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Britain's Got Talent is finally back on screen this weekend, after nearly two years away. And all of this year's hopefuls will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the acts who've won the show so far.
It was back in 2007 that BGT first launched and since its very first episode it became one of the most talked about shows on TV. As well as proving to be a real ratings winner, BGT quickly earned itself a place in the hearts of viewers across the country.
Britain's Got Talent was last on screen in 2020, with Jon Courtenay, Ant and Dec's Golden Buzzer act, triumphing in a final which was significantly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Like all of the show's other champions, Jon went onto perform at the Royal Variety Show.
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BGT 2022 kicks off with a double header over Easter weekend, with episodes on both Saturday and Sunday, when viewers will see Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dion back on the judging panel to cast their eye over the eclectic mix of acts hoping to make it through to the next round or, even better still, earn a Golden Buzzer.
Here is what all the show's winners have been up to since they triumphed on the show...
Paul Potts, 2007
Yes, rather staggeringly 13 years have passed since we had our very first Britain’s Got Talent winner.
Mobile phone salesman turned opera superstar Paul was a frontrunner from the get go thanks to his spine-tingling rendition of Nessun Dorma in his audition.
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His debut album One Chance went double platinum, soaring to number 1 in nine countries around the world.
He has since tasted success with four more albums and the story of his rise to fame was turned into a film - One Chance - which was released in 2013 and starred James Corden as Paul.
Paul was one of the acts on the first episode of BGT: The Champions back in 2019, with both him and viewers at home stunned at not receiving the public vote to even make it past the first round.
George Sampson, 2008
Young Northern dancer George was singin’ and dancin’ in the rain on his way to victory 12 years ago now.
He went on to star in the Streetdance films - basically a British version of Step Up - and also in popular BBC drama Waterloo Road, Sky’s Mount Pleasant and more recently in Emmerdale and Coach Trip, alongside infamous Celebrity Big Brother contestant Roxanne Pallett.
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Paul Garratt, 40, a charity worker, lives with wife Rachel, 35, a GP, in Saffron Walden, Essex. He says: 'If I'd waited for my scan, I might not be here. Going to A&E that night saved my life'.After the six-to-eight-hour operation, she will need to wear a urostomy bag — a pouch to collect urine as it drains from an opening in her abdomen.
George also returned to the Champions show last year and, before coronavirus hit, was set to tour the country in smash hit musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
It would be fair to say the dance collective caused a bit of an upset in 2009. While it was Susan Boyle who grabbed all the headlines that year, the lads beat her in one of the most watched BGT finals to date.
Since then Diversity have completed countless nationwide arena tours, including many shows at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, while individually Ashley Banjo has judged Got To Dance and Dance, Dance, Dance; brother Jordan was on I’m A Celebrity last year and ‘the little one’ Perri Kiely has won Splash, appeared on Celebs Go Dating on E4 and last year reached the final of Dancing on Ice.
Ashley has been a stand-in judge for the injured Simon Cowell for the semi-finals in 2020, after Simon's back injury, and Diversity sparked a huge reaction with their Black Lives Matter performance in the first semi. It received 24,500 Ofcom complaints but received the full backing of ITV.
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More recently, Ashley has been a judge on Dancing on Ice. And this year, Ashley and his Diversity mates are embarking on what they have teased as their 'biggest tour yet.'
The winning act that everyone presumes is spelt Spellbound but it’s not.
Seven years have passed since the gymnastic group clinched victory, with a routine that saw one of them leap over the judges’ heads.
They since performed at the London Olympics closing ceremony in 2012 and in Paris alongside comedian Michael McIntyre.
Several members were involved in BBC gymnastic series Tumble.
Jai McDowall, 2011
They say Britain loves an underdog and without doing him a dis-service it would be fair to say that Jai wasn’t the favourite going into the final nine years ago.
But thanks to powerful take on soaring ballad To Where You Are he emerged victorious and went on to release Believe, an album of covers including Bring Me To Life, How You Remind Me and There You’ll Be.
