Plymouth waiter is a huge reality TV star (in Italy)

Plymouth waiter is a huge reality TV star (in Italy)

ALESSIO Trimboli came to Plymouth to improve his English but found himself being inundated with requests to sing – when people learned he’d starred on a top Italian TV talent and reality show.

The 19-year-old has found himself serenading fellow students at the Meridian School of English, and diners at the Rhodes@the Dome restaurant, where he works as a waiter.

It’s because handsome Alessio is not only a trained and experienced performer, he starred on Italy’s top-rated TV talent show Amici.

The programme, which translates as ‘Friends’, is a huge hit in Italy, running for 14 seasons and presented by national treasure Maria De Filippi.

A sort of mixture of Big Brother, X-factor and Fame, the show features a school where aspiring young singers and dancers compete against each other, performing live before an audience and judges.

Alessio didn’t win last year’s contest, but starred in the show for three months, building a huge following.

And he wasn’t too worried about not triumphing – producers had him sing the laid-back hits of housewives’ favourites such as Michael Bublé, Robbie Williams and Ronan Keating.

But Alessio wants to front a rock band in the style of his heroes Slipknot, Green Day, Three Days Grace, Stone Sour and Alter Bridge.

Of course, when Alessio arrived at Mutley Plain’s Meridian School of English only other Italian students recognised him – the other nationalities and the company’s staff were in the dark about his talents.

But when students were encouraged to take part in a team-building karaoke session, the Italians persuaded Alessio to, reluctantly, take the mic.

“That’s when we discovered who he was,” said Neil Pick, chief executive of Tellus Group, which runs the language school. “His voice just came out and people started asking what the story was.”

Alessio, who already speaks excellent English, is spending three weeks in Plymouth, perfecting his language skills through lessons and working at Rhodes @ the Dome.

But when he returns to Italy he plans to take up performing again, this time fronting a group.

“My dream is to play in a rock band,” he said. “I’ve been in some bands and we wrote songs in English. I like to sing in English.

“Italy’s different from here, people are a bit in a tunnel, they like just one kind of music, rock isn’t that popular.

“But the only way you can become a singer is to go onto a programme like Amici.”

Alessio, who is from the northern Italian city Turin, said he’s enjoyed his time in Plymouth and said: “I love this city. The city centre is beautiful and there are lots of friendly people.

“In Italy it’s different – there are lots of sad people and all they think about is work.

“But everyone here is happy: bus drivers, everyone.

“I also like the hills and the countryside, and I went to Looe and that was very good.”

Mr Pick said Alessio wasn’t the first celebrity to study at Meridian and added: “We’ve had a lot of different people, including Arab princes and an Italian girl who was friends with Bono from U2 after working with him at events in Italy.

“Until you get talking to people you don’t know what you’re going to find out.”

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