Although we all agreed with the producers that “safety has to come first”, it was nevertheless still a blow for Britain’s Got Talent fans when the hugely popular show was postponed last year.
However, good things come to those who wait, and the stage is now set again, as a whole host of weird, wonderful and super-talented acts audition at the London Palladium for the chance to follow in the footsteps of 2020 winner, comedy pianist Jon Courtenay, perform at this year’s Royal Variety Performance and pocket £250,000 in cash.
Fresh from their recent series of Saturday Night Takeaway, Ant and Dec will be waiting in the wings, getting to know the acts, celebrating with those whose auditions are a success and commiserating with those who fail to impress. The duo are clearly thrilled to be back, and Dec describes what was it like not doing it last year.
“It was really bizarre because it has been an annual event for us,” he says. “Every January, we’d come back from the New Year and the first thing we’d do was BGT auditions. Just to not have that in the diary felt a bit empty and a bit weird. We just really missed it, but it was impossible to do last year. So it made it extra special being back this year with everybody. It takes something like that to make you really, really appreciate it. It was great to be back.”
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Now in its 15th series, the multi- award-winning talent extravaganza is bigger than ever before, with even more awe-inspiring performers all vying to impress the judges and secure their place in the live-semi-finals later this year.
Reuniting with their infamous buzzers are judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams who this year, celebrate their 10th year working alongside one another.
Having had an extra year to perfect their acts, the calibre of the talent is the best the show has ever seen.
Among the eye-popping talents is a dog act like no other, harmonious choirs and in a BGT first, a phantom man who left the judges spooked like never before.
Simon admits that the standard has certainly gone up a few notches.
“I have to say, the contestants are brilliant, we have seen so many good acts this year,” he says.
“So many great stories have come out of auditions too. I think sometimes having the little break that we did is a positive thing.
“I think they realised how important the show is to them because they need a show like this for whatever they want to achieve in their lives. Everyone felt more excited about it.”
Adding to the magic of this long-awaited series is the judges ‘Golden Moments’ in which each judge will surprise unsuspecting individuals, inviting them to audition on stage.
And then there is still the famous Golden Buzzer, which when pressed, automatically grants an act a place in the semi-finals.
Amanda says the judges (and presenters) were a bit spoilt for choice when choosing when to press it.
“I couldn’t wait for mine to get to the end because I knew I needed to get that buzzer pressed before anyone else did it.
“There was a lot of acts this year where I think each one of us would’ve gone ‘I would’ve pressed it for that.’ I think all of us have got strong Golden Buzzer acts this year.”