Britain’s Got Talent finalist pays tribute to Rob Burrow after stand-up routine

The comedian said the former rugby league star was a ‘hero’ after his performance in the show’s grand final.

Rob Burrow has died aged 41
Rob Burrow has died aged 41 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Comedian Alex Mitchell paid tribute to former rugby league star Rob Burrow, after his stand-up routine in the final of Britain’s Got Talent.

The teaching assistant with autism, who won a place in the final after embracing his tics during his routine, called the late athlete a “hero”.

Leeds Rhinos, the former club of Burrow, who was known for raising awareness of motor neurone disease after his own diagnosis, announced his death, at the age of 41, on Sunday.

During his routine Mitchell joked that his biggest achievement before reaching the final was fitting three Creme Eggs into his mouth.

He also left a “final message” and said: “To every school teacher, to every kid I’ve ever taught, we did it.

“Once again from me, love will always win.”

Judge Alesha Dixon told the comedian he “has something really powerful to say”.

“I love how off the cuff you are and natural, you’re a bit edgy, which is brilliant.

“More importantly you have something really powerful to say and I think you’re going to inspire so many people and for that I commend you.”

Paying tribute to Burrow, Mitchell then said: “About an hour ago, before I came on stage, I got the sad news and it’d be remiss of me not to mention it.

“I know they won’t be watching, but to the family of Rob Burrow – he is a hero.”

The first finalists to take to the stage on Sunday were Japanese double-dutch dance group Haribow, who were praised by head judge Simon Cowell.

“I don’t know what to say because it was so brilliant,” he said.

“I mean your first audition was one of the best auditions we saw this year.

“I thought your semi-final performance wasn’t as good as your audition, and then on the night that it mattered you pull it out the bag with one of the most incredible performances.”

Elsewhere on the show Ghanian dancing duo Abigail & Afronitaaa were told the “entire audience” had fallen in love with them after their high-octane dance performance.

During the final, they performed to a medley of songs, which included popular Afrobeats track Antenna by Fuse ODG.

The judges were left open-mouthed with a trick from magician Trixy which culminated in the reveal of Peter Andre, hidden behind a playing card on stage.

The finalists are competing to scoop the £250,000 prize, as well as a spot on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance.

Last year Norwegian comedian Viggo Venn won the prize with his high-vis inspired routines.