The parish priest of Oldcastle, Meath who bowled over the judges on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night (April 21), is all set for the next round which will be shot in mid May.
Fr Ray Kelly (64) sang the REM song ‘Everybody Hurts’ to a packed auditorium. “It’s a song that’s near and dear to my heart. Being a priest you get in touch with a lot of pain and a lot of joy so it’s a song I feel I can relate to,” he told judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.
Earlier Simon Cowell joked with the priest, asking him if he did exorcisms: “Yeah, we can work on David [Walliams]. Do you want me to zap him now or later?” replied the priest.
Fr Kelly said he would like to be “the first singing priest to win Britain’s Got Talent”.
Simon Cowell led a standing ovation at the end of Fr Kelly’s performance: “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, to be honest…but this is one of my favourite ever auditions.”
All four judges voted Fr Kelly through to the next round.
Saturday’s show was pre-recorded in January. “I only told a few members of my family the result. I had to keep my mouth shut,” he told The Irish Catholic. In Mass in Oldcastle on Sunday last, Fr Kelly’s parishioners gave him another round of applause.