Teenage Brighouse comic Jack Carroll has every reason to smile.
He’s landed a special role in the David Walliams TV sitcom Big School tonight and he’s persuaded teachers at Brighouse High School to help him work from home, so he can fit in his growing comedy club demands.
But the 15-year-old is also grumbling about his fans: they tend to be older women, rather than teenage girls.
Jack was runner up in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent series, which won him a legion of fans and celebrity supporters - but no young and infatuated admirers.
Laughing in his usual tongue-in-cheek fashion, he says: “I am not around enough to have a girlfriend at school and my groupies seem to be old women, which is an unsightly thing.
“Old people are so presumptuous. They think it’s alright just to come and hug me. They don’t know me. That’s a weird thing I have to put up with now.
“I did this short film in Blackpool and it happened a lot. I had to get the director to come and block them off!”
Jack, who suffers from cerebral palsy, having been born 11 weeks premature, returned to lessons at Brighouse High School last month but has worked ut an arrangement with teachers so he can fit in the showbiz work that has been steadily coming his way.
Each week he does two gigs at comedy clubs around Britain, honing his already impressive act.
He says: “I am trying to get out of school. I just want to get going. I want to do anything to get out of that environment.
“I am in Year 11 and legally I have to do five GCSEs this year. I don’t mind if I don’t get them but I am sure everyone else will be pleased if I do,” he adds, grinning at his mother Sue, 50.
“It would be a good thing. As soon as I can get out I will get out. But there is new legislation saying you have to stay in education until you are 18.”
Comic star Walliams saw Jack’s potential in Britain’s Got Talent and has been in constant contact since Jack lost out to the Hungarian shadow theatre group Attraction.
He even wrote a part especially for Jack in his new BBC comedy series Big School, starring alongside Catherine Tate, Philip Glenister and David himself.
Jack says: “He has been really supportive with my career – a big, big help. He asked me if I wanted to do an episode and I said, ‘Yes, of course’.
“I play Dean, a new pupil at the school who has been transferred for bullying. I got to play someone a little evil for once, which made a change.
“I have never experienced bullying in real life. I have never come across it and hope I never will. Fortunately I can hold my own, so maybe they don’t pick on me.”
“When I am on set I have to do tutoring to get the amount of hours in, which isn’t fun when you have been filming all morning. But it’s got to be done.”
His education, however, is still important and he hopes te arrangement will work. He has a tutor while he is on a TV set amd said: “I am striking a good balance, hopefully. But if you see me in five years selling the Big Issue you’ll know it didn’t work out!
“But it’s good to come back and see my friends at school. The other pupils are happy with what has happened to me but the good thing is that they aren’t too bothered about what I am doing.”
Jack, born 11 weeks prematurely, weighed just 3lb 4oz. Doctors feared he had developed the streptococcus infection that had killed his twin brother. Then a bleed on the brain left him with cerebral palsy.
He won a Teenager of Courage prize at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards for his unique brand of comedy. But Jack doesn’t see himself as disabled.
He says: “Coping with cerebral palsy is easy. For me I don’t know anything else. I suppose it is different if you have been an able-bodied person and then have a faculty taken away from you.
“But if you’ve not known anything else then you just get on with it. I’m not saying I don’t moan. I do, quite a bit. But we all need something to moan about.”