Acrobatic troupe Spelbound wins 'Britain's Got Talent' final

Simon Cowell described winners Spelbound as 'the 'most astonishing thing' he'd seen on live TV

An acrobatic troupe won last night's live final of Britain's Got Talent. Spelbound, from Ashford, Middlesex, had been the bookies' favourites to win the fourth series of the TV talent show, doing so with a scantily-clad, high-energy routine to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, during which one of the 13-strong group was launched over the head of judge Amanda Holden.

Simon Cowell, the Svengali figure behind the show and one of its judges, said they were the "most astonishing thing" he had seen on live television. Holden tipped them as an opening act for the 2012 Olympics. Spelbound took home the £100,000 prize and a slot at the Royal Variety Performance.

The group are Alex Uttley, 24, Nicholas Illingworth, 24, Adam Buckingham, 21, Adam McAssey, 20, Douglas Fordyce, 19, Leighanne Cowler, 18, Edward Upcott, 18, Katie Axten, 17, Lauren Kemp, 17, Jonathan Stranks, 15, Abigail Ralph, 15, Hollianne Wood, 13, and Amy Mackenzie, 12. Most had trained as gymnasts since the age of four.

The runners-up were Twist and Pulse, a London dance act consisting of best friends Glen Murphy, 19, and Ashley Glazebrooke, 18, who only met two years ago. Holden described their unusual act as "a glimpse of the future".

Britain's Got Talent has been fertile ground for dancers. The second series was won by George Sampson, a teenage breakdancer, and last year's title went to Diversity, a frenetic, inventive troupe from east London.

Third last night was Kieran Gaffney, a 13-year-old drummer from Kent. Earlier in the show, he used a tilted drum kit to display his skills, and topped that last night by performing suspended from the ceiling.

The fourth series lacked the all-pervading hype of its 2009 predecessor, when Diversity pulled off a victory against the odds by pipping the unlikely singing phenomenon Susan Boyle to the top prize. But the show continues to glory in the finest tradition of end-of-the-pier variety show.

In addition to acrobats, the finalists included Tina Humphrey, 37, a music teacher from Shrewsbury, and Chandi (below), her 12-year-old blue merle border collie she taught to dance after rescuing her from Telford dog pound as a four-month-old puppy.

Despite high scores in previous rounds, their performance failed to make the top three. "She's a special dog and in human years she is about 100. She is looking a bit tired, I think," said Cowell, prompting boos from the audience. "There's life in the old dog," replied Ms Humphrey.

Also highly tipped had been Janey Cutler, 81, of Wishaw, Lanarkshire, singing Edith Piaf's "Je ne regrette rien". Cutler began singing in the Salvation Army at the age of six, but let her talents lapse until a friend forced her back on stage aged 50. She has since appeared regularly on her local pub and club circuit.

BGT has has also become the biggest betting occasion in Britain's reality TV calendar. William Hill expected to take 150 bets a minute throughout the two-and-a-half-hour show, averaging £8 each. The odds on a Spelbound win were 10:11. The bookie's spokesman, Rupert Adams, said the biggest bet had been £2,000 on Spelbound to win, though that was dwarfed by a £70,000 punt last year on Susan Boyle.

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen