He's the Southampton born and bred musical theatre star who has become Malta's answer to Simon Cowell. 

Charles Brunton, who starred as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda in the West End and on Broadway and originated the role of Emelius Browne in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks on tour, is currently appearing as Head Judge in Brillianti. 

The reality TV show, the musical theatre version of X Factor, is taking the prime slot on Malta's Channel ONE where it is a huge hit. Brillianti is also available to view online. 

Daily Echo: Charles Brunton as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda

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Despite drawing comparison to the acid-tongued supremo, Charles said: "I'm perhaps a bit more Sharon Osbourne than Simon Cowell.

"I'd say I'm quite positive in my responses. When I critique the performances, I'm honest, open and constructive. I try to be encouraging without giving false hope. 

"Brillianti was a lot of fun to film and everyone had a really nice time, particularly the contestants. It's a great show and is really giving kids a chance who otherwise didn't really know what to do next.

"It's a really endearing show to be a part of and is doing very well."

Daily Echo: Charles and his fellow judges in Brillianti!

The 41-year-old, who lived in Eastleigh, Hedge End, Botley and Fareham during his formative years, appears alongside seasoned musical theatre performers from Italy and Germany in the show, which will return after winning over audiences and critics. 

A stint in the amateur Southern Theatre Productions version of Oliver at Mayflower Theatre in 1994 led directly to Charles appearing in the West End show as an 11-year-old. A Mayflower Theatre bursary also helped him through drama school. 

Charles, who now lives in Brighton with his partner and minor celebrity sausage dog Freddie, has since gone on to appear in a host of top shows including Love Never Dies, Beauty and the Beast, Scrooge, The Producers, The Rocky Horror Show and Nativity! the musical.

Daily Echo: Charles Brunton as Emelius Browne in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks

He starred in hit World War II thriller A Call to Spy, which is now available to stream on Amazon, and has just completed a stint in the London Palladium pantomime Peter Pan. 

Watch Brillianti at one.com.mt/series/brillantimusicals/