Gymnastic troupe Spelbound have won the fourth series of Britain’s Got Talent, following Saturday night’s closely fought final.
The group – who had been the bookies’ favourites to win – beat quirky dance duo Twist and Pulse into second place to be crowned series champions.
They will now perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance later this year as well as winning 100,000 pounds.
Teenager drummer Kieran Gaffney finished in third place.
Simon Cowell said afterwards that the right act had won the final, in which they performed a routine which saw one of their members being thrown from behind the judges’ desk on to the stage.
“This show is called Britain’s Got Talent,” Simon said, “and absolutely the right girls and guys won on the night. Guys I am very proud of you, well done.”
Earlier in the show he had described their routine as “astonishing”.
Spelbound’s coach Neil joined the group on stage after their victory and praised the troupe for their efforts.
“They’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks, since the semi-final we really had to up our game. But they’ve worked from six in the morning till 12 o’clock at night and never complained, I couldn’t ask for more.”
“But I don’t take all the credit myself,” he added, “there’s a team of coaches and they’ve all been fantastic.”
Spelbound themselves said their win was “unbelievable” and added that they planned to focus their attentions on the World Acrobatic Championships.
Twist and Pulse, meanwhile, were thrilled to have finished in second place. “Thanks to everyone that voted for us,” said Ashley Glazebrook, one half of the duo. “To have finished second out of all those people who auditioned is just amazing.”
Seven other acts took part in the final after qualifying from semi-finals held earlier in the week, including teenage singer Liam McNally, comedy impressionist Paul Burling and boy band Connected – all of whom won praise from the panel for their performances.
Performing dog act Tina and Chandi, ‘singing accountant’ Christopher Stone, dancer Tobias Mead and 81-year-old singer Janey Cutler completed the final line-up.
However the latter’s rendition of No Regrets – the song she performed at her original audition – ran into trouble when she missed her cue, ending up singing out of time with her backing track.
After eventually recovering to complete her performance successfully, the judges still gave her good reviews.
“You gave it 100%, you loved every moment of it and I’m going to remember this performance for a very long time,” Simon Cowell told her, while Amanda Holden agreed.
“Earlier on you wanted my autograph in the corridor,” she said. “I think after tonight I’ll be asking for yours.”