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Simon Cowell Hints At Paying £78k For Life-Changing Op For 'BGT' Star

Simon Cowell Hints At Paying £78k For Life-Changing Op For 'BGT' Star

Although he's pretty much built his public persona on being a bit of a bastard, it looks like Simon Cowell has got a softer side.

On last night's Britain's Got Talent semi-final, the judge promised to help a young dancer who needs surgery costing £78,000.

Julia Carlile, one of the dancers from act MerseyGirls, has scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, which leaves her in a lot of pain.

Fifteen-year-old Julia's fellow MerseyGirls dancers have offered to donate the prize money, so she can go off to the US to receive pioneering treatment, which could transform her life.

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Credit: ITV/Britain's Got Talent

However, during last night's show, Simon seemed to hint that he'd be funding the surgery, whatever the outcome.

He said: "Whatever happens, we'll make sure you're in a great place."

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MerseyGirls had performed a ballet routine, which the judges seemed to love, especially Simon.

He added: "I don't want to get too emotional, but out of all the acts tonight, you and the Pensionalities are the ones who got me.

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"You're both uplifting and doing something positive."

Julia was just six years old when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, she told the Mirror: "I always used to cover up my back to make sure no one could see it and in rehearsals I didn't really want to take my T-shirt off.

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"But then I got on stage and just did it. I realised I shouldn't care what people think. This experience has changed me as a person, I feel better in myself.

Credit: ITV/Britain's Got Talent

"Now it doesn't even cross my mind that people might be judging me. I don't care any more and don't want to hide away. It's the best decision I've made."

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Julia needs an operation before the end of the year, as her spine is crushing her lung.

The operation Julia hopes to get is an alternative to the spinal fusion surgery offered on the NHS. Spinal fusion works by using metal rods to fuse vertebrae, which would leave Julia with little flexibility and mean she would most likely have to give up dancing.

However, in the US a method called vertebral body tethering is available, which uses screws on a flexible cord, so Julia could still bend and move as normal.

But it's not cheap: the operation costs £78,000 plus airfare. Thanks to Simon, it looks like Julia could be off to the US sooner than she thought.

Featured Image Credit: ITV/Britain's Got Talent

Topics: Britain's Got Talent, Simon Cowell

Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]