Pianist and composer Shane Thomas hit the headlines in 2009 when he was hailed as Britain’s answer to Mozart, aged just 10. But seven years later Shane’s promising career has disappeared into obscurity.
This documentary, airing Tuesday 19 December at 10.00pm on Channel 4, picks up with Shane as he turns 17, to explore why he didn’t fulfil his potential; and the year when the programme is made turns out to be the most transformative in his life.
Shane Thomas is not your typical music prodigy that’s home-schooled by wealthy parents with friends in high places. Shane’s father Clayton is a full-time single parent of three and the family live off benefits and hand-outs from others. Shane’s father also acts as Shane’s manager, a self-styled ‘dadager’, taking on the role after Shane was slowly dropped by the top-flight music industry execs and record labels that snapped him up when he was 10.
Shane has had a music scholarship at a private school but hasn’t had the money to catapult him to stardom. Cuts to cultural education and community arts provision are making it harder than ever for talented youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to cross the widening divide between rich and poor. Against the odds, can Shane take control of his failing music career and take on the music industry to make it big again?
Executive Producers: Louise Lynch, Richard Macer
Director: David Barnes
Production Company: Libra Television
Extraordinary Teens: Young, Gifted And Broke – Shane Thomas airs Tuesday 19 December 2017 from 10.00pm-11.05pm on Channel 4.