ITV’s long-running talent show Britain’s Got Talent finally crowned its 2020 champion last night, with musical comedian Jon Courtenay winning a place at the Royal Variety Performance and the £250,000 prize.
The 47-year-old won over the nation’s hearts with his comical yet poignant ode to the year 2020, becoming the show’s 14th winner.
While BGT has been discovering untapped talent since 2007, it’s easy to forget which dance groups, magicians and musicians won the prestigious talent show in previous years.
We’ve collated all of Britain’s Got Talent’s previous winners and what they’ve been up to since their performances at the Royal Variety Show.
Series 14 – Jon Courtenay
Musical comedian Jon Courtenay became Britain’s Got Talent’s 14th champion last night after winning the popular vote with his comical ode to 2020.
The 47-year-old, who was Ant and Dec’s golden buzzer act, moved the judges to tears during his semi-final performance with a tribute to his late father, before singing about clapping for the NHS and Sir Captain Tom Moore in last night’s show.
Series 13 – Colin Thackery
Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery won the hearts of the British public with his singing skills and bright red uniform last year and became the oldest winner in the show’s history.
The 90-year-old has been busy since winning BGT. After singing at the 2019 Royal Variety Performance, he released Love Changes Everything – an album which peaked at number 13 in the UK charts, and an autobiography.
He also returned to this year’s live shows to give a heart-warming performance of Jackie DeShannon’s What The World Needs Now Is Love, filmed remotely in Sussex.
Series 12 – Lost Voice Guy
Stand-up Lost Voice Guy (real name Lee Ridley) – who performs with a speech synthesiser after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was six months old – won his BGT year in spectacular style. He picked up 21 per cent of the final vote – a huge amount considering he was up against nine other acts.
He still performs after winning, and took a starring role in the second series of Radio 4 sitcom Ability, which he co-wrote. It follows Matt – a 25-year-old who, like Ridley, can only speak using an app on his tablet – moving into a flat-share with best mate Jess and meeting carer/weed dealer/knock-off TV salesman Bob.
Like Susan Boyle and Paul Potts, Lost Voice Guy competed in America’s Got Talent: The Champions, an all-star spin-off that sees 50 winners and finalists from the various other Got Talent franchises compete to be crowned global champion.
However, Lost Voice Guy was eliminated in first round.
Series 11 – Tokio Myers
Musician and pianist Tokio Myers stunned time and time again with his incredible mixture of classical and electronic music, taking popular songs and putting his own stunning touch to them.
Since winning the show last year, Tokio has released a debut album called Our Generation and also featured on Simon Cowell’s charity single Bridge Over Troubled Water in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Speaking about who might win Britain’s Got Talent 2018, Amanda Holden said: “I’d never have predicted Tokio. He was so cool and so diverse that I wouldn’t have thought he was typical for our audience. So I just don’t think you can predict what the mood of the public is.”
Series 10 – Richard Jones
Army man Richard Jones became the first magician to ever win Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 after cinching his victory with a moving tribute to the Armed Forces in his BGT finale performance. Singer Wayne Woodward and Stormtrooper dance troupe Boogie Storm came second and third respectively.
After winning the show, Richard landed his own one-off TV special called Operation Magic and has since toured the UK with his magic.
Sereis 9 – Jules O’Dwyer & Matisse
This series of Britain’s Got Talent will forever be remembered for its ‘double dog’ controversy.
In the series finale, dog trainer Jules O’Dwyer and her dog Matisse seemingly performed a tricky tightrope act and narrowly won the public vote ahead of magician Jamie Raven. But it then emerged that the dog on the ropes wasn’t Matisse at all – it was another mutt called Chase that viewers had no idea existed.
1,175 people complained, and an Ofcom investigation followed in which they ruled that viewers had been misled. Oh dear.
Series 8 – Collabro
The three Britain’s Got Talent finalists in 2014 were all singers, but it was classical five-piece Collabro who became the first ever singing group to win BGT, beating opera singer Lucy Kay and Bars and Melody.
Collabro have gone on to release three albums, although the band is now a four-piece. In 2016, original member Richard Hadfield left the group. An announcement about his departure was made shortly after the band returned to the BGT stage for a celebratory performance in 2016 amid rumours of a rift within the group.
Series 7 – Attraction
They were the act who never failed to leave Amanda Holden in tears, and shadow artists Attraction won the seventh series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2013. The Hungarian group had already taken part in the German version of Got Talent the previous year, but had only placed seventh.
After winning BGT, the group have gone on to star in live theatre shows around the world and a TV advert. Other popular acts that year were teenage comedian Jack Carroll who came second and singing duo Richard and Adam who placed third.
Series 6 – Ashleigh and Pudsey
Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey were the first ever canine winners of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, beating singers Jonathan and Charlotte and Only Boys Aloud. The pair’s Mission Impossible-themed final routine was flawless, and the pair bagged the prize money and the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance. Post-BGT, Pudsey went on to star in his own film Pudsey the Dog: The Movie (in which he was voiced by David Walliams) as well as playing Duchess in the adaptation of Mr Stink. The pair also appeared on ITV show That Dog Can Dance! where Ashleigh was a judge.
Sadly in 2017, Ashleigh announced that Pudsey had passed away and that she would be performing in future with a dog called Sully. In March 2018, she won the agility competition in Crufts with Sully.
Series 5 – Jai McDowell
Scottish singer Jai McDowell caused one of the biggest shocks in BGT history when he won in 2011. Throughout the competition it had been young singer Ronan Parke – dubbed the ‘British Justin Bieber’ – who looked like the safe bet to win. But in the final, Jai sang Bring Me To Life by Evanescence and was voted the winner by the public.
Series 4 – Spelbound
2010 saw gymnastic wizards Spelbound win Britain’s Got Talent. At the time, Simon Cowell said: “I can only say on live television that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen.”
The gymnasts beat dance duo Twist and Pulse in the final, went on to release a DVD and also performed at the London Olympics closing ceremony in 2012.
Series 3 – Diversity
In 2009, Britain’s Got Talent garnered global attention when singer Susan Boyle’s audition of I Dreamed a Dream went global. The Scottish songstress became a star overnight.
So when it came to that year’s final, it seemed almost certain that Susan was going to win. But hot on her heels and proving to be just as popular were dance troupe Diversity, and in a tense final it was Ashley Banjo’s band of merry boppers who scooped the title.
After winning the show, the group went on to have huge success performing tours and numerous TV shows. Perri Kiely won ITV reality series Splash! and also was awarded Star Baker on the celebrity special of The Great British Bake Off. Meanwhile Ashley has gone on to forge a successful TV career, most recently as a judge on Dancing on Ice.
In 2018, Ashley returned to Britain’s Got Talent with DVJ – a new dance troupe of young performers called Diversity Juniors.
Series 2 – George Sampson
Breakdancer George Sampson impressed both the judges and viewers with his moves, eventually winning the second series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2008.
His performance to Mint Royale’s remix of Singin’ in the Rain proved to be so popular that the song itself re-entered the UK music chart and got to number 1. George went on to became an actor and has played Kyle Stack in Waterloo Road, Gary in Mount Pleasant and has starred in Emmerdale.
Series 1 – Paul Potts
For the very first series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, over two million votes were cast in the final which saw opera singer Paul going up against favourite Connie Talbot, jugglers The Bar Wizards, theatre performer Bessie Cursors, comedy puppeteer Damon Scott and dance group Kombat Breakers.
After he was announced as the winner, Paul thanked the people who voted for him and said it was “absolutely bonkers” that he won.
Paul has gone on to have a successful career as a singer, while a film about his life starring James Corden called One Chance won mixed reviews in 2013.
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.
This article was originally published in April 2018.