Boy, 10, bullied over love of West End shows teams up with singing heroes to send a message of hope

Tap above to watch video report by Faye Barker

Charlie Kristensen is a 10 year old boy whose star is rising above the bullies. He was targeted for his love of musical theatre and was on the verge of giving up on his dreams, when the kindness of strangers gave him the motivation to stand up to the tormentors.

Charlie says, "They would call me fat, gay, stupid... go kill yourself. It was just horrible." His Mum Kat spoke of how she saw her son go downhill over 12 months, losing himself and losing "his spark".

Charlie, who lives in Berkshire, is now an anti-bullying ambassador for the Diana Award charity, speaking at events and offering help to others.

This week he has released a single to raise money for the charity, with West End stars joining him on the track, which is a cover of "You Will Be Found" from the show Dear Evan Hansen. The release ties in with Anti-Bullying Week.

It's an amazing turnaround from such a low point last year. It was Charlie's singing teacher, West End actress Jacqueline Hughes, who reached out to friends in the industry when the school boy was devastated by one particularly nasty incident. 

In a tweet, she called out to people to #CheerUpCharlie and within days, there were hundreds of supportive messages, including from the whole cast of Hamilton, Steps singer Faye Tozer and Michael Ball.

Charlie Kristensen with Michael Ball

Many of these messages also feature on the new single, along with the vocals of many top West End stars including Wendi Peters, Layton Williams and Michael Xavier.  Jacqueline too sings on the track.

Charlie's confidence continues to grow and he has recently started hosting his own YouTube show called "Musical Chairs with Cheer Up Charlie," in which he interviews many well known names about their experiences in life and, sometimes, about how they have dealt with bullies too. 

When asked if he ever imagined life could have improved  so much from such a time of sadness, Charlie said, "No, I never imagined I would be in this position, being interviewed by the ITV News."  He is now committed to helping others as much as he can, especially now he is well and truly cheered up.