Doncaster upside down piano player set for Britain’s Got Talent date tonight

Pianist extraordinaire Colin "Fingers" Henry has travelled the world with his talent and worked with countless celebrities along the way. Picture: Marie Caley D3776MC
Pianist extraordinaire Colin "Fingers" Henry has travelled the world with his talent and worked with countless celebrities along the way. Picture: Marie Caley D3776MC

Legendary veteran Doncaster entertainer Colin “Fingers” Henry is set to star on Britain’s Got Talent tonight.

The comic star, who has been in showbiz for more than fifty years, will appear on the hit ITV show from 8pm tonight performing his famous routine of playing the piano while balancing on his head.

The performer, who has rubbed shoulders with the likes of star names such as Bob Monkhouse, Norman Wisdom, Paul Daniels, Frankie Howerd and many more during his career, is among the hopefuls taking part in the annual talent show with the eventual winner appearing at the Royal Variety Performance.

Colin, 68, is remaining tight-lipped about tonight’s spell in the limelight - and whether judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon vote him through to the next round or not.

He said: “I can’t say how I got on, but I had a great time. I loved going out on that stage and doing my bit.”

The musician was picked to perform in the auditions at Liverpool Empire after impressing judges in an earlier audition at Doncaster Little Theatre where he performed his famed routine.

In an interview in 2012, he said: “It has served me well. Even now, people are still gobsmacked when they see it. I’ve even got the world record for playing the piano upside down.”

Performing was in the blood for Bentley-born Colin from an early age. A mishap playing the harmonica in a talent contest at the tender age of five failed to put him off - “I put it to my lips but no sound came out” - and by seven he had developed a lifelong love of the piano after his mum scraped enough money together to buy him an old upright.

He spent hours practicising and taught himself and by twelve, he was a regular in the pubs and clubs of Doncaster as part of child act The Denny Brothers and later progressed to top-rated local act Lee Walker and The Travellers - where his piano playing antics first took shape.

“One night, we were all fooling around backstage, trying to outdo each other. That’s when I played the piano standing on my head for the first time - it went down a storm,” he said.

National attention came when dad of four Colin, who lives in Barnby Dun, appeared on TV talent show New Faces in 1974 - his routine earning him lucrative summer seasons across the UK with talented fellow South Yorkshire comedienne and singer Marti Caine.

The pair became best friends and performed many times together, up until Marti’s tragic death from cancer in 1995.

He added: “Marti was just Auntie Lynne (her real name) to my kids. We all knocked around together.”

But his act has brought a few hair raising moments too. “I used to take the piano with me, ” he added.

“One night it came off the back of my trailer on the M8 and ended up in a ditch. At least the police saw the funny side!”

And it was quite literally words of Wisdom which propelled Colin into a new chapter of his career when veteran funnyman Norman Wisdom suggested taking his career onto the cruise ships.

“He told me he’d put a word in for me with his agent but I didn’t think much of it. Next day, I got a call from Monte Carlo saying Norman had recommended me and that was it - since then I’ve been all over the world and played to thousands of people.”