James, who is also a magician, has spoken to Radio Times about auditioning for the show, in a newly-published interview that was given before Paul’s death.
In it, he praised Paul and his wife Debbie McGee, crediting his whole career so far to them.
“They’ve closed the Royal Variety, they’ve played it a few times and that plays a big part in me being here. There’s no other sort of inspiration I’ve taken. I’ve never really watched any other magicians.
“I’ve got a video, a VHS of my uncle playing the palladium in about 1979, and it is him, the stage, a box and that’s it. I was always inspired by that – how can this one person fill this whole theatre?"
James’s initial audition was filmed at the start of the year, but if he makes it through the live shows, he’ll be taking to the stage again, this time in front of a live studio audience.
While the exact contents of this year’s shows are being kept under wraps, bosses have revealed that we expect a few disagreements between the judges, one of which will occur when Simon Cowell makes a joke about David Walliams’ recent marriage split.