Simon Cowell chats Britain's Got Talent: The Champions
BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT: THE CHAMPIONS
Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions will bring together the world’s most talented and memorable acts from past series of Got Talent. The champions will compete in this supersized version of BGT, all trying to be crowned the ultimate champion and walk away with the cash prize and coveted Champions trophy.
Each week, two acts make it through to the grand finale – the first is a Golden Buzzer act chosen by one of the judges or Ant and Dec while the second is voted through by superfans in the arena audience.
Across the series, viewers can expect to see the return of BGT winners including Paul Potts, George Sampson, Richard Jones and Collabro as well Stavros Flatley and Twist and Pulse.
NEW: Join the BGT fan brigade of over 20 million people and get the backstage experience like never before with our access-all-areas pass to The Pod - the most VIP area at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
With exclusive photos and reaction videos of each act, you’ll feel like you’re right there with them soaking it all up.
We’ll be giving you all the need-to-know details about our world-class talent with our essential Fact Files and finding out who each act thinks is their biggest competition via exclusive backstage interviews.
Simon had a chat about the new show:
What were you most excited about bringing the Champions series to the UK?
I love the idea that we could do something which is different. Having done the American show, it's a very different kind of competition between an international act entering your main show and then representing their country on Champions. There is a very different mindset..
Has there been anything that’s worried you about this series?
My only concern and the downside of only having five shows before the final is that we’ve actually seen some amazing talent get sent home. The talent is off the charts! If we look at doing this again I’d like to do more heats and a couple of semi-finals before the final.
What has it been like filming at Wembley?
I’ve been getting ready at the hotel next door and every show I could see thousands of people queuing up for hours just to get in. That, to me, shows me how much this show is loved. I’m always amazed to see nearly six thousand people turn up and it always feels like a party! Everyone’s up for a laugh, they’re all joining in, it feels like a carnival at times. Amanda said she felt like a rock star walking out on that stage, she loves all that! I think we all got a buzz.
What impact do you think the venue has had on the acts?
I have to hand it to the production team, they did it based on gut instinct. It's easier to book the studio than it is an arena, it certainly costs a lot more in an arena. But the production team just knew they had to be at Wembley and they were right. It feels epic! The stage is huge and the acts have to rise to the occasion, and boy have they! Everything seems bigger and better, it’s amazing to see. It’s the acts who come back, it's the crazy things that have happened, the unexpected things over the years, that took us to this place. It’s not just the format that’s the success, it’s the people.
Fans are also getting to catch up with acts and see how the show changed their lives... Yeah, it's the stories I think I've loved most about this show, being able to return to Paul Potts and Connie Talbot and George Sampson, people like that. People will go, "I had no idea the career you've had off the back of the show," because with some of them when they are not on screen people can sometimes forget about them but actually they've had worldwide careers thanks to Britain’s Got Talent. If you didn't have that, you'd genuinely question why we would ever make the show.
Do you think the success of certain acts has changed the ambitions of youngsters watching at home? When I first started making these shows everybody wanted to be a pop star. Literally that was it. Now you've got these kids going, "I want to be a magician, a comedian, a dancer and other variety acts”. It’s gone in a direction I couldn't have predicted 20 years ago because it was all about being a pop star then. I think the fact that we can hopefully do both, that makes it more interesting. We got very lucky with this show, it’s the contestants, their acts and the audience who got us to this place. There's no question of doubt.
Have all the judges been on top form?
Alesha has been amazing! She could have been putting her feet up but came to work instead. She’s incredible and we’re all really happy for her and her family. Amanda has been with us right from the beginning and she's been the most loyal, easy to work with person, genuinely, that we've ever had, I think. No drama, no demands, no this, no that, she just turns up, does her thing, loves the acts and is a great ambassador for the show. I love having the lads on the show, Ant and Dec are like my younger brothers, that's how I look upon them now. We started doing all this years ago together and we've been through so much over the years.
David’s been picking quite a few fights with you on the panel this year...
David is David! He just loves being the centre of attention. He's like all comics, you know, they live for that attention. You'll never ever change him. As annoying as he is if he wasn't there, I think you'd miss him. But you know what? Even if he's got the golden buzzer he's parading up and down in front of the audience and I’m like, "When you press your Golden Buzzer it doesn't mean it’s for you, you give somebody else the attention," which he just doesn’t understand because it’s always all about him!
Britain's Got Talent: The Champions starts on ITV Saturday 31st August 8pm