Eastbourne ventriloquist Steve Hewlett was the surprise wildcard on Saturday night’s Britain’s Got Talent – but sadly didn’t make it in the top three.
The 37-year-old wowed the judges and voting audience with his performance with puppets Arthur Lager, Simon Cowell and the pop mogul’s friend Sinitta.
He took 14.7 per cent of the votes and came in fourth.
Attraction, the Hungarian shadow dance troupe won with teenage comedian Jack Caroll in second place and Welsh singing brothers Richard and Adam Johnson in third place.
Steve, who lost out to singer Jordan O’Keefe in the previous week’s semi-final, was revealed as the judges’ wildcard entry into the final half way through the programme.
He was filmed at his home in Eastbourne with his wife and daughter receiving the news he was the surprise wildcard entry and said he was absolutely delighted although he had to remain tight-lipped about his success until the final.
“To the judges who put me here, I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Steve’s routine on the show included a sketch with his popular sidekick Arthur as well as the Simon Cowell and singer Sinitta. After his performance the judges praised him and said it had been a unanimous decision to choose him as the wildcard.
Simon said, “You absolutely, thoroughly deserve to be here.”
Fellow judge David Walliams said, “That was such a funny act.”
Alesha Dixon said, “That was hysterical. You are Britain’s Got Talent through and through,” and Amanda Holden said, “You did yourself proud and I couldn’t be more delighted for you.”
Hours after appearing in the live final Steve made an appearance at Willingdon’s Music in the Park event at Huggetts Lane Recreation Ground. After a short performance at 2.30pm, he spent two hours signing autographs and meeting fans.
He also met massive fan Lucy who brought along her own homemade puppet Pongo.
Steve admitted he was tired but said he was enjoying the “amazing” run of success.