Britain’s Got Talent magician James Stott is a war hero who saved life of squaddie mate in Afghanistan

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BGT hopeful James Stott is a war hero who saved a squaddie pal’s life in Afghanistan, we can reveal.

Viewers saw the Marine-turned-magician voted through last night after challenging Simon Cowell to detonate explosives at random.

Simon Cowell to detonate explosives at random” width=”960″ height=”640″ />

James Stott was voted through on Britain’s Got Talent after challenging Simon Cowell to detonate explosives at random

We can reveal the Marine-turned-magician is a war hero who saved a squaddie's life in Afghanistan

We can reveal the Marine-turned-magician is a war hero who saved a squaddie’s life in Afghanistan

James, 35, was considered for a Military Cross before leaving the forces in 2016.

He said: “Compared to the Taliban’s explosions, the ones I use on stage are nothing.

“In Afghanistan, I was based in a tiny mud compound. Every day there were near misses from bomb blasts. If an explosion went off, you’d drop to one knee and it would rain mud and debris.

“On New Year’s Eve 2008, I looked up and saw a lad had been killed by a blast. Another had his arm torn up. I thought I could help so crawled over. Then the enemy turned their fire on us.”

James said the explosives he uses on stage are 'nothing compared to the Taliban's explosives'

James said the explosions he uses on stage are ‘nothing compared to the Taliban’s’
James impressed the shows despite only one dry run
James impressed the show’s judges despite only one dry run

James, in a bulletproof sheet no bigger than a piece of paper, shielded his pal and carried him to safety. He then retrieved the dead soldier’s body.

Pals dubbed James “Steel” for his bravery.

He said: “I was due to be lined up for the Military Cross but suffered an injury in 2009 and couldn’t return to the front line.”

James served as machine gunner in Iraq in 2004, but rated the Afghanistan tour as worse. He added: “So while I was nervous performing on BGT, one thing that didn’t scare me was getting hurt.”

James was considered for a Military Cross before leaving the forces in 2016

James was considered for a Military Cross before leaving the forces in 2016
James, pictured meeting Princess Anne, shielded his pal during an attack in Afghanistan and carried him to safety
James, pictured meeting Princess Anne, shielded his pal during an attack in Afghanistan and carried him to safety

James, from York, impressed judges Simon, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon despite only one dry run — and that didn’t go as planned.

He added: “On the show, I had to hope that something wouldn’t go terribly wrong.

“I’ve lots of ideas for my next performance. I’d love to get my Marine pals involved if they’d agree. I kept my audition secret so they’ll be pretty surprised.”

 

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