Britain’s Got Talent Responds To Reports Of ‘Upset’ Among Judges Before First Auditions

Britain’s Got Talent bosses have responded to claims that the first day of auditions got off to a bit of a bumpy start this year.

On Tuesday afternoon, BGT auditions began in London, with Bruno Tonioli taking over the space on the panel previously occupied by David Walliams.

Later that night, The Sun published a piece claiming that Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon had “vowed to leave” the show in a row about pay.

According to an anonymous source quoted in the tabloid, the pair were “deeply upset” over reports in the press that newcomer Bruno was being paid more than them.

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The Sun claimed the two had taken “a principled stand for women”, adding that they’ve now received pay rises to “bring them in line with” what David was previously being paid.

Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden arriving at last year’s BGT auditions

Neil Mockford via Getty Images

In response to these reports, a BGT spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “Simon, Amanda, Alesha and Ant and Dec were delighted to welcome Bruno to the Britain’s Got Talent family yesterday for the first day of auditions for 2023.

“The opening day’s contestants featured some fantastic auditions and the rapport between the judges – including newcomer Bruno – was fun and immediate. This bodes well for a very successful new series.”

Former Strictly Come Dancing staple Bruno previously said of his BGT appointment: “I am so excited.

“It’s my first show, I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I’m sure it’s going to be brilliant.”

Bruno Tonioli pictured on his first day on the BGT panel
Bruno Tonioli pictured on his first day on the BGT panel

David Walliams’ future on the BGT panel has looked uncertain since last year, when recordings of him making explicit and disparaging remarks about some auditionees on the set of the show were shared in the media.

In a transcript shared with The Guardian, the comedian and children’s author allegedly branded one elderly hopeful a “c***” three times after they made a jibe about him in an unsuccessful audition.

Of another female contestant, David reportedly remarked: “She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to fuck them, but you don’t.”

The BGT team pictured in 2020
The BGT team pictured in 2020

Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

According to the newspaper, he then continued: “It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like: ‘Yep, I bet you do!’ ‘No I don’t!’ I had a bit of a boner, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.”

After the comments were made public, David issued a statement, saying: “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020.

“These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”

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