I auditioned for BGT at the end of 2015 at the London Excel auditions while serving in the British Army. My plan was to try to get onto the TV rounds where I knew I would have the opportunity to showcase my passion to the world. I went on to win and now I am very fortunate to continue to serve as a representative of The British Army while touring the world on TV and huge stages as a Touring Magician and Presenter. Shows like BGT not only kick start hundreds of careers each year but also serve to inspire viewers at home to take up new hobbies and professions and opens up our mind to talents that we never knew existed, thats why I love the show so much!

The first round will not be televised. You will first be invited to perform your talent for a small group of producers in a small audition room. This is your first chance to make an impression, so don’t hold back!

If they enjoy your act you may then be invited to audition for a second panel on the same day. This audition may be filmed for the producers to refer back to at a later stage (Not for TV).

After this stage you are finished. If the producers of the show feel as though you are good enough to feature then they will contact you at a later date to invite you to the first televised round where you will perform for the celebrity judging panel. Sometimes you may not get a lot of notice for this so remember to keep up to date with your skills in the mean time. I got a call on a Tuesday in February and invited to audition in Liverpool that same Friday! Luckily I was performing regularly anyway so was ready as ever. Be aware that this round will be you in front of a large crowd in a theatre, no pressure 🙂

If you do get a call and offered an audition date try your best to accept the offer as if you try to change to a different filming date you may not be guaranteed another offer. I was due to perform for the Queen with the Army on the date they gave me but I accepted it anyway. I was then lucky that my Army boss is a very supportive man an he allowed me to have the day off to go and audition. (Yeah I owe him Big time!)

The rest off the process you will likely be aware of as it is covered on the TV every year. But in short, if you get through on the first televised round then you may be invited to the LIVE SHOWS!

It’s important to note that even if you perform on the first TV round this doesn’t necessarily mean you will feature on the TV screens. Unfortunately there’s not enough time for them to show everyones act, but hey, you will still have had the amazing opportunity to perform in front of an awesome crowd!


Before we get into my top tips for success section I want to express how important I believe shows like BGT are. TV talent shows allow thousands of people to showcase their passions to incredibly large audiences. This helps kick start many peoples careers every year. It also opens up our minds to the vast array of abilities we have as humans and in doing so advances many art forms.

I like to also think that by watching people striving to achieve their dreams impacts and inspires many viewers at home to take up new hobbies and passions. I still remember the great feeling I got from watching Paul Potts on series one go from being a phone salesman to winning the biggest show on TV. I similarly also remember Leona Lewis winning the X Factor and singing ‘A moment like this’ in the finals. That moment really hit me emotionally and that was the moment I first thought about how amazing it would be for me to be in that same position. Little did I know that 11 years later I would be experiencing the same thing on the same stage!

In the last year I’ve been lucky enough to have had a Sold-Out UK tour, Prime time tv shows and performed all over the world.




What is your talent?

It’s very important that you have a plan for your audition.
You must know exactly what your talent is and what makes you different from anyone else who does similar things to you.

Ask yourself this question honestly: Do you believe you’re any good?
If your answer is ‘no’ then maybe focus on becoming better before you audition.
If your answer is ‘Yes’ then perfect!

Grab a pen & paper and make a list of answers to the following:

What have you already achieved within this talent?
How long you have been performing for?
What makes you different from others who have your talent?
Why did you originally get interested in your talent?
Why do you want to showcase your talent to the world?
What would you plan to do if you win the show (be specific)?
What will you do with all that Cash?
What inspired you to take up this talent?
Why do you want it so badly?
Who inspires you the most?
Do you do this for a living? If not, what do you do for work?
I hope you took the time to write the answers down. If you did then you now have a list of answers to the most likely questions you will be asked in the audition. It’s very important that you’ve put hard thought into these answers before you get into the audition. You only have a few minutes to impress the judges/producers so make sure you emphasise how much it means to you and get across as many interesting facts about yourself as you can.


The competition is tough, there are lots of talented people who have been working hard on their acts for years, make sure you are as prepared as possible.
Ensure you have rehearsed until you can perform your act at your highest ability every time. This may involve practicing hundreds of times before your audition.

Once you are at this stage, get out and perform in front of friends and family. Listen to their feedback, make any changes you feel necessary, then try to get in front of some strangers. The pressure of performing in front of people you don’t know will affect you performance. It is better that you go through this stage before you get to your audition. The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the more confident you will become. The more confident you are, the more relaxed you are likely to feel when you get to the audition stage.

It is a good idea to have a friend ask you the questions I gave you above. Go through these questions until you are happy that you have the best and most appealing facts to answer them with. This will also make you feel more relaxed when you get into the audition room as it wont feel like an alien process.


