Veterans

'Love Changes Everything': Chelsea Pensioner Becomes Oldest Person To Sign First Record Deal

Army veteran Colin Thackery captured the nation's hearts when he won Britain's Got Talent earlier this year.

Colin Thackery has spoken to Forces News about his whirlwind summer since winning Britain's Got Talent.

Army veteran and Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery has become the oldest solo artist in music history to sign their first record deal.

The 89-year-old singer captured the nation's hearts when he won Britain's Got Talent earlier this year.

Colin only put himself forward for the competition as a dare, after one of his fellow Chelsea Pensioners suggested he apply.

"Age is just a number. You've got to keep going, keep trying other things. Why not," he said.

"The fact I was an ex-soldier standing singing things like 'We'll Meet Again", I got a lot of sympathy, no sympathy's not the word, I got a lot of support from the Army.

"No doubt at all, the Army were behind me - I know that because I had notifications from regiments I was in contact with."

He won not only the £250,000 prize money, but also the chance of a lifetime to sing at the Royal Variety Performance in November.

Colin joined the Army at 15, serving as a gunner for 25 years, in several Royal Artillery regiments.

In 1950, he put his musical talent to good use on a ship out to Korea.

"I started as a choir boy, many many years ago. It's remained ever since, I've just sung all of my life."

Seventy years on, and Colin has signed a record deal with Simon Cowell’s label Syco. 

He has made a music video, and with a book and a tour on the cards, there is no stopping him.

His quiet retirement is now a whirlwind of interviews, media appearances and time in the studio, recording an album. 

Colin also sings to people in the dementia ward at Chelsea Hospital every Thursday, and said it is "a great joy" to see people singing, who otherwise "never utter a sound."

His debut album will be released in September.

As with all his performances, 'Love Changes Everything', is dedicated to his late wife Joan.