With the seventh series of the phenomenally successful Britain”s Got Talent show underway, ! Online brings you ten fun facts from the programme”s colourful past.
1. BGT has spawned spin-offs in 56 countries across the globe including Albania, China, India, Peru and Russia. Over half a billion viewers have watched the Got Talent format worldwide.
2. Since winning the show last year, cross breed pooch Pudsey has flown on Simon Cowell“s private jet, danced the conga with Kim Kardashian and sailed on the Queen Mary 2. His owner Ashleigh picked up £500,000 in prize money. He sparked an influx of animal auditions too. Donkeys and raccoons were among the more exotic animals trying out for this year”s show.
3. Ted Hall, aged 92, is BGT”s oldest ever contestant. He performed with his granddaughter Grace in series five.
4. The youngest-ever contestant was four-year-old Kayim-Ali Jaffer who impersonated Michael Jackson on the 2010 show. Prior to that it was six-year-old Connie Talbot, who sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow and came runner-up to BGT”s first-ever winner Paul Potts in 2007.
5. Susan Boyle”s famous audition singing I Have a Dream has amassed 124,390,117 views on YouTube. The life-changing performance led to her selling over 18 million albums worldwide and topping the charts in over 30 countries across the globe.
6. The working title of the show was Paul O”Grady”s Got Talent and a pilot was made, but the presenter quit ITV for Channel 4.
7. Swansea schoolboy Shaheen Jafargholi, who was 12 when he reached the 2009 final, was invited to perform at Michael Jackson’s series of 50 London concerts. The King of Pop died weeks before the gigs so Shaheen instead sang at his televised memorial service in front of a 2.5billion global audience.
8. Series 3 winners Diversity have become household names. The London-based street dance troupe have completed two sell out UK arena tours and appeared in films. The group includes three sets of brothers.
9. There are no rules in BGT. The show is open to any act of any age, professionals or amateurs.
10. Series one winner mobile phone salesman Paul Potts’ debut album outsold the entire top 10 collectively in its first week on sale.