Soldier Turned Magician Crowned Britain’s Got Talent Champion (Photos)

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Magician Richard Jones has been crowned the winner of Britain's Got Talent, after stunning the judges, live audience and those watching at home with a series of sensational magic tricks.
The grand final of the nationwide talent show, which has prompted tears, laughter and even courted controversy throughout its rounds of auditions and finals, reached a dramatic conclusion on Saturday night.

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After a number of nail-biting performances in the final magician Richard Jones was announced to be the victor, beating singer Wayne Woodward who came in a close second.

Speaking to Ant and Dec during Saturday night's live final, the star said he was in a state of shock as he went on to thank his friends and family for supporting and voting for him.

It's been an amazing experience to spend time with such talented people,' he gushed, as his fellow competitors surrounded him on stage to kick-start the final celebrations.

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Meanwhile, Simon Cowell's golden buzzer act Boogie Storm came in third, closely followed by Jasmine Elcock, Beau Dermott, Craig Ball, Trip Hazard, 100 Voices of Gospel, Alex Magala, Balance Unity, Shannon and Peter and Mel and Jamie.

The 25-year-old army bandsman finally claimed victory after wowing the judges with a sensational magic trick, that saw him narrate the touching story of the 97-year-old war veteran who first inspired him to take up magic.

While he moved the audience with the war veteran's life story, he performed a trick with a special deck of cards and brought tears to the eyes of the judges and many watching at home.

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After the trick, performed against the backdrop of a Union Jack flag, Richard had the flag whisked away to reveal the Second World War veteran himself, Fergus Anckorn.

Mr Anckorn, who was held as a prisoner-of-war as a young man, was dubbed 'the conjuror of the River Kwai' as his passion for magic helped him endure the horrors of the Burma railway.

Thanks to his tricks he kept the Japanese guards distracted and entertained, so they allowed him to have extra food rations and longer breaks for himself and his friends - a lenience that most likely saved their lives.

It was his remarkable story that inspired Jones, himself a serving soldier with the Household Cavalry, to become a magician.

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