Simon Cowell addresses Britain's Got Talent's future ahead of new series after 'rubbish' start

Britain's Got Talent judges Bruno Tonioli, Simon Cowell, and Amanda Holden
Britain's Got Talent judges Bruno Tonioli, Simon Cowell, and Amanda Holden -Credit:PA

Simon Cowell has addressed the future of Britain's Got Talent as he prepares to return to screens with the hit talent show. The ITV programme will return for its 17th series in a double weekend extravaganza on Saturday (April 20) and Sunday (April 21).

In the upcoming series, the golden buzzer, which sends contestants straight to the semi-finals, will be used nine times, despite the fact there has previously been a limit to one judge each.

Speaking about the golden buzzers, singer and judge Alesha Dixon joked that there used to be rules before former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli joined in 2023, replacing comedian David Walliams.

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When Tonioli joined during the 16th series he broke the rules when he pressed the golden buzzer for a second time during a performance from singer Gamal John.

But Simon was keen to share how the show has a very interesting history and why he thinks the reality competition will be here for a "long, long time," adding that "people now come from all over the world to compete".

"When we first started, we did the pilot here and it was rubbish. Then luckily, we sold it to America and it was a hit," the 64-year-old said. He explained that the show was then bought by ITV, which is where the reality series has been broadcast since its debut in 2007.

All four judges will be back for the new series -Credit:Getty Images
All four judges will be back for the new series -Credit:Getty Images

"I always thought, if we could get three or four years out of this, it will be amazing”, he added. "And then you reach 10 years and you go, ‘That’s a milestone’. I think because so many people now come from all over the world to compete and it’s not just winning the show, it’s having that viral moment which you know, can literally change your life overnight in a way.

"These clips sometimes get hundreds of millions of views. I think that’s why people are going to come back year after year after year and and hopefully keep competing and get better, because that’s what I’m seeing is that the acts are actually, thank God, getting better. And because the show has all ages I think it’s gonna be here for a long, long time."

Last year Norwegian comedian Viggo Venn, who impressed with his high-vis inspired routines, was crowned the winner of Britain’s Got Talent and scooped the £250,000 prize, as well as a spot on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance.

Britain’s Got Talent airs from Saturday at 7.30pm on Saturday, April 20, on ITV1 and ITVX.