THE Echo’s backing Ben.
Millfield lad Ben Forster is through to the final five in ITV’s Superstar – and just two days away from the chance to secure a once-in-a-lifetime lead role on a new production of role search Jesus Christ Superstar.
Now we’re urging Wearside to get behind our homegrown hero and help him make his dream a reality.
Thirty-one-year-old Ben admitted he had never expected to get this far.
“I actually could not imagine doing this particular process,” he said.
“I could not imagine what it would feel like, even when we sat down with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and he told us we were through to the live shows.
“I would never, ever have any expectation of this happening, so it is wonderful.”
The support from the public, and especially from his hometown, has taken Ben by surprise.
“To be honest, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed,” he said.
“The response I’ve had, and the support from people online, from my family and friends has been wonderful.”
Ben is promising a very special mystery guest on tonight’s show.
“I’m excited because there is a special guest who I can’t reveal,” he said. “And I am really excited about singing with this person.”
Ben’s sister Abbey Lancaster, 37, of Penshaw, is looking forward to seeing him perform tonight.
“It is amazing that everyone has voted for him,” she said.
“We have always knew how good he was, but it is wonderful that so many other people think so.”
Backing Ben has been a real family affair.
“Our mum and dad, Joan and Ted, have been done there for every live show,” said Abbey.
Her one worry now, with Ben so close to claiming the prize, is that viewers may get complacent.
“Everybody thinks he can go all the way, it’s just a matter of making sure he gets here,” she said.
“If everybody rings up and votes just once, we can do it.”
l Superstar is on ITV at 9pm today. Keep up to date with Ben’s progress on his Twitter feed @thebenforster
Comment – Page 18