Who is Britain’s Got Talent 2018 star Lifford Shillingford?

The soulful singer songwriter will be a familiar face at auditions - and he already knows judge Alesha Dixon

Britain's Got Talent Lifford Shillingford

Singer Lifford Shillingford is set to inject some rhythm and soul into this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.

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The Londoner, who had a hit track in 2000 with Artful Dodger’s Please Don’t Turn Me On, makes Alesha Dixon very emotional when he auditions for BGT.

Have a listen to one of Lifford’s performances below:

Just wait until he starts bopping along to the music near the end of the track.

Who is Lifford Shillingford?

Shillingford is a self-employed singer songwriter, and also teaches about singing and the music industry. At just 17 he had his first release, after he collaborated with MC Mushtaq on a tracked called ‘Take You Home’. Then in 2000, he sang on the Artful Dodger chart hit ‘Please Don’t Turn Me On’, which reached No 4 in the charts.

“Back in the late 90s, early noughties I managed to get involved with a group called Artful Dodger. It was great, we got to do Jools Holland, Top of the Pops. We just felt like superstars. Good times,” he says on Britain’s Got Talent.

If you don’t remember the song, this should jog your memory:

As a mentor, he has taught various young musicians, including the original line-up of the Sugababes. He’s also continued to collaborate with various artists, including Disclosure.

Shillingford has also spoken candidly about his struggles with anxiety and depression in the past.

“It was midway through [touring with Artful Dodger] that I started to get ill with anxiety and depression,” he says. “Your career, your wellbeing, even your family – just everything falling from underneath you. It was one of the most painful things you could imagine… Auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent is a massive positive step for me.”

It also transpires that Shillingford actually knows judge Alesha Dixon, with the two acknowledging each other as he walks onto the BGT stage. “We were on the circuit together,” he tells her, and she starts Please Don’t Turn Me On. She’s a fan already.

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Britain’s Got Talent airs Saturdays at 8pm on ITV

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