Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent

David Butcher on the frumpy woman with the magical voice

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Britain’s Got Talent always arrives like a circus train blowing into town. Ring the church bells! Hang out the bunting! Oddballs with groundless faith in their own talents are making fools of themselves! “Finally the wait is over!” Dec kept yelling.

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The same panel of judges was back: Simon Cowell, still with the blinding teeth, the loo-brush hair, the winking; Amanda Holden with the hyperbole (“I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that”); Piers Morgan looking suspiciously younger than he did in the last series.

But the show itself proved almost too much, its knockout moments stacked like timber. An Asian gent pulled a van along with his ear, a tubby father and son spoofed Riverdance, a pirate bloke chainsawed fruit, then a 60-year-old man did a “dance” act where he just swayed like a tree – until Ant and Dec dragged him off.

It was priceless TV, but it felt bloating, like eating chocolates too fast. (One act did just that, hilariously badly.) With its Easter parade of rub-your-eyes absurdities, it felt more suited to being sliced up into YouTube clips.

Two moments of discovery stood out. Street-dance act Flawless did a belter of a routine, only spoilt by the show’s heave-inducing use of I Believe I Can Fly as they hugged friends afterwards.

And when a frumpy woman from West Lothian stepped up and announced she wanted to be the next Elaine Paige the audience tittered. Then they heard her sing. It was magical. The theatre erupted. Susan Boyle had her moment of glory – and an instant hit on YouTube.

See Susan in action…

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