with Gary Barlow: ‘It’s a dream come true’

When singer Tom Ball signed up for Britain's Got Talent last year, he never could have imagined where his life would end up – especially now he's singing a hit song written by the one and only Gary Barlow.

The 25 year old was previously a secondary school teacher before his performance of Sam Smith's Writings On The Wall catapulted him to fame in the ITV talent show, but now he's rubbing shoulders with the likes of Take That members and Grammy-winning producers like Elliot Kennedy.

"I've looked up to Gary Barlow for years, so this is just insane and a dream come true," Tom exclusively revealed to OK! "It's a complete pinch-me-moment."

Tom's brand new Christmas hit Winter's Song is out today (Friday 8 December) and now the star recalls the moment when he realised he'd landed the gig of a lifetime and was offered a song that Gary Barlow had created.

"I was in Elliot's [Kennedy] studio when he first played it for me and then he asked if I'd like to sing it. He then said, 'Wait, hold on I better check with Gary [Barlow] first since he wrote it. They offered me the chance to record it. It’s a lyrically gorgeous song and I feel honoured to bring it to life," he said.

But Tom's dream of working with Gary, it appears, began at any early age as the Sussex-born star admitted the Rule The World singer was a huge idol of his growing up.

The singer explained: "Gary Barlow is my biggest inspiration, without a doubt. That's why it's so exciting for me that I get to sing one of his songs.

"I also had lots of other influences growing up – my mum and dad played just about everything. From Elton John and Fleetwood Mac, to Michael Ball, Oasis and ACDC, there was a wide variety of music in my household."

This past year has been a bit of a whirlwind for Tom, he explained to OK!, as last September he was still creating timetables for his classes and planning ahead for lessons.

But now, things are going at a million miles an hour and he even gets a few students messaging to say 'Sir, I saw you on TV'.

"It's been a big learning curve," he laughed. "But it's one that I've grown to really love and find it so exciting. I'll get a phone call sometimes to say 'You've got a gig, you need to drive to Blackpool tonight.

"It can be unpredictable but it's something I'll never want to change. Applying for Britain's Got Talent has given me so many incredible opportunities."

And speaking of the ITV talent show, Tom still keeps in touch with a few people from his series – including Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden.

"I've been very fortunate to meet Simon quite a few times outside of Britain's Got Talent. He's an incredible man and so talented in everything that he does. I've also caught up with the lovely Amanda a few times too.

"I also keep in contact with a few people that were on my season. We really bonded during the competition."

But, despite his incredible year in the spotlight – Tom was also a golden buzzer finalist on America's Got Talent All Stars – he remains humble and grateful for every opportunity coming his way.

"I'm so excited to release my new single – it's one for the entire season but also Christmas. I know how big of a battle it is for a Christmas number one though. It'd be amazing to hit that but I'm just happy to be releasing music," Tom smiled as he also revealed his hopes for branching into musical theatre.

"Maybe next year… watch this space."

Winter Song is available to pre-order now from here or to watch on YouTube from here.

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