A 22-YEAR-OLD Barnsley singer, who describes himself as a 5ft 3in cheeky chappy, is already making a name for himself in the music industry.
Courtney Cyrus has already completed a lifetime of work in the world of theatre – and has big ambitions.
Courtney moved to London as a teenager, becoming a TikTok sensation and has shadowed some of the biggest stars in the country.
If his plans come to fruition he could become one of the biggest stars in the country.
But where did it all start?
“I saw the Lion King musical in London when I was younger with my mum and dad,” he said.
“Then ever since that moment I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
“When I was younger I did shows at the Lamproom Theatre, Take2 in Birdwell and the Theatre Royal in Wakefield.
“My mum was an engineer for BT and my dad has a pizza shop – I think it’s fair to say that performing doesn’t really run in the family.
“But my favourite films have always included music and songs so I’ve always known this is what I wanted to do.”
Aged just 16, Courtney auditioned for the prestigious Italia Conti Performing Arts School – whose alumni include Bonnie Langford, Layton Williams and Newton Faulkner – and was successful at the first time of asking.
“I always knew that I wanted to go to drama school in London.
“I auditioned for Italia Conti when I was 16 which is the youngest age they take in, and I got in.
“I’m now able to do the thing that I love the most as my job – I’m chuffed to bits.”
After graduating from the school recently, Courtney’s name has certainly been on the lips of thousands of people up and down the country.
His busking videos on social media site TikTok have gone viral – accumulating millions of views and earning him tens of thousands of followers.
But he admits this time last year he had no idea what TikTok even was.
“I’ve managed to gain 65,000 followers and I’m absolutely loving it,” he said.
“I sing a lot of theatrical songs and then music from Disney.
“My ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ cover in Leicester Square is probably my most popular video.
“I’m not doing too badly to say that I didn’t know what TikTok was this time last year.
“I’m loving it – I could probably earn a living just by doing the live streaming.”
But despite the fame, Courtney said he’s still so proud to be from Barnsley – and you’ll always see him donning his flat cap.
And his accent is certainly unmistakable.
“I can’t hide my accent at all,” he joked.
“To be fair I’m proud of it – and I’m proud to be from where I am.
“I’ve probably done an equivalent of what Dick Whittington did but in the theatre world.
“I’m willing to embrace where I’m from.
“I’m my own person and I can’t think of anyone that I’m like.
“I don’t think that’s a bad thing either.
“I just want to put a smile on people’s faces – I’m just a 5ft 3in cheeky chappy and if you can find anyone else like that then that’d be great.”
He’s currently playing a major role in the pantomime Beauty and the Beast at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe – and he’s loving every minute of it.
“Right now I’m living in Scunthorpe whilst I’m doing panto,” he said.
“I tend to travel wherever the work is.
“It’s been going really well and the panto has been getting some good reactions.
“We’ve been doing shows in the day for primary schools and in the evening it’s for everyone.
“I’m genuinely buzzing that I’ve managed to be a part of it – everyone is amazing who works here.”
But it’s not the first time he’s taken to the stage – and he was the understudy for Barnsley star Sam Nixon as a youngster.
“I’ve done panto before at the Theatre Royal but this is the first time I’ve ever been a lead.
“I was actually the understudy for Sam Nixon for a panto in Wakefield when I was at college.”
And he’s not the only famous local he’s had the pleasure to meet.
“I remember I was doing some voiceover work for a BBC pilot at a studio in Soho,” Courtney added.
“There were some posters of Peppa Pig on the wall so it must have been filmed there, but I know that Katherine Kelly was due in after me.
“I thought about waiting but I didn’t think that was very professional.
“I’ve met some famous people whilst busking including Katherine – people like Emeli Sande have stopped a few times.
“One of the people that I’m still in contact with was Matt Chesse whose most recent film was A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks in it.
“We exchanged details and have stayed in touch – he even invited me round to perform at a party of his and he paid very handsomely.”
But Courtney is determined to make his own name in the business.
“I’ve done voiceover work for the BBC, I’ve done music festivals in Germany and I’m only at the start of my journey,” he added.
“My main aim is to work on the West End.
“I’d also like to do Disney films and even go on a world tour.
“Let’s see how far I can take it.”
You can view Courtney’s work on: