Meet Colin Thackery, an 89-year-old Chelsea pensioner who, in 2019, became the oldest ever winner of Britain's Got Talent.



A veteran of the Korean War, Colin is a familiar sight in the area and in the Royal Hospital choir.



I have lived at the Royal Hospital for two years now and really enjoy it.

I love the security and the care that’s provided by each member of staff, and it’s great being in Chelsea.

I haven’t lived in London since I was a child so I was hesitant, but I’m really enjoying it.

I like the local restaurants, in particular – Caraffini, and I also adore the food at Côte on Sloane Square.

I often take my daughter and granddaughters there for dinner.


The choir

I have always sung in the Royal Hospital choir. We sing in the dementia ward every Thursday and are always amazed by the response we get from some of the patients.

Some of my favourite pieces of music include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, [Offenbach’s] Tales of Hoffmann opera, and anything by Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion. 

I went on Britain’s Got Talent for a dare.

National tour

I was convinced they wouldn’t want an old man like me on the show, so I’m glad I went for it.

The experience was life-changing and I have been extremely busy since!

I have been lucky enough to perform at some fantastic venues in London this year, including the Palladium, the Apollo and the Royal Albert Hall.