Niece of arena bomb victim from Sheffield makes top TV list

Hollie Booth - seated in the wheelchair - and RISE. Picture: ITV
Hollie Booth - seated in the wheelchair - and RISE. Picture: ITV

The brave niece of Sheffield’s Kelly Brewster – who died in the Manchester Arena bombing – has made the top 10 moments on TV in 2018.

Hollie Booth’s performance with dance troupe Rise Unbroken on Britain’s Got Talent received a standing ovation from the judging panel and the audience.

The schoolgirl, whose legs were fractured in the terror attack following an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017, got up from her wheelchair and danced with the help of crutches.

Her aunt Kelly Brewster, aged 32 and from Richmond in Sheffield, saved Hollie’s life by shielding her from the blast, but died as she did so.

Rise Unbroken made the semi finals of the ITV talent show. Simon Cowell said he was ‘very proud’ after watching the troupe’s routine to Grande’s One Last Time. Fellow judge Alesha Dixon added: “That was probably one of my favourite ever moments on this show.”

After their audition a number of the Rise girls burst into tears before the four judges – Cowell, Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams – ventured backstage to congratulate them in an unprecedented move.

Kelly Brewster, 32, from Sheffield, who had been to a concert with her sister, Claire Booth, and her niece, Hollie Booth, died in the attack at Manchester Arena.

Kelly Brewster, 32, from Sheffield, who had been to a concert with her sister, Claire Booth, and her niece, Hollie Booth, died in the attack at Manchester Arena.

The moment has made number 10 in the top TV moments of 2018. The troupe wore T-shirts bearing the Manchester Bee, a reference to the city’s industrious past which took on an even greater meaning as a symbol of solidarity following the atrocity which killed 22 people.

Speaking to Britain’s Got Talent, Hollie's mother Claire Booth said: "We'd seen Ariana before and she was really good. It was just an amazing, happy day that ended so badly. We'd just got up to leave and as we got into the foyer that's when the bomb went off. It took 23 hours to find out Hollie's aunt had died. She died at the scene in the arena."

Her daughter 'fights every single day', she added. "She takes my breath away. She loves to dance, it's everything to her."

Hollie said: "A couple of days after it happened I was saying 'When can I go back to dancing?' I was even saying it to my doctors and they didn't know whether I could."

Claire said Hollie had been part of RISE for 'a couple of years'. "They dance really well but they are friends as well, which I think is a great thing."

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made number one in the list of TV highlights, compiled by ScS from a survey of more than 2,000 people. Over a quarter – 27 per cent – plumped for the Royal wedding as their most memorable television event of last year.

Places two, three and four were taken by the World Cup – England beating Colombia, England defeating Sweden, and then the final in which France won against Croatia.

Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the first woman to play Doctor Who came fifth, and Theresa May’s stilted moves to Dancing Queen at the Conservative party conference made number six.

Actress Keeley Hawes’ death scene as Julia Montague in BBC drama Bodyguard was ranked at number seven, followed by Declan Donnelly’s solo turn hosting Saturday Night Takeaway. Big Brother’s last-ever finale came in at number nine.