Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery wins Britain’s Got Talent
Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery has won Britain’s Got Talent, pocketing £250,000 and winning a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.
The 89-year-old singer said he was “astonished” to have won the ITV show.
“I don’t know what to say,” he told hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, as judge Simon Cowell saluted him.
“I’m stuck for words, for a change.”
After performing Love Changes Everything for the finale, Thackery said he would “die happy” if he had the chance to sing for the Queen.
“I served my Queen for 25 years and to think I could sing for her would be the end,” he said.
The panel had been full of praise for the performer, who sang Wind Beneath My Wings as a tribute to his late wife in his first audition.
David Walliams told him he was “unbeatable” , while Amanda Holden noted he did not want to win for the fame and glamour, saying: “I know that this is because you served your country and I hope tonight that they serve you.”
Magician X was runner-up after shocking the judges by revealing he was actually former contestant Marc Spelmann, who appeared in the 2018 series but failed to make it to the final.
X had performed in a hood and white mask throughout the series.
But he took off his mask and revealed his true identity at the end of his final performance on Sunday, which centred on the word “Hope”.
“It was always about hope and never giving up,” he said as the crowd gasped and McPartlin and Donnelly held their hands over the mouths in surprise.
“It has been an honour sharing X with you. I am X.”
A total of 11 acts competed in the final, with 10 making it through during this week’s live semi-finals and one act, dance duo Libby and Charlie, were picked as the judges’ wildcard.
The young dancers had stepped in during the semi-finals to replace magicians Brotherhood after they were forced to withdraw from the competition.
Highlights of the evening included a lively rendition of Take That’s Rule The World from the Flakefleet Primary School choir and a moving performance of the Sara Bareilles track She Used To Be Mine from Mark McMullan.
Escapologist and daredevil Jonathan Goodwin terrified the judges when he had to escape from a box that was completely filled with gravel.
As time ticked by and he failed to appear, health and safety workers approached the box, before hanging back as he suddenly dropped out.
The stunt terrified the audience, which included pop star Cheryl.
Afterwards, judge Alesha Dixon asked Goodwin: “What is wrong with you? It’s not good for my nerves.”
The final also included performances from former contestants Diversity and Susan Boyle – who sang a duet with Michael Ball.