Andrew Johnston, the bullied schoolboy who so moved TV viewers with a rendition of Pie Jesu, has landed a record deal with Simon Cowell.

The Carlisle choirboy, 13, reached the Britain’s Got Talent final last month. But street dancer George Sampson won.

Now Andrew has landed a deal with SyCo Music, Cowell’s division of record label Sony BMG. He’ll begin recording his album, to hit shops later this year, after the Britain’s Got Talent Live Tour.

Andrew, whose performance brought tears to Amanda Holden’s eyes when he auditioned for the ITV1 show, said: “I can’t believe it. I’m so excited. It’s a dream come true.”

A Syco Music spokeswoman said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Andrew, he’s incredibly talented and has huge potential.”

The deal is a victory for the schoolboy over the bullies who tormented him for his love of opera. After his voice was discovered when he was seven, Johnston used to beg his mother to let him stop singing so he would be left alone.

Morag, 48, has told of her son being too frightened to play in the street because of his tormentors.

“The first time I heard him I cried. His voice just blew me away. Even now I get emotional when I hear him sing because it’s such a beacon of hope,” she has said.

She also told how Andrew survived on bread and milk for dinner as the single mother struggled to earn enough while bringing him up.