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Britain’s Got Talent 2022: Ant McPartlin fights back tears as he welcomes a live audience

Ant McPartlin welcomed back a live audience for the first time in two years after Britain’s Got Talent was cancelled due to Covid.

 The TV presenter, 46, who was joined by his co-host Declan Donnelly, joked that he wanted to cry as he kicked off the 2022 series of the ITV talent show.

Ant’s welcome comes as Britain’s Got Talent shared the first picture of judges Simon Cowell, 62, Amanda Holden, 50, Alesha Dixon, 43, David Walliams, 50, ahead of the new series, as auditions at the London Palladium begin this week.

Welcome back! Ant McPartlin welcomed back a live audience for the first time in two years after Britain’s Got Talent was cancelled due to Covid

ITV bosses made the decision to cancel the programme last year due to the difficulties surrounding auditioning during to the pandemic.

The year before the typically live semi-finals were delayed until the autumn and were mostly pre-recorded and involved a remote studio audience. 

According to Tony Cowell’s column in Best magazine, Ant said: ‘Excuse me while I go and cry. We are so excited to be back. We were gutted to miss last year and not get to see you all. But we’re back, raring to go and have one hell of a show for you.’

They're back! Ant's welcome comes as Britain's Got Talent shared the first picture of judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams ahead of the new series, as auditions at the London Palladium begin this week

They’re back! Ant’s welcome comes as Britain’s Got Talent shared the first picture of judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams ahead of the new series, as auditions at the London Palladium begin this week

It was soon business as usual as David Walliams laid into Simon for taking so to propose to fiancée Lauren Silverman, after he recently popped the question.

After one act involved their engagement in their performanc  

After one act incorporated their engagement into their performance on Sunday, David joked: ‘It was good you brought it up to date with the engagement. I mean, they only had a kid seven years ago. He took his time.’

We're off: On Monday night, Ant and Dec were seen leaving the theatre where auditions are taking place following another evening of hosting duties

Dapper: I'm A Celebrity presenter Ant looked smart in a denim shirt and jeans, which he layered with a checked jacket and teamed with Nike trainers

We’re off: On Monday night, Ant and Dec were seen leaving the theatre where auditions are taking place following another evening of hosting duties

Music mogul: Simon lead the exits from the auditions on Monday night

Music mogul: Simon lead the exits from the auditions on Monday night

Simon quipped back: ‘Hopefully mine will last longer than yours, David’, in reference to his fellow judge’s five-year marriage to supermodel Lara Stone.

He added: ‘I’m so excited we’re back! I can see people! I feel emotional.’

Amanda Holden said: ‘I feel really choked up. It’s so great to see you all.’

During the night David could be seen dressed up as a giant golden buzzer, which the judges press when they want to given an act a ticket to the semi-final. 

Big winner! During the night David could be seen dressed up as a giant golden buzzer, which the judges press when they want to given an act a ticket to the semi-final

Big winner! During the night David could be seen dressed up as a giant golden buzzer, which the judges press when they want to given an act a ticket to the semi-final

Catching up: Ant appeared in jovial spirits as he stopped to talk to fans outside the venue, while being flanked by a member of the security detail

Catching up: Ant appeared in jovial spirits as he stopped to talk to fans outside the venue, while being flanked by a member of the security detail

Dressed to impress: Dec looked equally smart in a jumper and jeans, which he wore with a black overcoat and tartan scarf, teamed with a pair of black brogues

Smart: The father of one, who is married to wife of five years Ali Astall, flashed a beaming smile for the cameras while making his way home from filming

Dressed to impress: Dec looked equally smart in a jumper and jeans, which he wore with a black overcoat and tartan scarf, teamed with a pair of black brogues

On Monday night, Ant and Dec were seen leaving the theatre where auditions are taking place following another evening of hosting duties.

I’m A Celebrity presenter Ant looked smart in a denim shirt and jeans, which he layered with a checked jacket and teamed with Nike trainers.

Ant appeared in jovial spirits as he stopped to talk to fans outside the venue, while being flanked by a member of the security detail.

Suave: David looked handsome in an open black shirt and two-piece suit

Suave: David looked handsome in an open black shirt and two-piece suit

Smiling! David flashed a broad smile as he left the The London Palladium

Over there! Simon wore a signature grey jumper and a pair of pale blue jeans with brown brogues

Smiling! David flashed a broad smile as he left the The London Palladium

Security: The stars were flanked by a group of security guards

Security: The stars were flanked by a group of security guards

Say cheese! Ant obliged as fans asked to take his picture on the way out

Say cheese! Ant obliged as fans asked to take his picture on the way out

Dec looked equally smart in a jumper and jeans, which he wore with a black overcoat and tartan scarf, teamed with a pair of black brogues.

The father of one, who is married to wife of five years Ali Astall, flashed a beaming smile for the cameras while making his way home from filming.

Also seen leaving the venue were judges Simon and David, however their co-judges Amanda and Alesha were not pictured. 

Read the full Tony Cowell column in Best magazine, on sale today. 

Happy chaps: Ant and Dec returned to BGT after the show was cancelled last year

Happy chaps: Ant and Dec returned to BGT after the show was cancelled last year

Happy chaps: Ant and Dec returned to BGT after the show was cancelled last year

Got the essentials! Ant was seen toting a black leather bag full of his belongings

Got the essentials! Ant was seen toting a black leather bag full of his belongings

Smiley: Meanwhile Dec was sporting a black rucksack

Smiley: Meanwhile Dec was sporting a black rucksack

Smiley: Meanwhile Dec was sporting a black rucksack

The man! Simon resumed his role as head judge on the panel

The man! Simon resumed his role as head judge on the panel

Heading off: Simon was pictured in the back of a black Rolls Royce

Heading off: Simon was pictured in the back of a black Rolls Royce

Britain’s Got Talent auditions kicked off with a bang, as the judges reunited to film the first day of auditions.

