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Jamie Cullum

In April 2003, at just 23-years-old, JAMIE CULLUM, a self-taught piano player and singer, made national headlines.

He signed a record-breaking £1million recording contract, the highest ever awarded to a British jazz musician.

In the same week he made his TV debut on the Parkinson show, a far cry from the intimate jazz clubs where he began his career three years previously.

Cullumís passion for music was initially sparked by his older brother who introduced him to an eclectic mix of music from a very young age Ė from rock and pop through to jazz.

It was the sounds of jazz that really caught his attention and whilst hurtling towards an academic career, Cullum began performing his own version of the jazz standards in local clubs and pubs, which helped finance his way through university.

People loved his unique sound and with the money left over from his student loan and some help from his parents, Cullum made a CD which he sold at gigs.

They proved to be a resounding success and his rapidly growing popularity generated so much work that he had to turn gigs down.

Cullumís dream of forging a career in music was beginning to turn in to a reality.

The South Bank Show follows his very first strides in this amazing journey from the months leading up to the signing of his record contract, to the media frenzy that followed and his back to back work schedule.

Cullum, with the use of a video diary, talks us through the highs and lows of the most exciting year of his life so far.

Produced and Directed by Mathew Tucker Edited and Presented by Melvyn Bragg

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