Viewers of Britain Got Talent have taken to social media claiming Devon ventriloquist Jimmy Tamley had ‘scammed’ BGT contestant Nina Conti’s act.
The 64-year-old, from Ashburton, won over the judges on Saturday, receiving four yeses from the four judges.
Jimmy, who has eight children, strapped moving masks over the judge’s faces before having David practice several ‘hobbies’ including jumping rope, ballet dancing and a striptease which made the judge chief Simon Cowell very uncomfortable.
However, fans of the ITV show have since taken to Twitter to say that Jimmy stole Nina Conti’s act.
Nina, who uses the same masks Jimmy attached to David Walliams and Amanda Holden on the Saturday show, would have been 13 at the time.
The BGT judges didn’t seem to make the connection, with Alesha Dixon calling Tamley “refreshing and different”.
But it has emerged since Jimmy has been playing with face masks for 42 years – meaning it started when Nina, 44, was still in childbirth.
You can watch Jimmy in action below.
The Ventriloquist isn’t shy when it comes to TV shows either as he won the ITV talent show New Faces in 1987, beating comedian Joe Pasquale who was also on the show.
On his website, Jimmy is described as “one of the world’s most sought-after comic ventriloquists”.
He plays a wide range of characters, including Lightening Les, the underweight boxing world champion, Grandad, Charlie baby, Knuckles the biker and Louie the blues.
His website says, “Jim continually challenges perception of the fascinating art of ventriloquism with the most entertaining audience participation you will ever see.
“One of the best technical vents in the world, Jim uses his incredible vocal skills and excellent comedy and characterization to put on a unique show.
“His approach to the fascinating art of ventriloquism and puppetry is something not to be missed.”
His credits include Channel 4’s Big Breakfast, ITV’s ‘Talking Telephone Numbers’, ITV’s ‘Odd One In’ and the BBC quiz show ‘Weakest Link’.
He has also worked with artists such as Joe Pasquale, Lenny Henry, Bill Bailey and Peter Kay.
Last night, a show insider said, “Jimmy…has been incorporating masks into his routines for a long time, before Nina started using them in her act.”
Jimmy’s other TV credits include Sky TV’s Stand and Deliver and Channel 4’s Big Breakfast.
Britain’s Got Talent continues next Saturday at 8pm on ITV.