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Britain's Got Talent 2016 winner Richard Jones on his bond with Prince Harry and 'nice guy' Simon Cowell

by Hanna Fillingham and Chloe Best

Richard Jones has had a whirlwind year since being crowned the champion of Britain's Got Talent in 2016. As well as performing for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal Variety Show, the magician has also been invited to show his tricks at a number of Buckingham Palace garden parties, where he has struck up a bond with Prince Harry.

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"They are lovely, really lovely, all the royals are really nice," Richard exclusively told HELLO! Online. "I see Prince Harry a lot at events, I do garden parties sometimes at Buckingham Palace and see him there, they are all really lovely. Prince Harry apparently watched the show! He said he missed the final but apparently did YouTube it – he is an army guy as well so he appreciated the stories I told in the show."

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Britain's Got Talent winner Richard Jones has a new ITV show

Richard also had nothing but positive words to say about Britain's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell, who he described as "a really nice guy". He enthused: "I actually really like Simon. I've got a lot of time for him, I think he is a really nice guy and wants everyone to do well. Even though he comes across as someone that everyone's scared of, which was the impression I had of him originally, he actually is a lovely guy and does want everyone to do well."

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The magician has come a long way since impressing Simon Cowell and the other judges on the ITV show, and as well as embarking on his own UK tour next week, Richard stars alongside Katherine Jenkins in a one-off show, Operation Magic, on Saturday. "It follows me going around lots of different army bases and to do magic for different army groups and their families," Richard said about the concept of the show, adding: "I chose the families who needed a break and deserved some entertainment. I chose them carefully and it was really great, you will see in the show there were some really lovely families that deserved a magic show."

Operation Magic is on ITV1 on Saturday 15 April at 6pm. Richard's The Power of Imagination tour starts on 23 April in Milton Keynes. For more information and to book tickets visit Richardjonesmagic.co.uk.