Dress to impress!!! (But be appropriate to your talent)
Dress the way you feel represents your personality and talent the best. Ensure you feel comfortable in your outfit and most importantly ………….. MAKE SURE YOU’VE REHEARSED IN THIS OUTFIT!!!!!!!!
There’s nothing worse than working hard practicing and then finding out on the day that you can’t perform to as high of a standard in your chosen outfit.


This sounds stupid but DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!
Two Reasons:
1 – if you’re smiling and come across as being happy to be there then you will build more rapport with the judges/producers.
2 – Smiling has a psychological effect on our minds. The more we smile, the more relaxed and happy we become. Seriously! Even if you force yourself to put on a huge smile and hold it for 10 seconds it will naturally make you feel happier and more comfortable. Before I go on stage every night I always remember to ensuring I’m smiling and it absolutely works.

If its a no don’t worry, keep your head held high. Many people have not done well but gone on to do great things and prove people wrong. Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, me!!!! The hardest part of the process is showing up to the first audition, be proud of yourself that you made it that far.

Whatever you do don’t take it out on the producers / judges. They have a very difficult job without people getting grumpy and kicking off. Plus, if you cause a scene you could be ruining your audition chances for future years.

The mindset I entered the competition with last year was not to go in to win, but instead to go in to do the best I am capable of. That is because I knew that I was not in control of whether I win or not, that is down to the public. So instead I just focused on the element that I am in control of, which is the level at which I perform. That way as long as I was happy that I performed to a high level I could be proud that I did all I could do.
Take the following things with you to ensure you are not unnecessarily stressed on the audition day:

Food (Lots of it, you will be there hours!)
Scripts etc
Spare clothes / costumes
Headphones + music to keep you relaxed & ‘in the zone’

Take a friend with you / family member – whoever you take ensure they are the people who are supportive and make you feel confident. Rehearse your act with them throughout the day while you wait for the audition.

Everyone deals with nerves differently. I believe everyone gets the same ‘butterfly’ feeling before they do something out of their comfort zone (like going on stage / auditioning). The difference between world class performers and everyone else is the way they frame that feeling in their mind. Instead of thinking the butterfly feeling is nerves, try to see the feeling as a sign of how excited you are to be stepping onto stage. If you can reframe you mind from feeling ‘nervous’ to feeling ‘excited’ then you will naturally perform better because we behave more confident when we are excited.


Listen to your favourite uplifting song on your headphones just before you walk into the audition room. Just before I went on stage LIVE in front of 12 million people for the BGT final I was walking around backstage dancing to ‘Footloose’ on my headphones. I think everyone backstage thought I was nuts, but it worked.
Smile – Honestly. Smile & try to enjoy the moment, it is a wonderful opportunity you are walking into here.
Spend time over the weeks leading up to the audition visualising the perfect audition. Before I performed in the Live shows last year I spent hours visualising the act going perfectly in my mind. I truly believe that that was a big key to my success. Because I had seen my act do so well so many times in my mind, by the time I actually got on stage I felt more positive, confident & relaxed.

Unfortunately this also works the other way, so be careful. If the story you create in your head is of your audition going poorly then you will end up more anxious and won’t perform as well. I now use visualisation techniques all the time to help me perform better. Something I did before the live shows last year was put up pictures of the celebrity judges smiling on my wall. Sounds crazy I know, but I believe it helped me on a subconscious level become familiar with the judges smiling and made me more expectant of a friendly response from them when I got on stage.


It’s very rare that we get the opportunity to be in a room full of so many varieties of incredibly talented people. Try to mix an mingle and make friends & collaborate with as many people as possible. Don’t forget, many X Factor solo singers have created groups and done very well in the past (One Direction). You never know, you might be sat next to a future winner.

Be up for as many interviews and filming opportunities as you can. You’re there to get noticed so get in front of the camera!
If you have interesting traits outside of your talent, mention those too. I always tell magicians that if you do magic and you’re also a lawyer (for example) then combine both of those things within your act and you then become even more interesting. The same can be applied to any other talent. What makes you stand out, what makes you different. The amazing thing about BGT is your success is decided by the public, they want to connect with you as a person, not just your talent.

Have an idea of how you can advance and vary your act if you get to the next rounds. The producers will be pleased if you have a plan for future acts if you are to make it to the next rounds. Remember to think big, even if your not sure how you can possibly pull off the plan, let them have the ideas anyway.


Finally I want to wish you the very best of luck. Remember, if you want to make it with your talent in the entertainment world then you have to take the leap and commit yourself to broadcasting your abilities to the world. Get out there and make your name!

If you found this information useful please do let me know and keep in touch on social media here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RichJonesMagic

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If you would like to come and see me on tour then it would be great to meet you, I do meet and greets after every show with the audience and I would love to hear your stories and talents.
Check out my Tour dates here: