Ant And Dec Open Up About Britain's Got Talent Judge Changes: 'We Were Apprehensive'

Bruno Tonioli is the newest addition to the BGT team, taking over the spot previously occupied by David Walliams.
Ant and Dec arriving at Britain's Got Talent auditions last month
Ant and Dec arriving at Britain's Got Talent auditions last month
Shane Anthony Sinclair via Getty Images

Ant and Dec have shared their thoughts on Bruno Tonioli’s arrival on the Britain’s Got Talent panel, following the departure of David Walliams.

Filming on the 16th season of BGT got underway last month, with former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli the first new addition to the show in over a decade.

His appointment comes after it was revealed that David would not be returning to the ITV show.

His departure came after recordings of him making explicit and disparaging remarks about auditionees on the set of BGT in 2020 were leaked in the press, for which he later issued an apology.

During an exclusive interview with HuffPost UK, which will be published on Saturday (25 February), Ant and Dec admitted they felt “apprehensive” before production on the new series of BGT began.

“We love David Walliams, and we miss him,” Ant says, with Dec insisting the pair are both “still good friends” with the former Little Britain comedian.

David Walliams will not be back on the BGT panel this year
David Walliams will not be back on the BGT panel this year

Ant continues: “We text a lot, we see him socially, so we were really kind of apprehensive about starting this new series.

“But on the first day of auditions, we thought, ‘we’ve got to just treat Bruno like the new guy and be kind to him’. And he was really nervous.

“We spoke to him just before, and he said, ‘I can’t tell you just how nervous I am’, which surprised us because he’d done Strictly, he’s on Dancing With The Stars in America still... he’s no stranger to big TV shows.

“So I felt sorry for him, but I thought it showed real humility. And we were just kind to him. We laughed at him when he made mistakes, but tried to show him the ropes a bit.”

Bruno Tonioli on the BGT panel
Bruno Tonioli on the BGT panel

The duo also revealed that Bruno has already been unleashing his unique brand of chaos on the set of BGT, including a widely-reported incident in the press where he went against the show’s rules and pressed his Golden Buzzer twice in as many days.

Bruno will join existing judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell when BGT returns to ITV in the spring.

Ant and Dec’s interview coincides with the new series of their show Saturday Night Takeaway, which returns to ITV on 25 April.

Read the full article on HuffPost UK this Saturday.


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