George William Sampson (born 29 June 1993) is a British street dancer and actor from Warrington. He won the second series of Britain's Got Talent on 31 May 2008 at the age of 14. He is an official ambassador of the United Dance Organisation.
Britain's Got Talent:
In 2007, dance teacher Dominic Chambers told Sampson that there were auditions in the area that would be right up his alley. He discovered he'd be auditioning for the first series of Britain's Got Talent only when he arrived. In his audition, he danced to "Drop" (Timbaland featuring Magoo & Fatman Scoop), receiving a yes vote from all three judges. However, despite Simon Cowell's enthusiasm, he was unable to convince the other two judges, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan, to let George Sampson proceed to the live semi-finals. This experience made George Sampson determined to re-audition the following year and prove Holden and Morgan wrong. In the intervening time, he continued dancing on the streets of Manchester to improve his technique, and to raise money for his family.
In 2008, George Sampson successfully got through the first round of Britain's Got Talent series 2 auditions by dancing to "Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)". He then came top in the audience's vote in his semi-final with his arrangement of Mint Royale's big beat remix of "Singin' in the Rain", complete with an artificial rain machine on-stage, a formula that had previously been produced in a television advertisement for the Volkswagen Golf GTI. He subsequently won the audience's vote in the final, beating dance duo Signature (second place) and Andrew Johnston (third place). He broke into tears when his win was announced. George Sampson was due to perform a different routine for the final, to a track by the Bee Gees, which he described as involving "a lot of movement without me actually doing anything". An hour before the final started he changed his mind and, after consulting Simon Cowell, opted to re-perform his winning act from the semi-final.
The Mint Royale version of "Singin' in the Rain" went to number 1 in the UK on download sales alone in the week following Sampson's performance and Cowell's label Syco was bombarded with requests from fans to make a video for the song. It is the first time Syco has signed up a non-singing act solely to make a video.
In an interview the day after the final, Sampson told of his return to normality the Monday after the event.
After Britain's Got Talent:
On 26 June 2008, it was announced that Sampson would become the face of a new 11-18 account for NatWest bank, in a deal reportedly worth £1million.
Into the Hoods:
On 4 August 2008, Sampson made his stage debut in the West End hip-hop musical Into the Hoods. With some exceptions, he appeared in the show until it closed on 30 August. Of his new role, he said: "This year is getting better and better - Into the Hoods show is funky and young and I love the music in it - I can't wait to get dancing on that stage!" Into the Hoods played at the Novello Theatre in London and features music from popular artists such as Gorillaz, Massive Attack, Basement Jaxx and many more. Sampson appeared as one of the lost boys.
On 18 November 2008, it was announced that Cowell's record company and Bebo would work together to make an online television show called Follow My Lead, which would include some dance move tutorials by Sampson, but also a behind-the-scenes view of events and rehearsals. They previously worked together to create a similar show with Leon Jackson.
Debut single and DVD:
Simon Cowell initially planned to release only dance videos, but he wanted to do more. He asked the agent of Take That if he could get Sampson to sing, but it turned out he already liked to sing from a young age. His debut double a-side single entitled "Get Up on the Dance Floor/Headz Up" was released on 24 November 2008, with the proceeds going to Great Ormond Street Hospital. After an early fault that meant the single couldn't be downloaded from iTunes for two days, the single finally debuted at number 30 in the UK Singles Chart and remained listed for 4 weeks. The single's position in the charts gradually lowered during that time.
On 1 December 2008, his dance DVD Access 2 All Areas was released. The one-hour DVD contains a documentary about his rise to stardom, four music videos in which Sampson sings as well as dances, and a behind-the-scenes look at those videos, dance tutorials and a set of photographs.
On 23 January 2009, Sampson helped to promote the new Nokia 5800 phone in London's Regent Street. He handed over the first Nokia 5800 sold and performed a live dance routine to "Pump Up the Volume" remixed by VV Brown which he choreographed to go with a touch-sensitive dance floor.
On 29 January, he launched the game Battle Strikers at Toy Fair 09. He also designed a plate for Blue Peter's Mission Nutrition appeal.
