People may have expected a singer or dancer to win BGT 2023, but in the end, the public chose a comedian with an obsession with high-vis, ITV News' Callum Watkinson reports
Norwegian comedian Viggo Venn has been crowned the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2023, scooping the £250,000 prize and a spot on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance.
Venn kept tonight's audience audience entertained with another high-vis inspired routine in the grand final.
Dancer Lilliana Clifton, 13, and 14-year-old magician Cillian O’Connor placed in second and third respectively – but missed out on the title. Venn, 33, had the judges laughing when he forced Simon Cowell to wear a matching high-vis jacket as rose petals were thrown over the pair before the whole audience erupted into high-vis. The audience were in raptures after the performance, chanting: “One more time,” in reference to his first audition on the show where he danced to Daft Punk’s hit..
Alesha Dixon said: “You’ve captivated the nation, they love you,” while Bruno Tonioli said: “I think your physical comedy is world-class, you have created one of the most memorable characters since Mr Bean.” Meanwhile Cowell said: “At least you didn’t make me look stupid tonight. I have never ever met an act like you in my life, I will admit it, I really really love you now.” When host Declan Donnelly asked why so many high-vis jackets, Venn said: “I wear so many high-vis because it’s really cold in Norway.”
After winning the show, Donnelly asked how he felt to have “captured the heart of the nation”, to which he said: “Not just the heart of Britain, but the heart of Simon.” Venn’s triumph came in a year dominated by child stars, with 13-year-old dancer Lilliana Clifton and 14-year-old magician Cillian O’Connor finishing second and third respectively.
Susan Boyle made a surprise appearance during the final, singing her 2009 audition song I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables with the cast of the West End production.
The 62-year-old also joined the cast in performing a rendition of Do You Hear The People Sing?
After the performance, she said: “It feels great (to be here). It’s extra special for me, last April I suffered a minor stroke and I fought to be back on stage and I have done it.”
Cowell said: “Susan, we owe you so much, I knew you weren’t well but if anyone was going to come back, you were going to come back, it wouldn’t be the same without you.”
Other child stars who dominated the final included Tonioli’s golden buzzer act Ghetto Kids, who opened the show with a routine to a medley of songs including Africa by Toto and shared a flag of their home country of Uganda. Holden’s golden buzzer choice, 11-year-old Olivia Lynes, also wowed the judges with a rendition of Let It Go from Disney classic Frozen, while Cowell’s golden buzzer choice, singer Malakai Bayoh, 14, brought tears to Tonioli’s eyes. The final came after a week of five live semi-finals, with five acts put through after receiving the most audience votes and another five voted through by the judges.
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