11-year-old guitarist on Britain's Got Talent leaves Brian May in awe with Queen cover

Brian May (left) and Harry Churchill perform onstage
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/Global Citizen, Britain's Got Talent/YouTube)

Would you want the world to see a video of you at 11 playing electric guitar?

Even if you were to answer that question in the affirmative, you probably didn't sound as good at that age as 11-year-old Britain's Got Talent contestant Harry Churchill did during his recent audition for the popular show. 

Wielding an Epiphone Les Paul, Churchill shook off some (understandable) early nerves and took on a medley of Brian May's guitar parts from the Queen catalog, including the Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You solos. 

Even more impressive, though, Churchill put on a heck of a show while doing so, wowing the studio crowd at one climactic point with some behind-the-head shredding, executed while standing directly in front of the show's judges no less.

Even the notoriously difficult-to-impress Simon Cowell had nothing but kind words for the youngster. "That was a great, great, great audition," he told Churchill, before voting with the show's other three judges to move the young guitarist on to the next round of the competition.

The Britain's Got Talent judges weren't the only significant figures who had praise for Churchill, though. More still came recently from Brian May himself, who shared a clip of the young guitarist's performance to his followers on social media.

"Harry rocks!" the Queen guitar legend wrote of Churchill on Instagram. "Had to post this – congratulations Harry Churchill on smashing it tonight on Britain's Got Talent! Go kill’ em!"

Churchill's electrifying performance is far from the first time that Queen lead guitar theatrics have made their way onto a major televised competition show.

Back in 2009, May and Queen drummer Roger Taylor performed a dramatic version of We Are the Champions on American Idol, with that year's American Idol winner, Kris Allen, and the season's runner-up, Adam Lambert, on vocals. In 2012, May and Taylor performed on the show again, shortly before they began regularly performing with Lambert on vocals as Queen + Adam Lambert.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.