Britain's Got Talent: Ashleigh and Pudsey to Paul Potts - Where are the winners now?

Before the new series starts, we find out what all nine of the show's previous victors are doing now.

Dancing dogs, opera singers, street dancers…the Britain's Got Talent winners list is a mixed bunch.

But scooping first place in the ITV talent show isn’t just about getting the chance to perform in front of The Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.

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Albums, films and endorsements can all follow. Although, for some acts, long-term success has proved to be elusive.

As we head into the series 12 Grand Final this weekend, we take a look at what the 11 previous champions are up to now.

1. Paul Potts – 2007

Paul Potts

As the very first winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, former mobile phone salesman and opera singer Paul Potts took the UK by storm.

His debut album One Chance went double Platinum, topping the charts in nine countries around the world. He has subsequently released four further albums.

A film biopic of Potts’ life – with James Corden in the lead role – was released in 2013. The film also starred Julie Walters, and took over $10 million at the box office.

He is currently playing to sold-out shows in South Korea and has reportedly made over £5 million since winning the show.

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2. George Sampson – 2008

George Sampson

George Sampson was just 14 years old when he won the second series of the show with his street dance performances.

Post-BGT, Sampson has had a varied career, with a role in the 2008 West End production of Into The Hoods, making dance DVDs and also releasing a single, Get Up On The Dance Floor – which reached number 30 in the UK chart.

Sampson has also turned his hand to acting, with major roles in BBC drama Waterloo Road and Sky’s Mount Pleasant.

Meanwhile, he landed a cameo role in Emmerdale in 2016.

In 2018, she starred in the film short Daniel Thomas and headline the UK Tour of Our House. He's also starred in the pantomimes Jack & The Beanstalk and Rapunzel.

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3. Diversity – 2009

Diversity

The dance troupe famously – and surprisingly – beat Susan Boyle to win the third series of the ITV talent show, and have stayed in the limelight since.

As Diversity, they have embarked on several nationwide tours, but several of the members have also enjoyed solo success.

Ashley Banjo was a judge on talent show Got To Dance, before landing his own programme, while Perri Kiely won the second series of ITV’s Splash! last year and is a regular host at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

Banjo co-hosted BBC One Saturday night game show Can't Touch This and was a judge on ITV's Dance, Dance, Dance competition.

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Jordan Banjo took part in the 2016 series of I'm a Celebrity, finishing 9th.

The group are back on Britain's Got Talent for the 2017 final, performing as special guests.

In 2018, Ashley Banjo joined the Dancing on Ice panel as a judge and Perri Kiely was one of the winners of Channel 4's Celebrity Great British Bake Off.

Diversity performed the opening segment of the BGT live shows in 2018, bringing Dec on stage in a Greatest Showman-inspired routine.

4. Spelbound – 2010

Spelbound

The public’s love of dance acts hadn’t waned by 2010, when gymnastic troupe Spelbound somersaulted their way to victory.

They released a DVD that same year, and have since performed at the London Olympics closing ceremony in 2012.

In 2015 Spelbound performed in Paris alongside comedian Michael McIntyre for a one-off event and several of the group were involved in the celebrity gymnastics series Tumble.

The sports coach behind the acrobatic troupe. Neil Griffiths was subjected to a year-long police investigation after allegations of abuse were made against him by three children. The Crown Prosecution Service reviewed the evidence and ordered all charges against him be dropped. 

His solicitor John Hartley, at Mackrell Turner Garrett law firm, said: “It is incomprehensible why it got so far. The police and the CPS never really understood the nature of what elite athletes go through.”

A CPS spokeswoman said: “Following receipt of further medical evidence, we reviewed this case and concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”

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5. Jai McDowall – 2011

Jai McDowall

The Scottish singer was the surprise winner of the fifth series of Britain’s Got Talent, beating then 12-year-old singer Ronan Parke to victory.

After only nine months, McDowall was dropped by Simon Cowell’s record label after his debut album only reached number 54 in the charts – with Cowell subsequently admitting that he wished McDowall had not won the contest.

Since then, McDowall has continued to gig across the country, and has supported former Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates on tour.

The latest posts on his official website claim that he is still working on new material and another album in the studio, but there haven't been any updates this year.

Amanda Holden mocked Jai during an episode of More Talent this year, replying "Who?" when asked about the 2011 winner.

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6. Ashleigh and Pudsey – 2012

Ashleigh and Pudsey

As the first dog act to win Britain’s Got Talent – beating operatic duo Jonathan and Charlotte – Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey have remained popular.

After winning, the pair journeyed to America, where they performed on America’s Got Talent and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Pudsey starred in the TV adaptation of the book Mr Stink, alongside Hugh Bonneville, and the pair have also performed in several pantomimes and theatre productions.

They were also the second Britain’s Got Talent act (after Paul Potts) to have a film made about them, with Pudsey: The Movie being released in 2014. Show judge David Walliams lent his voice to Pudsey for the film.

They also appeared as judges on ITV's short-lived talent shows That Dog Can Dance hosted by Christine Bleakley and ITV2's Top Dog Model.

Ashleigh Butler: Where are they now - Interview

Pudsey is also reported to have bagged £100,000 for his debut book deal.

The pair made their final Crufts appearance with an emotional round at the 2017 competition.

In July 2017, Pudsey died aged 11 following a leukaemia diagnosis.

