Perri Kiely has shared that he faced bullying after returning to school following Diversity’s triumph on Britain’s Got Talent when he was just 14.
The dance star thought all his dreams had come true when the troupe shot to fame on the 2009 series of the talent show, however, after returning to school following their appearance he quickly found that his classmates resented their overnight success.
In an exclusive chat with OK! online, the KISS breakfast presenter revealed that rather than increase his popularity with his peers, appearing on national TV during his second year at high school led to bullying as his classmates struggled to accept his fame.
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“I was in Year 8, I’d be in normal school, the bell would ring and I’d go and perform at the 02, and then have school the next day – which was all a bit of a whirlwind,” he told us, adding:
“Being in Diversity definitely didn’t make me popular at school – I was bullied a lot at school. It got worse after I won BGT, I guess that was a jealousy thing – but I always stood out as the big hair kid in the glasses.”
Perri credits the Diversity boys with making sure he got through this difficult time unscathed.
“Luckily, the boys were there to lean on and if I had been alone, it could have broken me. But I had so much positive stuff to focus on, it didn’t get to me – but it definitely wasn’t the easiest time at all,” he said.
The now 25 year old said how he had been a huge Diversity fan before he eventually convinced the dance troupe to let him join as a full-time member shortly before their Britain’s Got Talent audition.
Perri says he’d tried everything from martial arts to cricket before realising it was dance that he had a passion for age 10.
“Something just clicked!” he tells us, speaking to us about his new collaboration with Samsung which aims to get the whole country dancing through dance tutorials hosted by the Diversity star.
“I saw Diversity performing at a charity fashion show, and I knew I wanted to be in that, so joined their classes – Ashley Banjo was my teacher, and this is where it’s led to,” he said, adding:
“I was a big Diversity fan, I’d go to all their shows, join their classes, go around with them- I’d be the water boy, hold the towels – and then probably my third performance was Britain’s Got Talent.”
As Diversity gear up to go on their nationwide tour this year, Perri admits that it can get frustrating to be known as ‘the little kid from Diversity’.
Perri said: “It is annoying when you walk in and your 6ft2, but that’s who I am and I love it!”.
Diversity’s Perri Kiely will be hosting a virtual tutorial on UK’s trending dances available on the Samsung KX Hub from Tuesday 4 th May, shot on the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G