SCREAMS deafened The Sandcastle pub as Ben’s loved ones watched him soar to victory.
The huge crowd of Ben fans gathered in the Grangetown pub to see his final performance and back Sunderland’s new Jesus Christ Superstar.
As the results were announced the eager group exploded into cheers and clapping.
Ben’s cousin, Vicky Talbot, of Grangetown, had invited school pals, old theatre chums and family to watch Ben’s success in the final of Superstar.
Vicky, 35, said: “I feel like I’m going to explode. My heart is going ballistic.
“He was brilliant. When he had a little glitch at the beginning I was nervous, but he recovered and went on like a true professional.”
Ben’s uncle and close friend, Paul Forster, 42, said he was thrilled with his nephew’s win.
Charity worker, Paul, said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. He’s a very talented man and I’m so pleased that it’s finally been recognised after all of his hard-work and dedication.”
The show to find the new star of Jesus Christ Superstar whittled down thousands of entrants before Ben came out on top.
Ben’s 88-year-old grandmother, Chrissy Forster, has watched all of the shows and said it has been an exciting experience.
Chrissy was recently diagnosed with cancer and said seeing Ben perform reminded her of her husband, George, who was also a singer.
Chrissy said: “He definitely takes after his grandad. He was a lovely singer.
“I can’t tell you how it feels to see him win. I said to him last week that he was going to do it,” added Chrissy.
Old Thornhill pals also turned up to show their support for Ben on his big night.
Karin Sehnal, 31, of Hendon, has known Ben since school.
Karin said: “I’m just completely speechless. I don’t have any words to describe how brilliant it feels.
“I love him to pieces and he really deserves this. I knew he would do it. I could just feel it tonight.”
Chris McCulloch, 30, played alongside Ben in the Thornhill school shows.
The tax advisor, of Barnes, said Ben had always showed incredible talent since his school days.
Chris said: “Ben always got the lead roles in school. He had the talent and we know he deserves it.”
SUNDERLAND’S Ben Forster was last night triumphantly crowned winner of smash hit ITV show Superstar.
The Millfield lad came out top in the competition and the 31-year-old will now play the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar when it hits the country’s arenas.
Ben dazzled the judges and audience in the tense final with a show-stopping performance of Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen.
The judges piled on the praise after Ben’s performance.
Comedian Dawn French said: “You always tell the story.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber added: “It’s almost like you should be on a show called I’m a Divinity, Get me Out of Here.
“You’ve set the benchmark for the competition tonight.”
When the results were announced, an emotional Ben broke down in tears but recovered to thank everybody who had supported him.
Ben tweeted: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! You have made my dreams come true tonight!! Ur support has been amazing!!! Love u all!”
Ben later confessed he thought he had blown it after missing his cue.
He said: “I heard the beginning and I was like, I was supposed to start then.
“I basically messed up my song. I really thought I’d blown it. When she said my name, I was just like ‘what?’”
Ben said he is excited about the arena tour.
“The fact I’m going to go and do the tour and get out and see everyone in every city around the country – it’s the most exciting prospect. It’s what I’ve wanted to all my life, it’s what I’ve been trying to do all my life.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt and I think it’s the best thing to ever happen to me.
“I’ve never felt a more elated feeling in my life,” added Ben.
The ex-Thornhill pupil beat off stiff competition from fellow finalists Roger Wright and Rory Taylor.
After the show, Ben’s sister, Abbey Lancaster, 37, of Penshaw, said that the atmosphere in the studio was electric when Ben’s name was called out.
She said: “We just can’t believe it. We’re all just looking at each other and it’s like it’s not real.
“We were jumping and shouting and screaming when his name was announced. We just couldn’t believe it.
“Honestly, we all just feel absolutely incredible.”
And Abbey said Ben’s road to superstardom has been packed with hard-work and dedication.
“He has worked his socks off for this for the last 15 years, since he moved to London,” said Abbey.
“He has always worked but it has always been a bit of a struggle. He always fought for it.”
Ben also writes his own music and Abbey is confident his win will give him the chance to explore the possibility of getting his own songs out there.
“This will be a big platform for his own music. People are already asking him about recording an album.
“He has the world at his feet,” she added.
THE search for a new superstar came to a close with the result that Sunderland was hoping for.
With much fanfare the show kicked off with a joint song from the three prospective Jesus’s who came together and sang Hosanna, from Jesus Christ Superstar.
First to take the stage was Ben.
After an initial glitch that saw him miss his cue, Ben recovered like a true professional to give an emotional rendition of Freddie Mercury hit, Who Wants to Live Forever.
He effortlessly soared through the high notes and pulled it all off with the charisma and acting ability that have earned him such high praise throughout the competition.
The judges gave him a standing ovation and Jason Donovan said: “You are the benchmark of this competition. You are a Superstar, full stop dot com.”
“I don’t care what happened at the beginning, that was electric,” said Dawn. “You demand my attention now and earn buckets of my respect.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber added: “You are a remarkable performer. You set the benchmark tonight.”
Rory Taylor was next to sing, with Aerosmith’s massive hit Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.
Last to win was Roger Wright who performed the Elton John song Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.
All three then came together for one last chance to win votes and sang Gethsemane from the rock opera.
Roger was first to be voted out, and the former Lion King The Musical star moonwalked off the stage to rapturous applause.
After a tense break the spotlight was on Ben and Rory and eventually Ben’s name was called as the winner.
The crowd went crazy for their new Jesus and Ben seemed overwhelmed by the result, clasping his hands over his mouth before hugging Rory.
After an emotional interview with presenter Amanda Holden, Ben gave one last performance of Hosanna and was joined on stage by the other contestants.