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'He was so proud' - Couple realise wedding witness was BGT winner Colin Thackery

PUBLISHED: 12:31 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:31 06 June 2019

L-R Marissa Browin, Stirling and Wendy Parsk and Colin Thackery Credit: Wendy Parsk

L-R Marissa Browin, Stirling and Wendy Parsk and Colin Thackery Credit: Wendy Parsk

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A Norfolk couple have described their surprise when they switched on the Britain's Got Talent auditions and recognised the stranger who was their wedding witness.

L-R Britain's Got Talent winner Colin Thackery, other witnesses Marissa and Ricky Brown and Stirling and Wendy Parsk Credit: Wendy ParskL-R Britain's Got Talent winner Colin Thackery, other witnesses Marissa and Ricky Brown and Stirling and Wendy Parsk Credit: Wendy Parsk

Wendy and Stirling Parsk, from Easton, got married in secret at an Edinburgh registry office in August 2006 on a coach trip from Norfolk to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

They decided to keep the wedding low-key as they had both been married before and Mrs Parsk "didn't want to ask her Dad again" to help pay for the wedding.

The pair met on a blind date in 2001 at Dunston Hall and Mrs Parsk admitted they did not hit it off at first as they did not have much chance to talk as a couple who were their mutual friends were there too.

However, the next time they went out on their own they clicked and five years later decide to tie the knot on their trip to Edinburgh.

On the first evening they arrived at hotel in Glasgow after a long day of travelling and when they went down for the evening meal were telling others on their table about their plans to get married.

The pair then asked a couple called Marissa and Ricky Brown, from North Elmham, and Colin Thackery, from Thorpe St Andrew, to be the witnesses.

Mrs Parsk said: "We asked them to be our witnesses and they were all really excited.

"Colin was absolutely over the moon to be asked and was thrilled and so proud we asked him.

"As I couldn't have my Dad there it was lovely to have someone who was like him and he was such a friendly and lovely person and he was full of stories.

Colin Thackery, 89, Norfolk's Chelsea Pensioner and Britain's Got Talent star (C) The Royal Hospital, ChelseaColin Thackery, 89, Norfolk's Chelsea Pensioner and Britain's Got Talent star (C) The Royal Hospital, Chelsea

"He said to us that he often had to take trips on his own as his wife didn't want to do them.

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"He dressed really smartly for the wedding and went out on the morning and bought us an engraved rolling pin and the other couple got us a bouquet done.

"Colin stood beside me at the wedding and he was just beaming the whole time."

They travelled to Edinburgh the next day by bus and after the wedding they had a meal at the Beluga Bar in Edinburgh with their new friends and when the staff found out they had got married they were served champagne.

Mr Thackery then insisted on buying the couple afternoon tea at a "posh hotel" in Edinburgh to congratulate them.

After the trip, they kept in touch with the three witnesses back in Norfolk and exchanged Christmas cards, but they lost touch with Mr Thackery around five years ago.

When Mr Thackery, who is now a Chelsea Pensioner, appeared on the Britain's Got Talent auditions singing Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler as a tribute to his late wife Joan, the couple knew they recognised him from somewhere.

Mrs Parsk said: "We couldn't think of where we knew him from and all of a sudden my husband said it was the man who was the witness at our wedding and we got the photos out.

Colin Thackery and wife Joan  Picture: BGTColin Thackery and wife Joan Picture: BGT

"We felt really proud and emotional for him as he is so lovely and he deserves it.

"We didn't realised until we watched the show that he had lost his wife."

The Korean War veteran married his wife Joan in 1950 and following her death in December 2016 he moved to the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Mr Thackery, aged 89, soared through to the final of the show and was crowned the winner after performing Love Changes Everything with fellow Chelsea Pensioners.

He will now take home £250,000 prize money, with plans to donate some to charity, and a slot at the Royal Variety Performance.

Mrs Parsk said: "We would just like to be able to send our congratulations to him and say well done with love from both of us."

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