AUDITIONS BEGAN IN JANUARY and continued throughout February, the competition hit our screens in April (with ten million viewers) and finally, after almost two months of weekly recorded action and last week’s five consecutive nights of live semi-final action, we are down to an 11-act Britain’s Got Talent final which goes out on ITV live tonight at 7.30pm. A total of 40 acts performed in the semi-finals for a chance to compete tonight. Just three of those were aged 60+ and the oldest of all, 89-year-old Colin Thackery, is odds-on favourite with Betway to win the competition.
Look for a Late Performer
Before we look at his chances, here’s how the draw has played its part – and just like the Eurovision it’s pretty clear performing late on the roster is a massive advantage.
Year winner started second third
- 2018: 6/11 4/11 11/11
- 2017: 11/11 10/11 9/11
- 2016 2/12 12/12 11/11
- 2015: 12/12 10/12 8/12
- 2014: 10/11 11/11 5/11
- 2013: 11/11 9/11 8/11
- 2012: 10/11 11/11 9/11
- 2011: 8/10 6/10 10/10
- 2010: 10/10 1/10 7/10
- 2009: 9/10 8/10 10/10
- 2008: 7/10 10/10 6/10
Unfortunately that running is yet to be confirmed but do consider its unquestionable effect if betting in-play. Glaringly just four of 33 podium finishers performed in the first half of the show.
An Eye on the Prize
Next up a reminder of the prize on offer: It’s an opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in front of members of the British Royal Family, possibly Queen Elizabeth II or a Royal Prince.
It begs the question if producers will deem an act like Jonathan Goodwin, who set himself on fire while escaping from a straitjacket hung upside-down in his audition, suitable viewing material for His or Her Royal Highness. Personally I doubt it and I’m expecting him to have to perform a second miracle by prevailing despite being handed an early spot on the bill.
2018: Lost Voice Guy (37). A stand-up comedian who has been unable to speak since early in his life. His story struck a chord with viewers who were full of admiration for his act and ability to make people to laugh without a voice.
2017: Tokio Myres (33). A pianist, who had previously toured with the Police and Amy Winehouse, from West Indian and British descent.
2016: Richard Jones (25). Overcame a desperate draw (performed second) to prevail. Much was made of his military service and the death of Paul Daniels weeks beforehand may have helped him gain votes.
2015: Jules O’Dwyer (48) & Matisse. Had a peach of a ‘draw’performing last of 12 acts and become the second ‘dog act’ to win the show following on from Ashleigh and Pudsey in 2012. The Royals love dogs, as does the country.
2014: Collabro (20-24). Boy-band Welsh mining choir hybrid, pleasing enough on a royal ear albeit was a surprise winner amongst a number of musical acts (an opera singer finished runner-up, a rapper duo came third).
Heart Strings are a Good Thing
A back-story always goes down well in these shows and Colin Thackery’s tale has had plenty of air time. Mid-week he was on ‘Lorraine’ explaining, not for the first time, how he sings for his sadly departed wife of 66 years, Joan.
A resident at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army – AKA a Chelsea Pensioner – Colin Thackery, who joined the army aged 15, also underlined the significance of his latest song, ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and next week’s 75 anniversary of D-Day.
And speaking to the Sun’s huge readership he said: “I served my Queen for 25 years, so if I thought I would have the chance to sing to her, I would die a happy man. It is very difficult for me to put into word show much it would mean. I cannot even imagine being on that stage in the presence of royalty. It would be absolutely marvellous.”
Combined it is powerful stuff and it begs the question, who would dare take away that elderly gentleman’s dream by voting against him? The perfect choice to address HM Queen, Prince William or the staunch supporter of former serviceman, Prince Harry, at the Royal Variety Performance. Producers will be thinking the same and I’d be amazed if he is not scheduled to perform as one of the last three acts on stage tonight.
No No’s in this Story
Of course the most famous loser of this competition, before an audience of 18 million viewers, was Susan Boyle in 2009. But the press had viciously turned against her in the days before the final. Colin Thackery’s supporters have no such concerns and while it is universally accepted the admirable pensioner is the poorest act in terms of talent and ability, simply everyone is full of admiration for him and no one, but no one, will oppose him. With the exception of him attempting to perform a rap-song dressed as a chicken, Colin Thackery will win this talent show by a landslide and rates ‘bet of the year’ material.