Record bets taken as rival TV talent shows reach their climax

And ITV's 'Britain's Got Talent' is the punters' favourite

Bookies took £100,000 in bets in the week leading up to last night's final of Britain's Got Talent, while betting on rival show I'd Do Anything slumped to just £13,000.

William Hill took £88,000 in bets yesterday for ITV's show. "It's the biggest day of reality television betting we have ever had," a spokesman said.

The bookies' favourite to win Britain's Got Talent was 12-year-old opera singer Faryl Smith, from Northampton, with odds of 4/6 following her performance in the semi-final.

"You do not have to be a genius to see how good Faryl is. We are confident we have seen the winner," said Rupert Adams, spokes-man for William Hill.

But on the night the viewers' favourite was George Sampson. The 14-year-old breakdancer from Warrington burst into tears on hearing he had won, and said: "I'm speechless. Wow. Just thanks so much, everybody."

Even before he landed the £100,000 prize and a slot on the Royal Variety Performance in December, he was virtually assured of a glittering showbiz future after receiving more than 100 job offers as a result of his appearances, in which he danced under a shower of water to a souped-up version of "Singing in the Rain".

Speaking after the show, he said: "Whenever I dance I try my best, but tonight was something else. It was the greatest performance I've ever done."

In the final, George was up against acts that included an electric string quartet and a street dance team who had made it through to the final, with nearly 11 million viewers tuning in each night last week to watch the contestants whittled down to the final few.

Escala, from London, were among the bookies' front-runners but, like Faryl, failed to make it into the top three. They had won the public vote in the semi-final with a dramatic rendition of the James Bond theme song "Live and Let Die", while the five-piece hip-hop dance crew Nemesis, from Milton Keynes, won the judges over with their nifty footwork.

Other competitors in this year's event included the extreme martial arts duo Strike and a performing dog called Gin.

Saturday night's Britain's Got Talent on ITV went head to head with rival talent show I'd Do Anything on BBC1.

Jodie Prenger, 28, of Blackpool, won the BBC competition and the role of Nancy in a forthcoming West End production of Oliver! produced by Cameron Mackintosh. "All you guys, thank you from the bottom of my heart," she said.

The BBC panel comprised Andrew Lloyd Webber, assisted by John Barrowman from Torchwood, Denise Van Outen and Barry Humphries. But the winner was chosen by public votes alone.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing / PR / Social Media Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A thriving online media busines...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower