Northern Ireland news

Co Down singer Mark McMullan through to Britain's Got Talent final

Mark McMullan took to the stage for last night's semi-final. Picture by Britain's Got Talent

CO Down singer Mark McMullan last night made it through to the final of Britain's Got Talent.

The Crossgar man's rendition of 'You Will be Found' from the musical Dear Evan Hansen saw him secure a place in Sunday's night's finale of the ITV talent show.

The 23-year-old singer was praised by the judges for giving a "terrific" performance ahead of the public vote, where he finished in the top three.

He then booked his place in the final after the decision went to the act with the highest number of votes from the public.

Mark had previously made it through to last night's semi-final after one of the most emotional moments of this year's series when he performed a Les Misérables classic in tribute to his brother Declan.

Singing 'Bring Him Home' during his first audition, he told the judges he wanted to dedicate his performance to Declan (26), who has had locked-in syndrome since suffering a cardiac arrest in March 2012.

Declan and their parents travelled from Co Down to be in the audience last night to cheer Mark on.

Speaking about his brother before he sang live, Mark said that "music helps the two of us stay connected" and described how Declan is "my biggest inspiration".

Following the performance last night, judge Simon Cowell said Mark had shown great "strength" adding, "you had that leading man moment".

Fellow judge David Walliams admired the "strength and vulnerabilty" shown by the singer, while Amanda Holden said it was a "terrific audition and you have won the hearts of the nation".

Speaking after he had sang, Mark said it was a "surreal" experience and he "never dreamed of being here" adding that it was "an absolute pleasure" to be on stage.

The Co Down man was among eight acts in last night's semi-final with talents ranging from ventriloquism to dance.

Ursula Burns from Belfast also returned to the stage with another harp-playing performance, but was met with a red buzzer from Cowell and was later knocked out of the competition.

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