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  • Writer's pictureJust Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell spills on what we can expect from the new series of BGT

Britain’s Got Talent makes a triumphant return to the stage as judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli reunite with hosts Ant & Dec in the search for Britain’s next talented superstar... and it’s set to be a golden year.

The judges are braced and ready to be met with some of the most spectacular displays of talent as lucky hopefuls perform in a bid to impress the panel enough to bag a life-changing £250,000 cash prize and a spot on the bill of the Royal Variety Performance.

Auditions took place earlier this year in London and Manchester, where lucky contestants were voted through to the next round by the judges. Not forgetting those who went straight through to the live shows with the Golden Buzzers.

Simon Cowell is excited for the show this year and gives us an idea on what to expect:

Welcome back for a new series, what can fans expect this time around?

I watched all the yes tapes back and honestly; it’s going to be an amazing show this year. It's just different and it's fun and it's got everything you want from BGT. It's got a heart, great stories, things we'd never seen before, which is important because you don't want to just keep repeating the same thing year on year. So overall, I couldn't be happier.

What have the audiences been like during auditions?

They were wild! I kind of encourage that, you know if you want to be part of the show, be part of the show. And boy did they take that on, literally! That's what makes it fun though. When you've got an audience and they're excited and they're passionate, it just gives it so much more energy.

Can you see a difference between the London and Manchester audiences?

Yeah. Big time. London audiences are great, that's why we do auditions in London. However, you go up north and it's like party night, and I mean every day! We're very lucky that we've got all those people sitting behind us.

What did you think when Bruno broke the golden buzzer on the first day?

I just knew something like that was going to happen! I just thought it was hilarious. I love it when things go wrong or the unexpected happens, otherwise it's boring. So I thought it was hysterical.

I love that there aren’t any rules on the show anymore. It is kind of like being back at school, because the teachers keep coming in saying, “You know, can we try and keep the golden buzzers down?” And they know we've got absolutely no intention whatsoever of doing that. I keep saying, “Look, if something happens or the audience in particular are telling us, then we kind of have to”. I think they secretly love when it happens, but they have to try and keep us in check! But I don’t think it matters. I mean, we don’t want to get to the point where you've got 20 golden buzzer acts, but I think eight or nine is fine, that's one an episode and in one episode you'll see two. I don't see that as a bad thing.

Did you have an idea going into this series what you wanted for your golden buzzer?

No, I never do, to be honest with you. I never know what kind of act to press it for. And then in the moment I do obviously listen to the audience and then I'm kind of imagining it in my head. And then you just go, “I've got the ability to press it for this act”, and it's just the best feeling in the world.

There's nine golden buzzers this year, the most the show has ever had. What do you think that says about the quality that fans are going to see in the finals?

Well, the truth is, honestly, when I watched the yes tapes back, I thought there were about another 17 acts who easily could have had a golden buzzer. That’s how good the talent is this year. But look, I think eight or nine is the absolute limit. I don't think you could ever really go beyond nine, well, maybe 10 at a push! But I always listen to the audience and the feedback I got last year was they did enjoy seeing more golden buzzers.

It doesn’t mean we’ll just hand them out for no reason, they have to be earned otherwise there’s no point in them. They have to stand out, like Amanda’s second buzzer, I’ve never seen anything like that. It's so funny. It's just so weird but brilliant.

Looking ahead to the live shows, what can fans expect?

An absolute party! Those live shows are incredible, the energy is electric. Like I said about Manchester, it does feel like a party. If we had a hundred shows, we could fill that theatre every night given the amount of requests for tickets we get. So many people want to come to the live shows because it is really, really good. It's so much fun. We’re really conscious that it’s a party atmosphere, so when we’ve been deliberating about who makes it through, we could have had 80 acts but we have to have 40. It’s been so tough to whittle them down this year. I think the audience is going to love it though.

What do you think is the secret to winning over the British public?

I don't know anymore. I genuinely don't. I mean, if you had told me after his first audition that Viggo was going to win, I’d be like, “Yeah, right”. But then it happened. And the great thing about this show is it doesn't matter. Whoever the public chooses, the public chooses, and I really think they get it right most years. I really, really do. There's always someone I feel bad for, of course. But you can just never predict who the public will love. Though, interestingly, this year, when we were discussing the finals, we went round the room and said who we think might win and there was one person everyone gravitated towards. It’s going to be interesting. I’m excited for this year, let’s see who the public picks as their winner.

As a bonus this year, Britain's Got Talent Reacts will be shown straight after the main show on ITVX.

Viewers will watch highlights of the brand-new series through the eyes of some of the UK’s biggest content creators, who will be sharing their thoughts and opinions on the brave acts taking to the stage, in a bid to impress the judges. The content creators will be joined by some notable acts from former series of Britain’s Got Talent and a few surprise celebrities along the way.


BGT Reacts will be a celebration of the ‘react’ style of video that has recently dominated social media across the globe and will be packed full of zany humour and hilarious reactions to the brilliant auditions from this new series.


Six 15-minute episodes will drop on ITVX, each week, straight after the transmission of the main show on ITV1.

Britain's Got Talent screens on ITV this Saturday at 7.30pm. A second episode will be shown on Sunday at 7.40pm.


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