Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Sunday, 31 May 2009 13:15 UK

Talent results watched by 18.5m

Diversity

Highlights of the finale (courtesy of ITV / Talkback Thames)

More than 18m people tuned in to watch dance group Diversity's shock victory over singer Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent, early figures show.

Viewing figures peaked at 18.5m on Saturday night when the 11-strong group from Essex were announced the winners.

ITV say it is the most watched TV show since the Euro 2004 England v Portugal match, which attracted 20.66m viewers.

Diversity defied predictions to win the £100,000 prize and the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Show.

During the final show, an average of 15m people and a 70% audience share watched the three sets of brothers and four friends perform their routine which judge Simon Cowell described as "sheer and utter perfection".

Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle had been the favourite to win the talent show

Boyle, who sang I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables - the same song that catapulted her to global fame - was gracious in defeat saying that "the best people won" adding: "I wish you all the best."

Saxophonist Julian Smith, 39, from Birmingham finished in third place in the competition.

'No chance'

At a London press conference on Sunday morning, Diversity remained stunned at their victory with the group's choreographer Ashley Banjo saying: "I didn't expect it, really didn't expect to win at all.

"I thought there's no chance at all - we were just going to do our best."

The science graduate, 20, said he was so convinced that the group would lose, he had a speech prepared congratulating Boyle, and his "legs gave way" when the result was announced.

The group added they had not slept since their victory.

Diversity on their Talent win

Banjo said Diversity were now going to work "just as hard" and produce something "amazing" for their performance in front of the Queen at the Royal variety Show in December.

ITV said that out of the nearly four million votes cast Diversity secured 24.9% of the public vote, while Boyle received 20.2% and Smith received 16.4%.

It added that it had raised over £1m for the Royal Variety Charity from the revenue from phone votes.

Diversity is the second dance act to win the talent contest after 15-year-old George Sampson won the show last year.

They will now take part in the Britain's Got Talent tour along with the nine other finalists next month.



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