Britain’s Got Talent triumphed in the ratings on Sunday night, with an average of 8.16 million tuning in between 7:30pm and 10pm as crooning Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery was crowned winner of the 13th series.
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The live final, which drew a peak audience of 9.6 million at 9pm, dwarfed competitors on the other major channels, with the third episode of BBC1’s period drama Gentleman Jack its closest rival with an average audience of 3.85 million between 9pm and 10pm.
While the ratings place the Britain’s Got Talent final among the most watched shows of this year, viewing figures are slightly down on the 2018 final.
Last year, an average of 8.7 million watched as Lost Voice Guy became the first comedian to win the show, with the programme peaking at 10 million.
The Britain’s Got Talent final was full of surprises – with fans left doubly stunned at the sight of former X Factor judge Cheryl watching open-mouthed at escape artist Jonathan Goodwin’s death-defying performance.
Elsewhere, elusive illusionist X finally revealed his true identity – behind the mask was 2018 Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Marc Spelmann, pulling a long-game trick by this time making his way to the final undetected.
While some outraged fans took to Twitter to say that X should have been the true winner, Thackery had been the front-runner according to bookies and secured a healthy 25.3% of the vote compared to X’s 17.8%.
Upon hearing the news he had won, the Chelsea pensioner, 89, told hosts Ant and Dec, “I’m absolutely astonished, it’s incredible, I don’t know what to say!
“I’m lost for words for a change. Thank you very much from all of you and all the backing I had.
“Performing at the Royal Variety is what I wanted to do. Thank you.”
Britain’s Got Talent will return to ITV next year