Paying tribute to her pet, Ashleigh wrote: "On the Thursday 20th July 2017, after Pudsey’s short battle against leukaemia, I had to make the hardest decision of my life to let my beautiful boy go to sleep at the age of 11.

“From the minute he was born he brought nothing but joy to me, and as a winner of BGT millions of others who adored him too.

“No words can express just how much I will miss him.

“He changed my life and I have so many wonderful memories of our time together. He will always be in my heart.”

At the end of 2017, Ashleigh appeared on Good Morning Britain to introduce her new pet dog Sully, who she now performs with in pantomimes and dog shows.

"They were like brothers. Sully was affected by Pudsey's death… he wasn't right after he went," she told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.

7. Attraction – 2013

Attraction

Hungarian shadow theatre act Attraction courted controversy when they became the first foreign act to win Britain’s Got Talent. However, at the time, Cowell said: "We will always welcome talent, wherever it is in the world."

Since the show, they have performed in Las Vegas, as well as fronting a TV ad campaign for insurance.

The group have also advertised for corporate events.

"The inspirational story behind the company is perfect for corporate messages. It's one of perseverance, creativity and imagination. The Attraction Black Light Theatre are living proof that anything can be accomplished with hard work and dedication, which is why many organisations are using Zoltan Szucs and ABLT to inspire and motivate their employees," they say.

"Music and routines can be customised to suit your business theme, and can incorporate your company's logo or products. Let Attraction Black Light Theatre inspire and motivate your employees, sales force, or business partners. So next time you are planning an important business event, or entertaining your clients and employees, consider the unique and global appeal of... Attraction!"

 

8. Collabro – 2014

Collabro

The band - Michael Auger, Richard Hadfield, Jamie Lambert, Matthew Pagan and Thomas J Redgrave – released their debut album in 2014 after winning the show, and it reached number 1 in the UK chart.

They followed it up with a big money deal for a second record - Act Two - which reached number two in the UK charts last year.

In 2016, Richard Hadfrield dramatically quit the group, but the remaining four members have continued and released their latest album Home in 2017, featuring a mix of stage and pop classics.

 

9. Jules and Matisse - 2015

Jules and Matisse

The show's second dog act to storm to victory had their win undermined by post-show controversy as viewers complained they had been 'duped' by their performance in the final.

The inclusion of another dog, who looked similar to Matissa, during a tightrope trick wasn't made clear to viewers and Ofcom got over 200 complaints.

Ofcom ruled that BGT had misled viewers, but the dog double act wasn't stripped of its title or prize money. Jules still appeared at the Royal Variety Performance and they were invited back for the live shows in 2016.

10. Richard Jones - 2016

Britain's Got Talent 2016 winner Richard Jones

The show's first ever magician winner, Richard Jones is already one of BGT's most successful contestants. The former army officer, who still plays in the Band of the Household Cavalry, launched his own TV show Operation Magic in 2017 before heading out on his first solo tour, Power of Imagination, which rab from April until May. 

Speaking about how the ITV show changed his life, he told What's On TV: "When I was a kid I always had two dreams… three ambitions in life, I wanted to be a musician, a soldier and a magician and I’m pleased to say I’m doing all three of those things, so I’m living the dream on three fronts really because I’m still in the army, I haven’t left, a lot of people assume I’ve left, but I’m staying because I love my job in the army.

"But they give me a lot of free time, a lot of flexibility to go away and do shows, so I’m doing a lot on TV at the minute, I’m doing my tour, so I’m doing magic all over the country and all over the world and I’m kinda representing the army at the same time."

Richard is back on tour this summer with his Military Illusionist tour. He's playing Weymouth Pavilion Theatre, The Forum, Bath on 3rd and 6th June, 2018.

11. Tokio Myers - 2017

Tokio Myers

Tokio Myers, real name is Torville Jones, got his musical inspiration at a young age came from a love of classical music, his Jamaican father’s extensive record collection and the dance music he immersed himself in in his teens. Tokio went on to study at the Royal College of Music with a full scholarship.

Tokio left the Britain's Got Talent live audiences in awe after his jaw-dropping classical rendition of Rag n Bone man’s hit Human in the final. He beat 11 other acts to scoop the top prize of £250,000 and went on to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen.

Tokio worked non-stop for eight months to produce is first album, Our Generation. It features a mix of the his own compositions alongside fans' favourite renditions of Bloodstream, and a take on Robert Miles' dance classic Children. He has drawn inspiration from the 90s dance scene, as well as hip hop and classical pieces for the jam-packed debut album.

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Tokio also co-produced and performed on Bridge Over Troubled Water, the single recorded by a host of stars in aid of the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Tokio is currently on tour, playing a variety of dates around the UK and Ireland. He is set to perform at a few festivals this summer.

He also has plans to found a music school for children from troubled and deprived backgrounds, an ambition inspired by his own experiences as a child. The responses he has received since appearing on Britain’s Got Talent have strengthened his determination to give something back.

Tokio was rewarded with three Classical Brit Awards nominations this month including the Album of the Year and Breakthrough artist of the year title.

He told The Telegraph: "It's just amazing to be appreciated for all the hard work that has gone in throughout the years but especially the last year, we've all been working hard to make the album, promote the album, tour the album. It's beyond a year… I've been doing this my whole life, before BGT, this is an ongoing battle."

Britain’s Got Talent live shows air all week on ITV with the final on Sunday, June 3rd at 7.30pm.

Set BGT to series record on your BT box and catch up on BT TV via the ITV Hub app.

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