“For a moment there, I invented the paperclip!”

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FROM a silly dance, big things can happen.

Check Stavros Flatley for example – what started life as a three minute gag has turned into a decidedly fruitful 18 month-long (and counting) career for the father and son act.

Since running onstage at the Britain’s Got Talent auditions at Hammersmith Apollo, the duo have gone on to huge success.

Despite losing out at the Grand Final along with Susan Boyle (and coming in as runner-up never harmed her any), they are still riding high. No-one is more surprised than Demetri, the man behind the laugh, as he told leisure editor Sammy Jones...

“Honestly, we thought we would have a little bit of a joke and then that would be it!” he told me.

“...but we have been all around the world – to China, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Holland...it has been brilliant.”

“When I did the gag first, I thought it was one of the best ever – that a little fat man could pretend to be one of the coolest dudes on the planet, but when people saw us at Hammersmith Apollo they said it was so funny that they fell off their chairs laughing.

“For a moment there, I invented the paperclip!

“It is a great place to be, a great thing to be remembered for, and a fantastic thing to leave behind,” he says of the funny turn.

“Even if people haven’t got the gag about Michael Flatley they have still laughed!”

So hectic has their schedule been since Britain’s Got Talent pushed them into the mainstream that 14-year old son Lagi took a year out of school to fulfill performing commitments.

“I’ve gone back to do my GCSEs though, but I’ve gone down a year.

“It’s almost as if it is my alter-ego working – one minute I am on stage and the next I am in school,” he says with a friendly smile.

And Lagi has some firm ideas for his future, just in case the fame and fortune dries up anytime soon.

“I want to become an electrical engineer, and design stuff – my dad has an electrical business.

“We did think about me going to a Performing Arts School, but I didn’t want to do it because it’s a big move and hard to get into that sort of business, so I decided to get my head down and study for a bit.”

But if the offer of work was there?

“If someone offered me a presenting job or something, I would do it straight away, but I would want to keep studying as well and have something to fall back on.”

Demetri and his son Lagi are currently starring in Dick Whittington at Milton Keynes Theatre, and are loving the opportunity of performing alongside Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page and A-Team ace Dirk Benedict who replaced Luke Perry to head the cast.

Health issues forced Luke Perry to pull out of the show. Was that disappointing for you?

“For my mum it was!” Lagi says, quick as a flash, “But I used to watch The A-Team with my nan and I couldn’t wait to meet Dirk!”

The panto cast will need to keep their wits about them too, as the Stavros boys will be up to mischief...

“We are going to drive them all mad, and muck about a bit,” promises Demetri, “We’ll change the names on their doors for a start, and put toilet signs up...”

So far, Stavros Flatley has given the duo a wonderful career, with opportunities aplenty.

It is the stuff that dreams are made of, really.

But what about the highlights?

“We’ve stood next to The Hoff,” Demetri begins, before thinking some more, “...sat and swore in Greek with Boy George, and that was funny because he swears like a trooper!

“Meeting him was huge because he changed the face of music as far as I’m concerned.

“We met Ray Mears and sat and had dinner with Trevor McDonald and Jim Davidson on the same table. That was weird...”

They even took on the might of the Glastonbury Festival and won: “That was the only place I was scared,” admits Lagi, “I had a bit of a panic attack there.”

As it turned out though, they wowed the crowd, and the movers that Simon Cowell has said were one of his ‘favourite ever dance acts’ are still going strong, taking every day as it comes.

“It would be nice to know where we are going to be in the next five years, but we are under no illusions.

“We are not going to bring out two albums next year and do this and that, so when it’s over we will say ‘thank you very much, we’ve had a good time.’

“In total, we’ve had 25 million hits on YouTube though and that is insane, so we must have hit a nerve...”

Dick Whittington shows at Milton Keynes Theatre through to January 16, 2011.

For performance times, ticket enquiries or to make a booking, call the box office on 0844 871 7652.