Old favourites returned for the Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular as David Walliams underwent a royal makeover to deliver an alternative Queen’s speech.
The TV talent show’s festive special featured judges Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Ashley Banjo, who replaced the stricken Simon Cowell for the latest series.
They were joined by previous winners and finalists from Britain’s Got Talent’s 14-year history.
Walliams dressed up as the Queen – wearing a white wig, diamante crown and makeup – to deliver a biting alternative speech poking fun at his co-stars.
After joking about the Queen being furloughed, he turned his fire on the panel, with quips about Dixon’s music career, Holden’s notoriously skimpy outfits and Cowell’s age.
He said: “Let’s look now to the New Year and my honours list. Alesha Dixon will be made CBE for her services to music – by which I mean she’s retiring.
“Amanda Holden will be made an OBE for her environmental work – she always ensures her dresses use a quarter of the normal amount of fabric.
“Ashley Banjo will be made an MBE for his charity work for the elderly and infirm in taking over from Simon Cowell.
“As for Ant and Dec, they will be named the duke and duchess of Newcastle, a city so close to their hearts, they’ve lived in London for the past 25 years.”
And Walliams added: “And finally David Walliams will have his OBE taken away for doing this awful impersonation of me. Merry Christmas, one and all!”
The first act featured Banjo joining his dance troupe Diversity – who won the show in 2009 – performing alongside 2018 finalists DVJ and 2008 winner George Sampson.
Their Christmas-themed set, to a medley of music, was a hit with Banjo’s fellow judges, with Holden describing it as “incredible” while Walliams said it was “beautiful and heartfelt”.
Another former winner took to the stage when Ashleigh Jade Butler performed to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You with her dog Sully.
Butler won the 2012 edition of Britain’s Got Talent with Pudsey, who died in 2017. Sign Along With Us, the 2020 runner-up, joined Butler on stage.
Dixon – after having her singing mocked by Walliams – was joined on stage by pianist Tokio Myers, the 2017 winner, for a rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
Walliams said Dixon made the classic Christmas song “raunchy”.
Little Britain star Walliams, dressed as a snowman, accompanied comedians who had previously starred on Britain’s Got Talent, including 2013 finalist Francine Lewis, 2018 winner Lost Voice Guy, 2020 finalist Steve Royle, 2018 runner-up Robert White and 2017 runner-up Daliso Chaponda.
Holden performed her festive single Home For Christmas alongside 2014 Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, the musical theatre group.
And old favourites Stavros Flatley – the British-Cypriot father-son dance duo who made the 2008 final – returned to the stage for a typically energetic performance.
And, in a surprise for viewers, they were joined by Walliams and Banjo, who both went topless.
The Christmas special also paid tribute to the heroes of 2020, including frontline workers who have risked their lives during the pandemic.
Colin Thackery, the 2019 winner, sang a cover of What A Wonderful World over an uplifting montage from the previous 12 months.
And reigning champion Jon Courtenay closed the show with an original festive song followed by Wizzard’s 1973 classic I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.