Britain's Got Talent



Paul O'Grady (non-broadcast pilot)

Ant & Dec


Fern Britton (non-broadcast pilot)
Amanda Holden (all series)
Simon Cowell (all series, live shows only 2011)
Piers Morgan (2007-10)
Kelly Brook (early auditions, 2009)
Louis Walsh (stand-in judge, 2010-1)
Michael McIntyre (2011)
David Hasselhoff (2011)
Alesha Dixon (2012-)
David Walliams (2012-)
Gary Barlow (stand-in judge, 2013)

ITV2 coverage (Britain's Got More Talent): Stephen Mulhern

Announcer: Peter Dickson


TalkbackThames and Syco for ITV1/2, 9 June 2007 to 4 June 2011 (61 episodes in 5 series)

Thames and Syco for ITV1/2, 24 March 2012 to present


A search for a talented performer, with the prize of an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance and £100,000 (upped to £500,000 for the sixth series).

Simon Cowell leads a team of light-entertainment deities (and former tabloid editor Piers Morgan) around the country in search of fine talent. Unlike every other talent contest ever, the performer need not be a singer. Dancers, ventriloquists, clowns, people who play the spoons, people who carve sculptures out of ice are all welcome to audition.

The key gimmick here was that each judge was issued a large X, linked to a buzzer. When the judge had had enough of the performance, they pressed their buzzer, and their X lit up. If all three judges buzzed in, the act was entertaining no-one, and terminated. Any resemblance to the gimmick of Let Me Entertain You is surely a coincidence.

The first half of the series followed the usual route of showing people who were either very competent or very poor at what they did. The latter stages returned to a more traditional theatre setting, with a public phone-in to determine who would advance to, and ultimately win, the final.


2007: Paul Potts (opera singer)
2008: George Sampson (dancer)
2009: Diversity (dance troupe)
2010: Spelbound (gymnastics troupe)
2011: Jai McDowall (singer)
2012: Ashleigh and Pudsey (performing dog act)
2013: Attraction (shadow theatre group)


Simon Cowell, Ken Warwick, Cécile Frot-Coutaz and Jason Raff


Series one contestant Richard Bates, an impressionist and organ player, was removed from the programme by producers when Lancashire Police contacted ITV to inform them that he was listed on the Sex Offenders Register, following an unspecified offence in December 2005. [1]

After the semi-finals, series one drag act the Kit Kat Dolls were disqualified after the News of the World claimed three of the members were part-time escorts.

Before she became a judge on The X Factor, Cheryl Cole was in the running for the role of the female judge.

During the open auditions in February 2010, Simon Cowell came down with the flu, meaning he was unable to take his place on the judging panel. As a result, fellow X Factor judge Louis Walsh was drafted in at short notice as a temporary replacement. Walsh returned as a stand-in judge during the 2011 series, this time taking the place of David Hasselhoff, who was unable to attend certain auditions due to prior commitments.

The music played during the pre-opening title montage is Lux Aeterna, which was composed by Clint Mansell for the 2000 film, Requiem for a Dream. The piece is also used frequently on Sky Sports News.

Web links

Official site

Wikipedia entry


Image:Britains Got Talent judges.jpgThe gang from 2007 to 2010.

See also

Opportunity Knocks


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