Britain’s Got Talent is returning to ITV on Saturday in search of a new star to showcase at the 2016 Royal Variety Performance.
Simon Cowell (Ian West/PA)
Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams will once again take their places on the panel. Ant and Dec will be on hand to encourage and commiserate with the auditioning acts.
As the watching millions get ready to embrace more hopefuls, we look back at some of the success stories of Britain’s Got Talent (BGT).
1. Susan Boyle
When Susan first walked on to the Britain’s Got Talent stage in 2009, no one expected what followed. The Scottish singer stunned everyone with her powerful version of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.
Overnight, she became a global sensation and conducted interviews with news outlets around the world.
Her famous BGT audition became the most-watched YouTube video of the year.
Susan Boyle (Amy Sussman/Invision)
Susan was widely tipped to win, but the 2009 instalment produced yet another shock – she had to settle for second place.
Streetdance troupe Diversity were voted winners by the public.
However, SuBo’s debut album went to number one around the world.
Susan has now released six albums, including three number ones, and has been nominated for two Grammys.
To date, she has sold more than 23 million records worldwide.
2. Paul Potts
Paul Potts (Hermann J. Knippertz/AP/PA)
Opera-singing Paul was the mobile phone shop manager who shot to fame after being crowned BGT’s first winner in 2007. The Gloucestershire singer’s multi-platinum debut album One Chance shot straight to the number one spot in the UK.
Since BGT, Paul has embarked on numerous tours and released four studio albums. He also inspired a successful film about his life called One Chance, which starred James Corden.
Collabro (Thames TV/Syco)
The musical theatre boyband were tipped as winners from their very first audition to West End classic Stars in 2014. After their win, debut album Stars went to number one.
Collabro, who are currently on tour in the UK, released a second album called Act Two in 2015.
Diversity (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
The Essex and east London dance troupe captured viewers’ imagination from the moment they hit the stage with a creative and energetic streetdance routine.
Diversity won BGT in front of 18.3 million viewers and have gone on to various other projects and television shows including Sky1′s Got To Dance.
The talent series was judged by group member Ashley Banjo. He was also given his own series, Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew, and is currently co-presenting BBC One game show Can’t Touch This with Zoe Ball.
In addition to spin-off ventures such as fitness DVDs, dance classes and a clothing range, Diversity continue to successfully tour nationally and internationally.
5. Ashleigh and Pudsey
Ashleigh and Pudsey (John Stillwell/PA)
It was love at first sight when performing dog Pudsey danced on stage to the commands of owner Ashleigh. The duo became the first animal act to win BGT in 2012.
Since then, they have made numerous TV appearances, including on That Dog Can Dance!, Top Dog Model and Who Let The Dogs Out?
Pudsey appeared in the adaptation of children’s book Mr Stink, written by BGT judge David Walliams. He also hit the silver screen for Pudsey: The Movie in 2014, and is even the subject of an autobiography.
Ashleigh and Pudsey are currently on their Mission Impudseyble tour.
6. George Sampson
George Sampson (Zak Hussein/PA)
At the age of 14, Sampson won the second series in 2008 with a streetdancing routine to a remix of Singin’ In The Rain. That same year, he made his stage debut in the West End hip-hop musical Into The Hoods.
In 2010, Sampson featured in British film StreetDance alongside fellow BGT contestants Diversity and Flawless. A year later, the Cheshire star joined the cast of BBC drama series Waterloo Road as student Kyle Stack.
George recently starred in Emmerdale as a character named Ryan.
Britain’s Got Talent premieres on April 9 at 7pm on ITV.