COASTGUARD officer Alex Bampton saved the day when he went to see pop star Mika in concert and ended up centre stage - playing piano for the Grace Kelly hit maker in Sheffield, writes Graham Walker.
Alex, aged 18, rescued the moment after he requested a song which the band hadn’t rehearsed from Mika’s brand new album, The Origin Of Love.
The budding young singer-songwriter, who is classically trained, shouted back that he could play the track, Love You When I’m Drunk.
So his idol invited him on stage to have a go in front of the 250 invite-only crowd at the Real Radio Intimate Performance in the Winter Garden.
Alex, spurred on by proud girlfriend Molly Stewart, also 18, was note perfect.
VIDEO: Press the play button t watch digital editor Graham Walker’s exclusive video report, including show highlights and interview with Mika.
Mika gave him the thumbs up and shook his hand. He told him: “You’re fearless. That was amazing. If we need a keyboard played on tour we’ll give you a call.”
Alex, from Beverley, in East Yorkshire, said: “That was fantastic experience. I can’t believe I did it.
“The album only came out on Monday but I love the song and I remembered how to play it. I’ve been playing since I was seven, like Mika.”
Mika, who also performed Grace Kelly, Relax, Big Girl and new single Celebrate, said he plans to tour in the New Year, performing greatest hits and new material.
He said: “Songs like Grace Kelly will always be part of my life. The new album has a lot of fantasy to it but there’s an evolution. It’s not as childish or as naive sounding. It’s a different kind of joy.
“I want to thank to all my fans who follow me and Real Radio for bringing me to this amazing venue.”