Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin may have just won America’s Got Talent, but he says that Wimbledon will always be his home.

Mr Zerdin, 43, claimed the $1 million (£645,000) prize, as well as a headline show at the Planet Hollywood hotel in Las Vegas, back in September for his mixture of ventriloquy and stand-up comedy.

And now, back in his home in Merton Park, he still can’t quite believe how much has changed over the last few months.

He said: “It’s a massive achievement. I didn’t expect to win it. It’s been amazing.

“I thought they would pick an American, but they went for a British guy who likes to play with dolls.”

Mr Zerdin, who describes himself as a stand-up comedian who happens to use puppets, decided to audition for the American version of the talent show after already performing at the Royal Variety Show three times.

He will be returning to the Epsom Playhouse in October this year, and bringing his three prize winning puppets – cheeky teenager Sam, cantankerous old man Albert and the Baby – with him.

But those who watched his America’s Got Talent performances may be in for a bit of a shock.

Mr Zerdin said: “The show may be a bit rude. I had to be quite squeaky clean on America’s Got Talent. American audiences can be quite sensitive, but Brits can handle anything.

“To be able to come home and play a gig just up the road from me is lovely. The more I travel, the more I appreciate home.

“There’s nowhere I would rather be right now. Wimbledon will always be my home.”

Paul Zerdin’s show Spongefinger is at Epsom Playhouse on October 23. Go to

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