AN EAST Lancashire schoolboy whose classical singing has wowed audiences will be appearing on the BBC's Songs of Praise this weekend.

Cormac Thompson, 12 from Darwen, will be appearing on the national institution as part of the semi-finals of the Young Chorister of the Year competition, hosted by Aled Jones.

The young Darrener has already experienced a whirlwind few months when what began as a collection of traditional Irish songs recorded on YouTube for his County Down grandmother earned him first a record contract with Decca, then then chance to sing at Blackburn Cathedral and now the chance to compete at national level.

Speaking about this latest accolade, Cormac said: "We were in the Co-op when we found out, I remember it quite well.

"Mum and I were in the car while Dad was in the shop and then there was a phone call and Mum went out to answer.

"I heard lots of excited talking, then she came back and told me and I was like whoa!"

Having competed with hundreds of other boys across the country, Cormac is now one of just five who will be appearing in the semi-final on Sunday.

They will now be competing for just three places in the final.

Getting to the final would be another benchmark that began for Cormac when he joined his school choir at seven years old.

From there he went on the Manchester Halle's Children's Choir, the National Youth Choir, and after being discovered by record executives during lockdown, to release his debut album Hear My Voice last Christmas.

He has also released his first independent single, Faure's Pie Jesu, earlier this month.

The semi-final will be taking place at Salisbury Cathedral.

Mum Alison Thompson said: "Having done the album last year and not had the chance to do many live performances because of lockdown, having the chance to do this in such a beautiful cathedral is phenomenal.

"It's just the sort of building that Cormac loves to sing in, Salisbury Cathedral is beautiful and the acoustics are incredible."

The semi-final will be broadcast as part of Songs of Praise on BBC1 on Sunday November 28 at 1.15pm and on Radio 2 at 7pm.