A young pianist who wowed judges on Britain’s Got Talent says he was picked on for reading the Bible at school.
Paul Gbegbaje, 19, said he would bring in his Bible to read at school instead of the Playboy magazines his schoolmates were reading.
But he told a national newspaper that he is pleased he stayed true to himself.
Paul said: “I was different because of what I believed in. In year eight I would bring my Bible for reading time and they would bring Playboy and stuff like that. They would call me Jesus Freak.
“I didn’t swear, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t bunk. They were listening to things in the charts, whereas me I was listening to piano.”
Now, following his performance on the show, he has said some of the bullies have got in touch to say well done.
Paul added: “People didn’t understand my passion and they saw it as strange and weird. But now I am so glad I stayed true to myself.”
Paul told the ITV show that before he had a piano, he imagined the music in his head and then played along on a drawn keyboard on a piece of paper.
After Paul played his piece with passion and precision, the judges praised his talent with Amanda Holden saying: “I just think you did an amazing job today”.
Comedian Michael McIntyre commented that he loved it, adding: “You were sensational”.
And hosts Ant and Dec also praised the musician for his performance.
Last year a survey revealed that many Christians would feel uncomfortable reading the Bible at work during breaks but the truth is that the vast majority of their colleagues would not mind.
And in 2008 an anti-bullying charity said that one in four children faced bullying over their religious beliefs.