BGT winner Colin Thackery talks life after fame and memories of his wife and their life in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 12:17 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:17 29 July 2019
Colin Thackery took to the stage in front of millions of people watching from their homes to perform a live rendition of Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings.
Little did he know on that day in May that just moments later his life would be changed forever as he was announced the winner of Britain's Got Talent 2019.
Admitting he only auditioned for a dare, since winning the show Mr Thackery has signed a record deal with Decca Records, home to big names such as Gregory Porter, Andrea Bocceli and Katherine Jenkins, who recently met the Chelsea Pensioner.
Mr Thackery said: "I have various things to tick off my bucket list and one of them is to sing with Katherine Jenkins. She said she would like to sing with me and that would be a dream. She is such a beautiful lady and a nice person."
His debut album is due to be released on August 30 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War on September 3.
The Korean War veteran added: "I'm making an album and I shall be performing at the Britain's Got Talents: Champion show at Wembley arena this weekend.
"The whole feeling is like being on a fairground ride that is getting faster and one day it will stop and I will drop off and that will be it, these things don't last forever but for now I'm enjoying the ride."
Despite his new found fame, the 89-year-old still reminisces about life in Norfolk with his late wife Joan Thackery and the time they shared singing together.
The Chelsea pensioner, who previously lived on Laurel Road, Thorpe St Andrew, hopes to return to the place he called home for more than 40 years.
Mr Thackery said: "Coming back to Norwich would bring Joan back again because we were there for so many years.
"I miss our life there, we sang together, we would take a book to read on the coast and dine with friends, it was a good existence."
Mr Thackery, who now lives at The Royal Hospital in London, met his wife Joan Thackery in Durham in 1949 at a camp dance where they sang together for the first time.
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The couple married in 1950 and spent the next 66 years of their lives together exploring their passion for music.
Mr Thackery added: "People say 'who do you sing to?' And I say I sing to her all of the time.
"I talk to her everyday and tell her what's happening and I carry a photo of her with me.
"She was the wind beneath my wings. I never achieved anything until I met her. She was a calming influence. As I rose up she was right there behind me."
Moving to Norfolk in the 1970s, Mr Thackery, described falling in love with Norwich after the couple decided to settle down having moved around the country for 20 years.
It was not long before they joined the Norfolk Opera Players, where they would perform for the next 25 years and made some of their closest friends.
But he decided to move to London after the death of Joan in December 2016, to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
He added: "When I left I felt like I left her there."
Describing himself as a modest man, Mr Thackery said he will not let his new found fame go to his head.
He added: "If Joan could see me now she would say, don't get above your-self lad and stay cool and she is absolutely right."
He hopes to return to Norwich to perform back where he used to with Joan.
Mr Thackery added: "My agent has got plans for me to do a little bit of touring, and what nicer place to be than to perform at Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich.
"Anywhere in Norfolk, to perform at the Norwich Theatre Royal would be absolutely wonderful."