Britain’s Got Talent: Ashleigh and Pudsey win!

Ashleigh and Pudsey have been crowned winners of Britain’s Got Talent 2012, following a closely-fought battle against fellow favourites Jonathan and Charlotte in Saturday’s final.

The 17-year-old triumphed after she and her performing pooch performed a routine inspired by Mission Impossible, which saw Pudsey jumping over obstacles and at one point running along the judges’ desk.

As well as pocketing a £500,000 prize, the pair will now have the chance to perform for the Queen at the Royal Variety performance later this year.

Operatic duo Jonathan and Charlotte – who had been the bookies’ favourites to win – finished in second place, while Welsh male choir Only Boys Aloud finished third.

Eight other acts – including wild card addition The Mend – took part in Saturday’s final.

Afterwards a clearly thrilled Ashleigh thanked everyone who had voted for her and added, “I’m so proud of Pudsey.”

Earlier in the show the pair had won rave reviews from the judges with their Mission Impossible-themed routine, following on from the Flintstones-themed routine from their original audition and their 20s-inspired dance in Sunday’s semi-final.

“I can’t believe you’ve come out here and done another new act,” David Walliams told her, “The nation has fallen in love with you and Pudsey.”

Simon Cowell added, “One of my favourite ever acts. You know how much I love dogs, and I adore both of you. You’ve got better and better, what you’ve done in such a short time is a miracle.”

Jonathan and Charlotte, meanwhile, reprised their version of The Prayer, the song they sang together in their original audition.

Afterwards Simon told them, “Tonight’s made me feel quite emotional. You’re both talented and your loyalty and friendship makes you special.” Alesha Dixon added, “If you are singing like that at this age, what will you be like in ten years?”

Third placed act Only Boys Aloud also delivered a moving performance, singing the Welsh song Calon Lan, which led Simon to admit, “This is why I love this show, I got emotional listening to a song and I didn’t understand a word of it.”

Other acts who took part in Saturday’s final included singers Sam Kelly and Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 11-year-old singer Molly Rainford, musical trio the Loveable Rogues, synchronised swimmers Aquabatique, dance troupe Nu Sxool and ballroom dancers Kai and Natalia.

The show also featured performances from Diversity and Susan Boyle, who finished first and second in the 2009 final.