The ITV show’s creator, a newly-engaged Simon posed for a slew of snaps alongside his co-judges and hosts Ant and Dec.

David took to his Instagram grid to share the happy photos, writing: ‘Reunited’ with a simple heart alongside a photo of him and pal Simon. 

Ahoy there! Simon offered his signature salute while leaving the venue

Ahoy there! Simon offered his signature salute while leaving the venue

Bottoms up: Simon sipped on a Skinny Beer in the back of his car

Bottoms up: Simon sipped on a Skinny Beer in the back of his car

Big grins! Ant was greeted by fans as he left the venue

Big grins! Ant was greeted by fans as he left the venue

Happy to be back! Britain's Got Talent auditions have kicked off with a bang, as the judges reunited to film the first day of auditions over the weekend

Happy to be back! Britain’s Got Talent auditions have kicked off with a bang, as the judges reunited to film the first day of auditions over the weekend

He donned a smart black suit for filming, over a black shirt, complete with a flowery pocket square.

Simon was stylishly casual in a black jumper and blue jeans while Ant and Dec matched with each other in all black ensembles.

Amanda glowed in a skintight yellow gown that clung to her sensational curves, and boasted a thigh-high slit to show off her sculpted legs.

Return: David Walliams, 50, posed alongside hosts Ant and Dec

Return: David Walliams, 50, posed alongside hosts Ant and Dec

Alesha complemented her in an orange blazer and coordinating trousers which she wore over a black bra that showed off her toned midriff.

Both ladies styled their tresses poker straight and finished their looks off with full faces of glamourous makeup. 

The official Britain’s Got Talent Instagram also shared a video of the group bursting through a paper banner proclaiming ‘Welcome back’ while cheering wildly.

'Reunited': David took to his Instagram grid to share the happy photos, writing: 'Reunited' with a simple heart alongside a photo of him and pal Simon

‘Reunited’: David took to his Instagram grid to share the happy photos, writing: ‘Reunited’ with a simple heart alongside a photo of him and pal Simon

Gang's back together! Amanda glowed in a skintight yellow gown that clung to her sensational curves, and boasted a thigh-high slit to show off her sculpted legs

Gang’s back together! Amanda glowed in a skintight yellow gown that clung to her sensational curves, and boasted a thigh-high slit to show off her sculpted legs

They captioned the clip: ‘We’re back, baby! What a fab first day’.

The page also revealed that the day had been full of excitement already, with not just one but two golden buzzers being used on the first day.

The fifteenth series, planned for production and broadcast last year, was met with concerns from ITV, Thames and Syco Entertainment on how to safely conduct filming amid new government restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Excited: The official Britain's Got Talent Instagram also shared a video of the group bursting through a paper banner proclaiming 'Welcome back' while cheering wildly

Excited: The official Britain’s Got Talent Instagram also shared a video of the group bursting through a paper banner proclaiming ‘Welcome back’ while cheering wildly

Warm welcome: They captioned the clip: 'We're back, baby! What a fab first day'

Warm welcome: They captioned the clip: ‘We’re back, baby! What a fab first day’

The initial decision was to postpone production until later on that year, however all involved agreed that they would not produce a new series until 2022.

It was reported on Saturday that Simon will remain on Britain’s Got Talent until 2025 as the show’s deal is extended. 

The TV personality will be a judge on the TV show for another four series after ITV extended the programme’s current deal by 12 more months, claims The Mirror

It comes after it was revealed on Friday that Simon is letting go of ‘almost all his staff’ at Syco and significantly downsizing the multimillion pound entertainment empire after almost 20 years.

A source told the publication about BGT: ‘He is showing no signs of slowing down and is working on lots of American projects too.’ 

A representative for Simon and ITV were contacted by MailOnline for a comment. 

Here to stay: It was reported on Saturday that Simon will remain on Britain's Got Talent until 2025 as the show's deal is extended

Here to stay: It was reported on Saturday that Simon will remain on Britain’s Got Talent until 2025 as the show’s deal is extended

The star, who has repeatedly discussed his resistance to marriage, sent shockwaves earlier this week when it was revealed he had popped the question to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 44, and he is now said to be focused on family. 

Insiders revealed Simon has begun downsizing the company in order to spend more time with his family: 

‘Simon has reached a time in his life when he doesn’t want the stress of running a global empire and so has made the difficult decision to wind down Syco.’ 

A production source told MailOnline: ‘Everyone who has worked with him is just incredibly grateful for those opportunities and experiences and they understand the direction he wants to take things. Those that are leaving will be snapped up fast’.   

Simon, who shares son Eric, seven, with his fiancée Lauren, has spoken in the past about his ‘ unhealthy addiction to work’ and needing to slow down, after breaking his back in a bike crash last year and falling down the stairs in 2017. 

Syco Entertainment is a media entertainment company, based in both London and Los Angeles, and founded and owned by Simon. Having previously centered on music, the company currently focuses on TV production.

The company owns The X Factor and Got Talent franchises while the music branch oversees a slew of talents founded on the respective shows. 

Part of the furniture: The TV personality will be a judge on the TV for another four series after ITV extended the talent show's current deal by 12 more months, claims The Mirror

Part of the furniture: The TV personality will be a judge on the TV for another four series after ITV extended the talent show’s current deal by 12 more months, claims The Mirror 


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