Express & Star

Britain's Got Talent star Jean still enjoying life in the spotlight

She warmed the nation's hearts with her infectious energy, talented keyboard skills and that now-famous flamboyant sparkly jacket.

Jean ahead of performance on the Compton organ at the Astoria earlier this month

And seven years on since the final of Britain's Got Talent, retired music teacher Jean Martyn is still very much in demand playing concerts and giving talks both in this country and overseas.

"I feel truly blessed that people still remember me after all these years," says bubbly organist Jean, who lives in Brewood.

She auditioned for the ITV talent show at the NEC in Birmingham back in 2011 and her performance in her first live audition earned her a standing ovation with an impressed Michael McIntyre declaring that she had ‘rocked’ the stage.

Jean went on to perform rousing renditions of Grease hit You’re The One That I Want and Buck Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up in the final and finished in 10th place.

This was just the beginning of a whirlwind journey for Jean, who had previously worked at Cannock Chase High and Huntington Primary schools.

She continues to have a busy schedule of performances and appearances and can also be seen on The Sun Bingo's Having a Ball comedy show alongside Rustie Lee, Chico and Russel Grant.

"They are the nicest people you could ever meet. We have so much fun and laugh so much together," says Jean.

Jean with fellow Britain's Got Talent stars and father-son dance duo Stavros Flatley

Sadly, last year was a difficult one for Jean as she lost her husband Bob Ware who died in October aged 77.

As a way of thanking staff at New Cross Hospital for the work they do in caring for patients, she handed over a donation of £850 raised in memory of Bob.

She also transported her own piano to the wards so that she could bring festive cheer to patients ahead of Christmas.

Jean on Britain's Got Talent

At the start of this year, she took two months' off to help recover following a hectic 2017 but soon saw her calendar filling up when she returned to work.

"Since losing Bob, I'm thrown myself into my music and once people realised I was back, I started having all these invitations," says Jean.

She's an avid viewer of Britain's Got Talent and said she was impressed with this year's winner stand-up comedian Lee Ridley, known as Lost Voice Guy.

Jean performing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

"It was a well-deserved win and I'm sure he's going to do very well. But I think, like with me, even if you don't win being in the final will still change your life," adds Jean.

Performances this year have included one at the Royal Windsor Horse Show where she was in the company of the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.

"It was the week before Harry and Meghan's wedding and it was marvellous. The highlight was watching the Household Cavalry who did a wonderful display - it made me feel so proud to be British," said Jean, who also gives talks for different clubs and societies.

She had also made trips to Germany which included performing on a Welte organ in Hamburg in March. "They love me in Germany but the funny thing is that I don't speak any German. They seem to understand me though," adds Jean.

Jean with husband Bob on their wedding day

While earlier this month she gave a concert on the Compton organ at the Astoria in Barnsley.

Despite receiving invitations to appear at royal events and overseas, Jean still loves playing in the Midlands and on July 1 will perform her much-loved 'boogie woogie' set at Penkridge Round Table's fun day. "I haven't forgotten my roots, they are important to me. I've been playing since I was three and music has been a huge part of my life ever since.

"My mother inspired me when I was young and then Bob inspired me when I was older. When I retired from teaching, I thought life would be quieter and then in a day my life changed thanks to Britain's Got Talent. 2007 was a magical year for me.

"I'm still enjoying it as much as ever, the only sad thing is that Bob isn't her to share it with me," said Jean.