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Britain's Got Talent's breakdancing pensioner ordered to pay back £3,000 he received in disability allowance



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 11:02 AM on 12th October 2009



A breakdancing pensioner has been told to pay back thousands of pounds in benefits after showing off his moves on Britain's Got Talent.

Fred Bowers, 74, amazed the show's judges and millions of viewers with his body-popping routines, which included spinning on his head.


But the Department for Work and Pensions was less impressed - because he was still claiming £50 a month in Motability allowance.


article-1219802-0515375D000005DC-10_468x352.jpg Britain's Got Benefits: The DWP decided Fred Bowers no longer qualified for disability pay-outs after his appearance on Britain's Got Talent


Earlier this year officials stopped the money, which was used to pay for his car, after deciding he no longer qualified for the pay-outs.


And now the former soldier, of Sutton Bonnington, near Loughborough, Leics, has been ordered to pay back a total of £3,000.

Today he denied he had been 'found out' by going on the show, insisting: 'I was overpaid, but it was a mistake by the social.







'I'm not a benefits cheat - I would never do anything dishonest. There was just a mistake, and I was getting more than I should have done.


'I always said I would pay back anything I was found to owe. I was worried I would end up in court, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.'


article-1219802-051536BC000005DC-473_468x327.jpg New career: Mr Bowers has been making public appearances in nightclubs since his acclaimed performance on Britain's Got Talent


Officials launched a probe into Mr Bowers, who claims he has a bad leg, after receiving an anonymous tip-off following his star turn on the show.


Their inquiry revealed he did not meet the criteria for Motability payments and his £70-a-week disability living allowance was too high.


He has now handed back his car and will have to pay back the excess he received out of his pension at a rate of £10.80 a week.


Mr Bowers, who will take more than five years to clear his debt, said the loss of his car meant he would now have to cut back on his partying.


The ex-gardener was already a cult figure on the dancefloors of Loughborough even before he appeared on Britain's Got Talent.


And, although he failed to win a place on the show's national tour, he earned bookings for almost every night of the week after finding fame.




article-1219802-0512974A000005DC-462_468x891.jpg Investigation: The 74-year-old has now handed back his car and will have to pay back the excess he received out of his pension at a rate of £10.80 a week




He admitted: 'I became a bit of a star after Britain's Got Talent. The security staff had to stop me getting mobbed at my first personal appearance.

'But I can't now go out as often now. It's easy to get the bus into town, but they pack in at 11pm - and it's too expensive to get a taxi back.'

The Department for Work and Pensions said it could not comment on its inquiry into Mr Bowers, who was kicked off BGT at the semi-final stage.


The pensioner said: 'It wasn't nice to be accused of fiddling, because I did nothing wrong. Some of what was said was a load of nonsense.


'But I won't let one bad experience ruin everything. I just want to show that even elderly or disabled people can do something amazing.'

Mr Bowers, who now has an agent, is currently in negotiations to appear on German TV - and is determined to have another crack at BGT.


He said: 'The most disappointing thing is I didn't get into the final when I think I could have. All the publicity about the benefits ruined it.


'But I still feel I have a lot of dancing left in me - I feel I have to dance. So I'm practising some new tricks, such as spinning on my nose.


'The pain in my leg doesn't affect my dancing. It usually hurts when I've been walking, but I mostly stand still when I'm on the stage.


'I still have some problems, but the dancing helps. I can't give up now, because it's part of me. I'd still like to be doing it when I'm 100.'

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Guest howyousawtheworld

Susan Boyle won BGT this year didn't she.... oh no she didn't. She only came second. The winners were..... ooooh, tough one. A guy with a puppet?

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Guest howyousawtheworld
A five-year-old who only got votes because all the grannies thought he was "cute"?:rolleyes:


Annoying drama students dressed up like dustbins "dancing" to the same Michael Jackson song over and over again?

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Guest howyousawtheworld
That one sounds a bit too close to the truth for discomfort.............................. :rolleyes:


Why? Was I getting warmer?! :D

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Guest howyousawtheworld
Yup! I'm beginning to think you might actually be a closet fan!!:lol:


How dare you! Speaking of "fraud" talent have you checked out that pathetic Khloe Kardashan (or whatever her name is) page?

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Guest howyousawtheworld
Yes, and it's garbage.:rolleyes:


Some of the Doom Crew are probably more worthy..... although I can't be sure about that. Socialite, doom crewers... not much between them.

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