Boxer pianist wows judges on Channel 4’s The Piano at Manchester Piccadilly train station

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Watch the moment a piano-playing boxer won the hearts of judges and on-lookers with a magical Chopin recital at Manchester Piccadilly train station, in Channel 4’s The Piano.

Leeds boxer, Ellis, 23, wowed Claudia Winkleman, Mika and Lang Lang with his magical rendition of Chopin’s Ballade No.4 at Manchester Piccadilly train station for the second instalment Channel 4’s The Piano. Ellis grew up on a council estate and says he fell in love with classical music after taking free music lessons and being introduced to the instrument through a local council scheme.

Likening boxing to playing the piano, Ellis said: “The discipline you need [for boxing] is very similar to what you need for the piano. You need to be so willing to leave your ego outside to grow and get better.” The Leeds lad, who comes from a low-income family, also said he works so hard at the piano is because he has ‘nothing to fall back on’. “I don’t come from privately education, it was all done through schemes from the council.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hidden above the station, stunned by Ellis’s performance, Mika asked, “Do you think he is aware of how difficult this piece really is?” Lang Lang replied, “Not really… that’s what I love about him, he’s fearless.”

Where can I watch The Piano?

Claudia Winkleman, Mika and Lang Lang return for a brand-new search to unearth more of the UK's most exciting amateur pianists. The first episode aired on 28 April, and featured the classically trained boxer, a dance DJ with the voice of an angel, and an 80-year-old romantic. The Piano Series Two continues next Sunday 5th May, 9pm, on Channel 4.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.