On 7 and 14 March, he hosted a 'Street Dance Weekend' at the Alton Towers Resort as part of their new family-themed weekends, alongside street crew Flava. Fans could attend workshops to learn one of his routines and dance alongside him.
On 28 May, Sampson was the guest star at the third Britain's Got Talent semi-final and performed before the results were announced. He also was a guest star in Britain's Got Talent: the Live Tour 2009 and he said that Nottingham was his favorite on 20 June 2009.
On 26 June 2009, Sampson became a Patron of Dance Aid organised by the UK registered charity Hope and Homes for Children.
He danced before the Rugby League match between Crusaders and Salford City Reds at Brewery Field on Saturday 11 July from around 5pm. The kick-off for the match was at 6pm. He also danced at half-time. He was also scheduled to make an appearance in Legoland Windsor on 18 July as part of "Legoland Live."
In September 2009, Sampson and Cowell reached an amicable agreement to cease their professional relationship.
Also in September, he starred in the first all-British 3D feature film StreetDance 3D (alongside dance groups Diversity and Flawless), in which he plays a character called Eddie, released May 2010.
On 16 November, Sampson was featured in the CBBC Newsround special Whose Side Are You On? as part of the BBC's anti-bullying campaign. He spoke about how he was bullied when he was younger. Other stars who appeared in the programme were Joe Calzaghe, Aston Merrygold, Patsy Palmer and Gemma Hunt.
On 5 June 2010, he appeared on Star King, a South Korean television show which features a variety of talented performers.
On 2 February 2010, Sampson joined the cast of the BBC drama series Waterloo Road. His character, a 17-year-old student named Kyle Stack, first appeared in the second half of the sixth series in February 2011; he performed in 18 episodes in 2011.
Sampson performed in 9 episodes of Waterloo Road. He joined the cast of Mount Pleasant in its second season in August 2012. He also starred in the feature film StreetDance 2 as Eddie. He has also appeared in Friday Download (series 3, episode 1). George appeared in the Pantomime Peter Pan, as the lead role of Peter Pan, performed in Derby from 5 December until 6 January.
George Sampson returned to Waterloo Road as Kyle Stack in episode 30. Kyle Stack did not die in the episode, but Tom Clarkson (Jason Done) fell to his death after saving Kyle. Kyle was last seen when Simon Lowsley took him away, so it was unknown what had happened to Kyle. He had a minor role in a 28th season episode of the TV show Casualty. He danced in the documentary The Nation's Favourite Dance Moment, a television film which aired in June. George also starred in a musical verson of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare.
George Sampson continued his television career by acting in Season 2, Episode 5 of The Dumping Ground on CBBC. He acted again in the first episode of Season 4 in Mount Pleasant.
Date of release
UK chart peaks
24 November 2008
Get Up on the Dance Floor/Headz Up
30 (UK Singles Chart)
Series 28 Episode 13
The Dumping Ground
Series 2 Episode 5
Date of release
UK chart peaks
1 December 2008
Access 2 All Areas
1 (BBC Radio 1 Music DVD Chart)
Sampson suffers from a condition called Scheuermann's disease, which affects developing bones in children and teenagers and can cause an abnormal curvature of the spine. "There's no way I'd ever give up dancing. Nothing would stop me," he told the paper. However, since the revelation Sampson said "It's not that bad." and claims that his doctor has said he's allowed to dance. The papers claim George will be dancing for years to come.
A fan of the game RuneScape, Sampson was invited to Jagex to record a dance emote for the game.
Awards and prizes:
Sampson won the under-16 category in the United Dance Organisation's 2007 World Street Dance championships. Following his win of Britain's Got Talent, he returned to the 2008 championships at the Blackpool Winter Gardens to give a performance together with his dance group A2AA (Access 2 All Areas) and to accept an award for his contributions to raising the profile of street dance from UDO chairman Simon Dibley.
In the summer of 2008 he was one of 11 celebrities to receive an honorary scout badge to celebrate the 101st birthday of the Scouting Movement.
He received an award for 'Favourite Winner' at the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards where he performed his signature dance Singin' in the Rain.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license