Britain’s Got Talent winner and Norwich Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery becomes the oldest singer ever to sign a debut record deal

Colin Thackery signs record deal with Decca (C) CHRIS O'DONOVAN

Colin Thackery signs record deal with Decca (C) CHRIS O'DONOVAN - Credit: CHRIS O'DONOVAN

Norwich war veteran and winner of Britain's Got Talent 2019, Sergeant Major Colin Thackery, has brokens a new record in the history of music as he signs his first record deal at the age of 89 – making him the oldest solo artist in the world to do so.

Colin Thackery signs a new record contract with Decca (C) CHRIS_ODONOVAN

Colin Thackery signs a new record contract with Decca (C) CHRIS_ODONOVAN - Credit: CHRIS_ODONOVAN

Norwich Chelsea Pensioner and Britain's Got Talent 2019 winner Colin Thackery has become the oldest singer to sign a debut record deal and Simon Cowell "could not be more thrilled".

Dressed in his distinctive red Chelsea Pensioner's uniform, the army veteran and singer was photographed signing the deal on the roof of Decca Records' London Headquarters in King's Cross and said: "This is indeed a surprise and an honour and completely unexpected, I would like to thank my family for their continued support and to the crew of Britain's Got Talent for looking after me".

President of Decca Records, Rebecca Allen, welcomed Colin to the label: "It feels so incredibly fitting that Colin should sign to Decca, in its 90th Anniversary year. The fact that Decca's success started the year Colin was born, feels quite magical. He's a unique artist and we are extremely proud to welcome him into our family."

Syco Entertainment has partnered with Decca Records for this collaboration.

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Simon Cowell said: "I could not be more thrilled that Colin, who won Britain's Got Talent this year, has signed to the same label as Dame Vera Lynn. Colin is an inspiration to us all."

Colin, who used to live in Thorpe St Andrew, has been singing all his life but joined the army at the age of 15 and lost part of his hearing fighting in the Korean war. He is now managed by one of the most successful managers in the UK, Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, and with his 90th birthday approaching next year, Colin is thrilled to be officially starting his career in music.

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The BGT champion - whose triumph last month was watched by more than 10 million TV viewers - has been bringing joy with his vocal skills to friends and residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea where he lives, for years, with regular singalong sessions. He also sings at the hospital's dementia ward every week.

He entered Britain's Got Talent after a dare, and dedicated all three of his stirring televised performances to his late wife Joan, who passed away in 2016. They married in 1950 but Colin was posted to Korea two weeks later. It wasn't until two years later that Joan eventually joined him, in Hong Kong - more recently, the pair sang together in an operatic society.

His heartfelt renditions of 'Wind Beneath My Wings', 'We'll Meet Again' and 'Love Changes Everything', for which he was joined on stage by his fellow Chelsea Pensioners, had the audience and judges in tears. All three songs will be featured on Colin's debut album which is set for release on 30th August to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II on 3rd September.

As Britain's Got Talent champion, Thackery will also perform for the Royal Family at the prestigious Royal Variety Performance in November. After being a member of Her Majesty The Queen's army for 25 years, he will now finally get to sing for her.

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