He supported Gareth Gates on tour in 2014, a jaunt that included a show at Sage Gateshead.
He was recently on stage in Les Musicals and returned for Champions, missing out on a place in the final.
Ashleigh & Pudsey, 2012
There have been numerous dog acts on BGT over the years but this pair were the first to win.
They the second Britain’s Got Talent act to have a film made about them, with Pudsey: The Movie being released in 2014.
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Ashleigh & Pudsey made numerous appearances in pantomimes in the North East, including shows at Playhouse Whitley Bay.
They also made an emotional last appearance at Crufts in 2016, before Pudsey's sad death in July 2017.
Ashley was back with another dog for the first episode of Britain's Got Talent: The Champions.
A rather controversial winner from four years ago after it emerged they had previously entered other countries’ version of the show.
The first overseas act to win BGT, the shadow theatre act have gone onto perform in Las Vegas, as well as fronting a TV ad campaign for insurance.
The boys beat fellow opera act Lucy Kay in the 2014 final thanks to a rousing rendition of Stars from Les Miserables.
They reached number 1 with their self-titled debut album and have gone on to land two more top 10s with Act Two and their third release Home, which was released after the departure of Richard Hadfield.
The group's Matt Pagan performed in the Snow White pantomime at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre at the end of 2017, with Jamie doing the same a year later.
Collabro competed in Champions last year and in summer 2020 were one of the many acts who performed a concert for a socially distanced crowd at the Unity Arena in Newcastle. Last Christmas they teamed up with music legend Cliff Richard for a re-worked version of his festive classic Mistletoe & Wine.
Jules & Matisse, 2015
Another rather controversial champion as viewers complained they had been ‘duped’ by their performance in the final.
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In other rounds of the show Matisee had the starring role but their big finale featured another dog, who looked similar to Matisse, during a tightrope trick.
Ofcom ruled that BGT had misled viewers but Jules & Matisse maintained their title and like all the other winners, performed in the Royal Variety Show.
Richard Jones, 2016
The story of former soldier Richard’s year - Operation Magic - aired before last year's BGT final and last summer he headed out on a headline nationwide tour which included a date at the ARC in Stockton.
In 2019 he toured Butlins holiday parks during school holidays and returned to BGT for the Champions series.
Lost Voice Guy beat runner up Robert White and third place act Donchez Dacres in 2018's grand finale and has been very busy since then, touring the country, releasing a book and of course being on the bill for the Royal Variety Performance.
In 2019 Lost Voice Guy had a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe and was also on the BGT Champions lineup. The comedian landed his own Christmas comedy special on ITV at the end of last year and is currently on the road with his Cerebral LOL-sy UK tour.
Colin is the most recent winner of the show, thanks to his heartfelt audition of Wind Beneath My Wings in honour of his his late wife and final performance of Love Changes Everything which saw him beat magicians X and Ben Hart in the 2019 final.
The now 90 year old appeared on last year's Royal Variety Performance but postponed his own 2020 tour due to illness.
Britain's Got Talent's longest reigning champion, Jon was a clear favourite with both the judges and viewers at home from day one, with Ant and Dec hitting the Golden Buzzer for him after his heartwarming and brilliantly executed audition performance.
In the aftermath of his victory on BGT, Jon revealed that he'd hidden a cancer scare from producers and viewers, after finding a mole on his head. He was given his cancer diagnosis just days before taking to the stage in the semi-final and admitted he was "very lucky," it was spotted early and removed, with him being told it was indeed acncerous.
Jon reflcted on his cancer and treatment on Instagram last month sharing a picture of him at the Christie hospital and writing: " About 18 months ago on my first visit here I was stopped for a selfie and panicked that my cancer story would get out during @bgt Today I’m back for my last treatment and I’ve turned my story into a musical, comedy show for Edinburgh. Funny old world.
"I can’t speak highly enough of the doctors, nurses, consultants and staff here who have looked after me so well since this all began. As for my family and friends… I love you." John will take the show about his cancer, The Big C, to the Edinburgh Fringe this year."
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