Entertainment & Arts

Britain's Got Talent: Colin Thackery crowned winner

Colin Thackery Image copyright Shutterstock
Image caption The 89-year-old will donate some of his £250,000 to the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery has become the oldest winner of Britain's Got Talent.

As well as winning a slot performing in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance, he will also bank a cheque for £250,000.

The 89-year-old singer said he would make a donation to the south London retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army.

He admitted he had taken part in the programme "for a dare".

"One of the guys, as I was coming off the stage in our club dared me having sung after the curry lunch," explained Thackery, who is from Thorpe St Andrew in Norwich, on Britain's Got More Talent.

"He said, 'When are going to do it?' I said, 'What?' and he said 'Go on Britain's Got Talent'. I said ''Don't be silly'."

After performing Love Changes Everything for the finale on Sunday night, Thackeray 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 told hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

According to overnight figures, an average 8.2 million people tuned in live to Sunday night's final, a 40% share of the audience.

That figure rises to 8.5 million when those watching on ITV+1 are included.

In 2018, an average of 8.7 million viewers tuned in live to watch Lost Voice Guy win the competition, the highest figures since 2015 when dancing dog act Jules O'Dwyer & Matisse were crowned.

When the show launched in 2007, more than 11 million watched opera singer Paul Potts crowned its first winner while an audience of 16.4 million saw Diversity dance their way to success in 2009, with 18.29 million tuning in for the results show.

Analysis by Lizo Mzimba, entertainment correspondent

The viewing environment has altered dramatically over the past decade. So BGT's overnight audience of 8.5 million is a strong performance at a time when watching patterns are constantly changing. While the talent show is no longer enjoying the huge dominance it had ten years ago, Sunday night's figures still represent the show's biggest overnight audience for a final since 2015.

This weekend has also seen some notable viewing figures with Saturday night's Champions League Final giving BT Sport its biggest ever overnight rating, peaking at more than 6 million viewers. Along with Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic, it's an additional example of how a particularly popular piece of programming can draw large audiences away from the traditional big broadcasters.

Image caption The BBC's Line of Duty series five finale is, so far 2019's most watched piece of television

There's still lots of good news around for the likes of BBC One and ITV. The final 28 day viewing figures for the May finale of BBC One's Line of Duty (above) have now been published. It's been watched by 13.67 million, including catch-up platforms, making it 2019's most watched piece of television.

It joins a small select group of shows, major sporting events aside, that can still achieve figures in excess of 13 million. Over the past year, these have included writer Jed Mercurio's other big BBC drama Bodyguard, Strictly Come Dancing and ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Masked Magician X was the runner-up and shocked the judges and audience by revealing he was actually former contestant Marc Spelmann, who appeared in the 2018 series but failed to make it to the final.

Spelman's big reveal was preceded by a video montage of his previous performances during which Ant is seen saying: "Imagine at the end he takes it off and it's someone we know?"

Close to tears, he told the audience: "It was always about hope. I'm never giving up. It's been an honour sharing X with you. I'm X," he said.

Viewing figures peaked at over 10 million when the magician unmasked himself.

The final also included performances from former contestants, dance troupe Diversity and Susan Boyle - who sang a duet with Michael Ball.

"It feels very surreal, she said.

Boyle also confirmed she is set to take part in a new special Britain's Got Talent: The Champions later in the year.

She appeared in a US version of the show earlier this year, alongside former contestants like opera singer Paul Potts.

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