After being given the chance to perform in front of a 700-strong audience, schoolboy Alfie Anderson did not disappoint.
The 11-year-old, who lives in Sheepshead Hill, Great Cornard, took to the stage and belted out a rendition of Green Day’s Carpe Diem on his drum kit at Autism’s Got Talent on Saturday.
It was a rare moment in the spotlight for Alfie, who has Asperger syndrome, at the Mermaid Theatre in London – and he relished every second.
“He was fourth on and he was itching to get up there,” said Alfie’s mum Tracy.
“He was not nervous at all and could not wait to get on with it.”
Even a last-minute hitch, which saw his music go missing, failed to knock Alfie out of his stride.
“I could not have been more proud of him and I could not do what he did,” said Tracy.
“I wish I had a smidgen of the talent of those who went on stage.”
Alfie was among 20 acts from across the country taking part in the show. He was offered a place after his godmother, Donna Holland, sent in an audition video displaying his musical skills earlier this year.
Accompanied by an entourage of family and friends, the Wells Hall Primary School pupil travelled to the venue on Friday for a meet-and-greet, before a day of rehearsals on Saturday.
“I think I got the emotions out of the way during the rehearsal and was just nervous before his performance,” added Tracy.
“He loved every minute and, when he woke up on Sunday, he said he wanted to do it again.”
The experience also provided Alfie with hope for the future, as he continues to learn to cope with a condition which makes sufferers uncomfortable in new environments and struggling to interact with others.
“He made some friends, which can be difficult for him to do, and it gave him so much confidence,” added Tracy.