David Walliams Takes Legal Action Against Production Company Behind Britain's Got Talent

The comedian left the panel after recordings of him making disparaging and explicit comments about auditionees were shared with the press.
David Walliams on the BGT panel in 2019
David Walliams on the BGT panel in 2019

Former Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams is suing the production company behind the ITV show.

The Little Britain comedian was part of the BGT panel for 10 years until he was confirmed to have left earlier this year.

His exit came several months after recordings of him making explicit and disparaging remarks about some auditionees on the set of the show two years earlier 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.”

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.”

Following the publication of his comments, David issued an apology and said: “These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”

A spokesperson for Thames TV – the entertainment label of Fremantle in the UK – also reiterated at the time that while David’s alleged comments were not intended to be made public, the judge’s use of language was “inappropriate” and he has been given a reminder of the show’s “expectations as to future professional conduct”.

David pictured during the BGT final in 2020
David pictured during the BGT final in 2020

On Monday night, it was widely reported that David had filed a legal case against FremantleMedia. Per Sky News, the case was “listed as dealing with data protection”.

Fremantle Media declined to comment. HuffPost UK has also contacted a representative for David Walliams, and is awaiting a response.

Following David’s departure, he was replaced on the BGT panel by former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli.

David Walliams with Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon outside the London Palladium in January 2020
David Walliams with Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon outside the London Palladium in January 2020
Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Simon Cowell claimed of David’s exit earlier this year: “From what I understand, he decided to take a step back. It all happened relatively quickly. I was on holiday and then the next thing is I’m having conversations about who’s going to take his place.

“We did say to the two producers: ‘You have to make the final decision’ because, yeah, I am an exec producer, but they’re more hands on.”

Simon added: “Obviously everyone had some input — the network, the producers, [production company] Fremantle, all of us said at the time, these comments are completely unacceptable.

“I had not heard them before and, yeah, it was upsetting. But from where I’m sitting, this wasn’t something I believe was ­constant.”


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