Soldier Richard Jones left BGT: The Champions fans in tears after dedicating his magic act to war hero Fergus Anckorn.
The 28-year-old won Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 after sharing the stage in the final with the World War II veteran, who died last year aged 99.
Before his performance on tonight’s show, soldier Richard spoke movingly of how his idol Fergus, who used to perform magic to boost morale among troops, showed him some of his tricks before he passed away.
— Britain’s Got Talent (@BGT) September 14, 2019
Taking to the stage at Wembley Arena for BGT: The Champions, he was clearly emotional and had the audience, both at home and in the crowd, reaching for the tissues as he spoke of the former prisoner of war.
“He taught me some valuable life lessons,” Richard said, choking back tears.
“He taught me that it’s not how much time we have here in life that matters but it’s how we choose to spend that time that really counts.
“He taught me to live in the moment and create lasting memories every day.”
After his performance, judge Amanda Holden told him: “Fergus would be proud of you.”
David Walliams said: “You are a class act. You’ve got this amazing ability, you don’t have cheesy patter, you just perform in an incredibly dignified way and you’re always perfectly true to yourself.”
As he was urged by the audience to press his golden buzzer, David added: “I’ve never seen a reaction like this in the room for anybody, so I don’t think you need my golden buzzer.”
Richard, the only magician to win Britain’s Got Talent, told hosts Ant & Dec: “I knew it was going to be an emotional act because of what I was talking about.
“But seeing the support from the room, I didn’t expect it. It threw me a little bit.
“Sorry for getting so emotional, it’s just such a kind thing to see. I really appreciate it. It means a lot.”
Fans took to Twitter to share the amazing moment.
One posted: “First act in and I’m already crying like a baby.”
Another wrote: “Richard Jones was a great champion. Fergus was a hero. So emotional, so deserved.”
— 💜Ant and Dec Fan💕 (@AntnDec4ever) September 14, 2019
Well, this is a bit more emotional than I expected. #BGTChampions
— Stephanie D (@Stepharrnee) September 14, 2019
— Emily (@5secsofemilyjSK) September 14, 2019
First act in and I’m already crying like a baby😑 #BGTChampions
— Lauren (@LLozwarn) September 14, 2019
Richard Jones was a great champion. Fergus was a hero. So emotional so deserved #BGTChampions
— G1llyW1lly (@GillHayward1) September 14, 2019
“A good soldier is always ten minutes early”
— P3TTØ (@P3TTTO) September 14, 2019
* BGT: The Champions is on ITV every Saturday night.
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