24/03/2012 06:20 GMT

Britain's Got Talent: Simon Cowell Horrified By Roman Soldier Maximus, Delighted By Student Sam Kelly (PHOTOS)

The Britain's Got Talent judges gave the thumbs down to one would-be star when he turned up on stage dressed as a Roman soldier.

The 57-year-old retired HGV driver, who told the panel he was called Maximus, was the first act on stage at the Manchester audition and recited a scene from the hit Russell Crowe film Gladiator.

However he did not impress show supremo Simon Cowell who said it was a "horrible, horrible start" to the new series which begins tonight.

Other acts included a man playing a harmonica with his nose and a roller-skating couple before student Sam Kelly arrived on stage with his guitar and brought the house down.

The 19-year-old from Norfolk told the panel he was "pretty much useless at everything but music" before silencing the crowd with his performance.

Cowell told him: "When you've got absolute silence in a room like this you've nailed it".

The stars of the show at the Birmingham audition were a coachload of 133 teenage boys from the South Wales valleys.

The choir, called Only Boys Aloud, brought Amanda Holden to tears with Cowell telling them he had "a very, very good feeling" about them.

There was another emotional performance from teenage duo Charlotte and Jonathan with Cowell telling the latter he was "a future star" and should strike out on his own.

But the singer told Cowell he would stick with his friend after she had stood up for him when he was bullied about his weight.

Some of the BGT contestants who caught the judges' eyes...

Britain's Got Talent 2012 - Episode 1