'I'm a former Army vet who won Britain's Got Talent - this is what really happened'

'I'm a former Army vet who won Britain's Got Talent - this is what really happened'

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Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 19/04/2024

- 08:40

Updated: 19/04/2024

- 09:30

Back in 2016, serving soldier Richard Jones won the hearts of the nation with his magic act

Magician Richard Jones stunned the Britain’s Got Talent judges and won over audiences back in 2016.

The former soldier went on to win the series, beating off some stiff competition. Speaking exclusively to GB News, Jones reflected on the pressure he felt representing the military.

Lance Corporal Jones left the judges spellbound throughout the series, and performed an emotional show with a dedication to those serving.

Talking about being a part of the show while in the Army, the 33-year-old told GB News: “I think the military as an organisation and military families especially - in that moment, when I won I realised the power of it and the how special the military community is, especially the military families.

“So I had a lot of nice messages from in particular people from families who had family members members serving overseas, saying that it was nice to see the Army on the forefront of the TV, representing it in such a nice way.

“And obviously when they see myself and my fellow soldiers on stage, it's kind of a representation of their family member who's away serving and so it was nice to see so many military families getting in touch and sending their support and also sending their messages saying they’re missing their loved ones.

Lance Corporal Jones

Jones won Britain's Got Talent in 2016 following an emotional performance


“It's nice to see and it was such a tight community. Also, I think they liked the fact that I didn't leave the Army - so I stayed in the Army for another six years after Britain's Got Talent.

“So I think that helped with a bit of respect. Obviously, a lot of those other six years was more an entertainment role.

“So I did a lot shows for the Army families while the husbands and wives were away - it was nice.

“So I feel very, very connected with the military families. They're all lovely, and they've always had similar experiences, which makes it such a tight community.”

Lance Corporal Jones

Jones' magician act impressed the judges and the nation


However, the veteran admitted he felt intense pressure to represent the Army. “The pressure was unbelievable,” he recalled.

“So up until that point, all my acts had been just me doing magic, which is pressurising enough.

“But when I did the final, I was obviously representing the Army because I was in uniform. I had the band with me.

"And of course I've heard Fergus Anckornon stage as well as telling his story.

“He was prisoner of war veteran, and I was telling his story in the act and I knew that if I messed this up, it was far worse than just messing up on my own.

“I knew if I messed this up, I wouldn't be telling his story in the way it deserves to be told."

Jones with Fergus Anckornon

Jones opened up on the pressure he felt to represent the military


On the show itself, Jones described it as "the best decision I ever made".

He went on to say: "So I was very, very lucky. I know that sounds very cheesy, but I was I feel very lucky I was in the right place at the right time.

"And in fact the night that I won, I didn't actually realise until a few days after - that was also the six-year anniversary of me joining the Army, so a big night to be in uniform in front of the nation.

"That was such a nice thing to do. So yeah, I recommend it to everyone."

For more information on Jones, visit: https://musicandbands.co.uk/booking-agent/richard-jones.

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