The Autism’s Got Talent Merseyside roadshow was a huge success at the Floral Pavilion in Merseyside last weekend. It saw performers on the autism spectrum face their fears and show the audience their outstanding talent.

Autism’s Got Talent is the ultimate inclusive variety show where anything goes and previously hidden talent is given a chance to shine – and the 19 acts from across the UK received rave reviews from the audience.

The hit West-end production toured from London for one night only and featured ten local acts from Merseyside as well as 9 others from across the UK. The show was seamlessly compered by Radio City’s Claire Simmo, and saw VIP presenters, Nicole Barber-Lane from Hollyoaks, and Cheryl Fergison formerly from EastEnders, take to the stage.

Merseyside-based Autism Together, which this year celebrates its 50thyear as a charity in the region, partnered with autism campaigner Anna Kennedy OBE to stage the show. Highlights from the show included:

  • 12-year-old Andre Adams from Northwich, who sung before he could talk and was inspired to take up music after his piano teacher played Pink Panther on the saxophone. Andre would like to encourage children to take up learning music and even has a music award set up in his honour. He played a fantastic medley of Baker Street, Uptown Funk and Havana on the saxophone at the show.
  • Cal Ruddy, 22, New Brighton’s original country-style singer and songwriter, who has visited Nashville, rubbed shoulders with music producers and even has his own agent and album. Cal and his band wowed the audience by opening the second half of the show with his original song, Maria.
  • Martin Finn, 26, from Manchester, who has severe autism and is non-verbal. But when he’s up on stage, he sings with a perfect pitch. Martin has previously recorded a country music CD and sang a beautiful rendition of ‘You’re Beautiful’ at the show.

Autism experts say it’s no accident that people on the spectrum can be such brilliant performers, pointing to Susan Boyle, who was famously discovered on Britain’s Got Talent. Singing or playing a musical instrument are classed as means of self-expression so people on the autism spectrum may use this as a way of communicating.

Robin Bush, CEO of Autism Together, said:

“The talent at Autism’s Got Talent Merseyside was absolutely phenomenal and I was blown away by all the acts involved. It was such a pleasure to be involved in bringing this event to the North-West and giving these talented acts a chance to shine.”