Britain's Got Talent's Richard Jones defends himself against accusations of 'stealing' magic trick


Britain's Got Talent's Richard Jones compared his trick to a cover version of a song as he addressed accusations of "stealing" his semi-final magic act.

The 25-year-old sailed through to the final after wowing judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams when he used Amanda's autobiography in a trick.

Richard used Amanda's autobiography in the trick (THAMES/SYCO/ ITV)

But US magician Collins Key has hit out at Richard, claiming he performed the same trick with judge Howie Mandel's autobiography on America's Got Talent in 2013.

Speaking on ITV's Lorraine, soldier Richard said the controversy was "actually great" for magic "because it shows that people care and they are interested in magic".

He continued: "In terms of it being similar to some other magicians, all magicians perform very similar effects, but it's their own personal take on the effect that matters. They adapt it and make it their own.

"The roots of some of the tricks that I did on the semi-finals stem back hundreds of years and I have adapted them and made them more modern for our public and it's a bit like a singer singing her own version of a song or a dancer doing her own style of dance."

In the trick that stumped the judges, Richard asked Alesha to choose a page and a word, and then made that exact page and word appear as a message in a bottle which had been guarded by Simon.

David said: "Well it was absolutely astonishing. We had absolutely no idea how you did that. A brilliantly original trick."

Simon added: "You, sir, are a wizard. That has to be magic."

Debbie McGee has previously said that Richard nabbed some of his tricks from her late husband Paul.

She told The Sun of two of his tricks: "Paul has done both of those tricks in the past. Stealing people's tricks is frowned upon in The Magic Circle.

"He didn't steal the whole presentation but people do get cross when you present something in the exact same way."

The show's grand-final takes place on Saturday at ITV at 7.30pm.