He’s performed across the globe for star-studded audiences including the Beckhams, Roman Abramovich and Gordon Ramsay – so it takes a lot to put Billy George in a spin – but the prospect of being kicked off new TV show Tumble did just that.
The talented acrobat, who grew up in Leeds and is one of the UK’s best Cyr wheel performers, is partnered with former TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh in the BBC gymnastics contest.
And after coming bottom in the first week then narrowly avoiding the boot last weekend, the popular pair are now pulling out all the stops in a bid to reach next week’s final.
Billy, who attended Intake High School in Bramley and reached the 2012 semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent with his gravity-defying act – spinning his 20kg wheel of steel – said: “We start training at 7am and finish at about 6pm, Monday to Friday.
“Everyone is feeling it this week – but in a good way. I couldn’t say a bad thing about it, it’s been absolutely amazing.”
Seven celebrities now remain in the show, which boasts Olympic medallist Louis Smith as a judge.
Billy, 23, said: “That first week was a bit of a shock for us but some of the celebrities have been dance-trained and most have performed live at some point in their careers. Lucy had never even been on live TV before.”
He added: “For a girl that before the show couldn’t even do a forward roll, to be able to do now what she can is incredible. I’ve made an absolute friend for life in Lucy.”
When Tumble ends on September 13, the Circus Space graduate will have just four days off before joining an eight-month world tour. And he is keen to squeeze in a visit to his parents. Mum June runs Armley Dance Studios – where Billy took his first steps and went on to develop his dance and acrobatic skills as a boy. “It’s nice to come home, to take a step away from it all.”
To see Lucy and Billy’s rhythmic floor routine go to www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk.