One chance twice

Paul Potts may have a great voice, but he isn't much to look at.

And though he may have won the first edition of reality show Britain's Got Talent, Potts (left) hasn't exactly been leading the life of a rock star.

So it came as quite a shock to the British tenor when someone came knocking on his door, asking to make a movie about his life.

And not just any film maker - it was David Frankel who previously helmed comedy-drama The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Award-winning actor James Corden plays Potts, and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter movies) is his wife in the movie One Chance, which is also the name of Pott's debut album.

"It's kind of surreal to be honest," Potts, 42, told The New Paper on the phone from London.

"But I'm happy with everything, from the way David put it together right through to the way James and Julie played me and my wife in the film.

"Some critics gave it quite positive reviews and even compared it to Billy Elliot (2000 British drama), which is amazing." One Chance premiered at the starstudded 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

After winning Britain's Got Talent in 2007, Potts recorded One Chance, which went to the top of the UK charts. While his star has faded in the UK, he continued to be popular in countries like Japan, Korea and Germany, where he sold out venues.

"I never expected to win and find myself travelling, doing what I love... that's most important to me," he said.

"That's just the way things flow but I've done over 450 shows in the last six years. I've spent time in different parts of the world and I'm still happy that I get to do what I'm doing and not what people would call a regular job." A few years ago, he was approached for the movie.

Potts, who watched the finished film in June, said: "I don't want to preach and tell people how to live their lives, but comedy disarms people and takes down barriers."

The film, set to premiere here in January, covers his traumatic past where his confidence suffered from the bullying he endured when in school. Yet, that didn't take too much airtime in the adaptation.

"The movie shows some bullying, but I didn't want to make it too dark and have people walk out feeling sorry for me because then it won't achieve anything," he said.

"I want people to walk away feeling like if you put your mind to anything, you can do it."

All about Paul

1) Potts was bullied from the age of seven until he turned 19, when he graduated. He said his voice had always been a source of solace during the trauma.

2) His most traumatic bullying incident was being thrown at a window. He cut his head and needed seven stitches to close the wound.

3) His wife calls him Last-lap Larry because he leaves everything to the last minute. When it came to writing his thesis for his degree, he "did it over a weekend".

4) In 1996, he became the youngest member of Bristol City Council when he was elected at age 26. He served for seven years.

5) When he entered Britain's Got Talent, Potts was heavily in debt and almost had his home repossessed by the bank. He cleared his debt after winning the £100,000 (S$ 200,000) prize


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