Richard Jones is a soldier and magician, and the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2016. With his captivating performances, Richard – born in 1990 in Leytonstone, East London – didn’t just impress the BGT judges, he also stole the hearts of the nation. Richard was crowned the winner of BGT’s 10th series in May 2016.
Richard, who grew up in Chigwell, Essex, comes from a service family. His grandparents, parents and brother have all had military or police careers, which inspired Richard to strive for a career in the army. Richard signed up aged 19. He underwent combat training and spent 12 months at the Royal Military School of Music, before joining the Parachute Regiment in Colchester, Essex. In September 2014, Richard transferred to The Household Cavalry. As part of The Band of The Household Cavalry, Richard has since performed at some of the UK’s biggest parades and functions.
Although Richard always enjoyed watching magic as a child, it wasn’t until he joined the army that he took it up, performing in front of his colleagues.
In 2014, Richard was accepted into the Magic Circle, which is also where he met Fergus Anckorn, a veteran and Britain’s oldest magician.
Richards first BGT audition aired on ITV on April 16 2016 with a consolidated audience of 12.5million watching at home, while his semi-final performance amazed the judges, with Simon Cowell calling him a “wizard” and Amanda Holden proclaiming it “the best magic trick in 10 years that we’ve seen on this show”. Richard was joined by Fergus and The Band of The Household Cavalry for his stunning BGT final performance, which included a card trick focusing on Fergus’ true and inspirational story.
Richard became the first ever magician to win Britain’s Got Talent. Despite his win, Richard was soon back performing as a military musician. He was one of The Household Cavalry bandsmen, who performed in front of Her Majesty The Queen over the weekend of her official 90th birthday.
Richard has recently been promoted to Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star, the most prestigious honour in The Magic Circle.
“Oh my goodness, Richard. That was so incredible, poignant, noble, brilliantly British” – ALESHA DIXON
“I really really want to see you in the final. The whole nation is behind you…it’s not a trick, it’s magic.” – AMANDA HOLDEN
“You, sir, are a wizard. That has to be magic.” – SIMON COWELL