Richard Jones becomes first magician to win Britain’s Got Talent

"I can’t believe it," admits the soldier who conjured up a win in the 2016 grand final

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After one of the hardest Britain’s Got Talent finals to call in its ten year history, 25-year-old solider-cum-magician Richard Jones has been crowned champ, the first magician ever to do so.

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“I love my job in the army but I think my destiny has always been magic,” he admitted before hitting the judges with an emotional military-inspired performance, which included veteran Fergus and the band of the household cavalry of which he belongs.

“It was brilliant do to military-themed magic. I’ve never seen that before,” David Walliams said. “Also it was just so emotional. We all had tears in our eyes, we’ve never felt that before.”

“I found that so emotional,” Amanda Holden admitted. “How you can tell that story while doing all that with your hands..! And it was such a pleasure to meet Fergus. My grandmother is 95 and single if you want to meet in the bar afterwards,” she jokingly added.

“What a respectful, appropriate time to do something like that,” Cowell continued.

It was a tough final, Jones in the top three alongside Simon Cowell’s own Golden Buzzer – dancing stormtroopers Boogie Storm – and cheeky crooner Wayne Woodward.

But it was Jones who took the top spot, Wayne ‘hold tight’ Woodward in second and the silent stormtroopers third.

“I can’t believe it thank you so much. I want to thank my family, Fergus, I want to thank the Magic Circle, they’ve been absolutely fantastic, everyone’s been so supportive,” Jones said after finding out he’d scooped the £250,000 prize money and a spot at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.

He’s the first magician to win, after Jamie Raven came close last year, finishing up in second place.

Holden said from the beginning that she wanted a magician to win this year. In fact, she said she’d “put money” on a magician winning, so here’s hoping someone listened! She’s the only judge to have been on the panel for the full ten series, so she certainly knows her stuff.

Jones had a good run throughout the series, winning the third semi-final after wowing the judges and the voting public alike with his clever tricks. “You, sir are a wizard,” said Simon Cowell. “That has to be magic. You are genuinely a nice guy who has magic powers.”

As the series came to an end, Ant concluded: “You are a worthy winner”.

Watch his original audition:

And his semi-final performance:

And finally his winning performance:

Tonight’s full results are as follows:

12. Mel and Jamie

11. Shannon and Peter

10. Balance Unity

9. Alex Magala

8. 100 Voices of Gospel

7. Trip Hazard

6. Craig Ball

5. Beau Dermott

4. Jasmine Elcock

3. Boogie Storm

2. Wayne Woodward

1. Richard Jones

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Britain’s Got Talent will return next year, although it has yet to be confirmed if it will be on ITV