Britain's Got Talent has yet again divided viewers after Norwegian clown Viggo Venn defeated a line-up of talented child acts to win the latest series.
The 2023 grand final saw 14-year-old magician with autism Cillian O'Connor, and 13-year-old gymnastic dancer Liliana Clifton named runners-up, while comedian Venn - whose signature move is dancing in a hi-vis vest - won the £250,000 cash prize and a spot at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.
Also among the 10 finalists who lost out to the Norwegian comic, were Ugandan orphan dance troupe Ghetto Kids, amputee dancer and cancer survivor Musa Motha, 27, and 13-year-old operatic singer Malakai Bayoh.
The winner of the talent contest is decided by public vote.
Some viewers expressed their displeasure on social media.
Our #BGT2023 WINNER is... VIGGO VENN!!
Congratulations, you have just won £250,000 and a spot on the bill at The Royal Variety Performance 🥳#BGT #BritainsGotTalent #BGTFinal @viggovenn pic.twitter.com/mIh2UL8u1J
— BGT (@BGT) June 4, 2023
One tweeted: "I like Viggo but I don’t think this was the correct decision. The talent from a lot of the kids this year was outstanding and I feel one of them should have won, but still well done Viggo #BGT"
Another said: "To think that guy just got 250k for prancing round in high vis, utterly embarrassing. If that’s someone who has talent, the show needs to give up. Feel so sorry for the young girl who has probably danced the whole of her 13 years to loose to that…. Words fail me #BGT2023"
And another exclaimed: "This guy actually won #BGTFinal really really ???? Out of all the other acts this won his act in the final was worse than the semi final and he wins reallyThink definitely our last ever year watching #bgt as quality control gone down the drain badly."
But other fans of the show believed Venn was a worthy winner - and did demonstrate talent as an entertainer.
One commented: "@ViggoVenn deserved the win as much as anyone else. Absurdist comedy that Britain does so well, his talent isn’t wearing Hi-Vis, it’s very clever comedy."
Another said: "Everyone hating on @ViggoVenn obviously don’t see comedy as a talent and have no sense of humour yes other acts were very talented but he was also talented and made everyone laugh- something not many can do he got my vote and deserved the win!"
And another observed: "Well done to @ViggoVenn for winning #BGTFinal I am convinced that after all that’s happened over the last few years, all we really needed to do was smile. Well done sir for helping the nation smile together!"
Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly had to apologise for the bad language during the final after Venn swore during his act.
The comedy performer Venn used the "s***" word as he pretended something had gone wrong, before asking, "Is this live?"
McPartlin said afterwards: "We must apologise for any bad language that you might have heard during that. Not naming names. Somebody did."
Watch: Ugandan orphans Ghetto Kids made the BGT 2023 final but did not win