“I was gobsmacked when they told me I won,” said magician Vladimir Putin. “It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, I’m speechless.”
The shock result was announced just hours after voting closed.
“He won by a landslide,” said his agent, “beating both the unicyclist juggler and the fire-eating sword-swallower who made it through to the final round. They simply couldn’t match his magic.”
“As a child, I used to dream of winning Stars in Their Eyes,” said Mr Putin, “but it was not until I joined the KGB that I seriously started to play with smoke and mirrors, before moving on to develop my own unique style of magic.”
In the opening rounds of the competition, Putin limited himself to a few simple card tricks, and then demonstrated some brilliant pickpocket magic, pulling the entire Crimea peninsular out of his hat.
He progressed through the knock-out stages, knocking out the competition as he went, until his grand finale when he made seventeen Russian exiles disappear without even moving his lips.
Claims he had somehow hypnotised everybody to make them vote for him were roundly dismissed.
“You’ll be saying I made it snow in the UK next,” he quipped.