Patsy May provided a different type of puppet to Britain's Got Talent last year, one which sung, was funny and had a dazzling personality too!
In an exclusive we spoke to the mastermind behind Patsy, Laura Bacon to discuss how this persona came about, her Britain's Got Talent adventure and what the future may bring.
It's clear that a lot of thought has gone into this project, but we wanted to know how this came about. "I was a puppetry teacher at a summer camp in upstate New York and built a simpler version of her just from basic fleece fabric materials. I would use her with kids' acts and did a few performances with a good friend of mine from Chicago playing the guitar."
Yet in 2014, we saw a much greater Patsy May, "When I knew I was through to the next round and might be on television, I had her completely remade, so she looked nicer and had actual boobs!"
During Britain's Got Talent auditions, Laura decided to choose to sing Dream a Little Dream with Ant and Dec on stage, but was that intention all along? "I was quite shy to audition as just Patsy, she always work better with someone else."
"The producers suggested that getting Ant and Dec involved is always a possibility. I saw them about five minutes before I went on stage and quickly just said can you come onto stage? They didn't know anything about the act other than I would say Anton Dec. I am so glad they were up for it and it was great fun!"
With all considered, the audition received great acclaim in the media and by the judges themselves, "It's still hard to believe I got the Semi Final. I think it was because she was so different and refreshing."
Despite the positives, some BGT followers asked why they didn't see the performer, "I was never keen on being seen, so it was a mutual decision with the producers to let Patsy by the contestant." So how did her BGT performances work? "Puppeteering is very tricky although it looks easy. I was cramped up in a box watching the judges and Patsy through two monitors that were in reverse, so you have to think opposite to where you move her as well as counting the lip synch so it doesn't move wrong. Make sure her eyes are focused, make up humorous conversation on the spot in an American accent and sing all at the same time."
We then asked what the Semi-Final performance was like, "I wanted to have her do a talk show and be more risque but it was suggested I do a showstopping song and as a result, spent most of the time worrying about the singing. I didn't get much rehearsal time at all, I think we only got two run throughs. I had a couple of rehearsals with the dancers but I didn't feel ready with all the movements."
"I did have a panic attack just before they called me on stage! I had trouble breathing and I was rather embarrassed to be there when Collabro was just standing there all cool. When my name was called, I just got on with it but if I had done a comedy act then I wouldn't have been so nervous."
So after the rush and drama, would Laura recommend you enter Britain's Got Talent? "I'd definitely recommend auditioning! If you truly believe you've got what it takes and not just because you want to be on TV. It was a fantastic experience and one I'll never forget."
Since the thrills and spills of Got Talent, Patsy has switched on the Christmas Lights at Haverhill, "It was my first festive light switch on! It's my hometown, so I felt fairly chilled about it all. We had a few technical glitches but nobody seemed to care too much, it was a pleasure to do."
"Patsy has also appeared in a musical video by The Banners, got invited to ITV Upfronts after party, done a few gigs and has recently visited Japan. I try to upload little videos and be always active on social media."
With 2015 well under way, we asked Laura what her plans were for the future. "I think the pantomime is definitely on the cards for Patsy. She will be featured in UNIMA Japan soon too. I would love to see Patsy on screen one day though, she works well with adverts, competitions, television, presenting or even interviewing!"
Laura Bacon was speaking to Telly Binge in May 2015. If you wish to find more about Laura, please visit Patsy May's official website.