Belfast Telegraph

Holden backing Paddy for BGT title

Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has said she is hoping 79-year-old salsa dancer Paddy Jones will triumph in the contest to make her dreams come true.

The contestant and her partner Nico, who were Amanda's Golden Buzzer act, won a place in the final of the ITV talent show after she battled a rib injury to perform at the live semi-finals.

The pair will face the likes of operatic boyband Collabro, swing quartet Jack Pack and teenage rap duo Bars And Melody on June 7, along with Canadian magician Darcy Oake, dance troupe The Addict Initiative and French heel-wearing dancers Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi.

Amanda, launching a search to find the nation's sexiest real-life hunks for yoghurt brand Oykos, said: "I really couldn't say who is going to win. But I would love the British public to get behind Paddy and Nico. I think it would be a fantastic thing to have at a Royal Variety Performance show - a woman being thrown around in front of the Queen is just genius.

"She does epitomise the great British spirit - she's come back fighting. She's nearly 80 and her dream is to perform in front of the Queen and never dance again. I want that to come true, because the other people have their whole lives in front of them."

Amanda, 43, who is is looking for real-life torsos to be immortalised in dessert spoons for the tongue-in-cheek yoghurt campaign, believes the dancing duo can pull it out of the bag for the grand finale.

"I saw Paddy yesterday and she's in good spirits. She's a trouper. She's much better but whether she's up to full fitness, I don't know.

" I think adrenaline, nerves and that fighting spirit will get them through and they'll be better than they did last week. She was obviously being very careful and they knocked out a couple of moves. But I think those moves are back in this week.

"She's had more time to recuperate and the medical and insurance people on the show would never let her do it if they thought it was going to damage her," she added.

The Cutting It star, who admitted there's "so much choice" in this year's final, seemed to confirm rumours that Simon Cowell is planning to sign the other finalists up to his Syco roster.

" All the musical acts in the final like James Smith will all get signed, I think. There will be a lot of winners this year," she said. "There might be one winner on our show, but there are going to be an awful lot of people who aren't going to go back to their day job."

The mother-of-two also revealed how this series has reignited her spark for the show.

"I've had one of the best years on the show this year. It felt very fresh," she said, adding she has yet to sign for next year's season.

"Fingers crossed. Our contracts are renewable - they're on the table, ready to be signed," she added.


From Belfast Telegraph