Simon Cowell’s son has changed his BGT judging, says Ant

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Ant McPartlin has said that being a father has changed how Simon Cowell responds to people auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent.

The TV judge shares six-year-old son Eric with his partner Lauren Silverman and often thinks about the kinds of acts his child would want to see.

Discussing Cowell’s new-found fondness for novelty performers, show co-host McPartlin said: “It’s all about Eric and what he would like.

“Everything he sees that he would normally have buzzed off in years gone by, now he’s like, ‘My son would love that.’

“So, he tends to put them through.

Simon Cowell with Lauren Silverman and son Eric Cowell in 2017 (Ian West/PA)

“Like this year we have a keyboard playing dinosaur, what?

“Even if a keyboard came out a few years ago he would have buzzed them straight away and now it’s a dinosaur playing the keyboard and it’s a yes from him!”

McPartlin said the upcoming 14th series, which starts on Saturday on ITV, features more inexperienced performers than usual.

He said: “I’ll tell you what we’ve had this year more than the last few series is people just giving it a go.

“What I mean is, we ask them who’s seen their act and they tell us no one!

“They have just decided to turn up and give it a go. It’s like we’ve gone old school Britain’s Got Talent.

“It’s like BGT has gone old school this year and people are just walking in from their bedrooms and showing us their talent.

“Thankfully, a lot of them have been good! I mean, it’s classic good and classic bad on both sides.

His co-host Declan Donnelly added: “There have been a lot of those acts who have been doing it without anyone seeing it and they go, ‘So I thought I’d come to Britain’s Got Talent’, we’re like, ‘That’s quite a jump, you know?’

“The balls on them to go out there! It’s felt, at times, like we’re doing the first series again, when you get those people.

“They are the people who turned up in the early days and now they’re back, it’s quite nice!”

Asked if the show might make it to 20 series, Donnelly said: “Yeah, it could do.

“I’m A Celebrity is just about to do it, we’ll be 20 this November, which is incredible.

“So, if I’m A Celebrity can do it then there’s no reason why Britain’s Got Talent can’t.”

Britain’s Got Talent returns to ITV at 8pm on Saturday April 11.