David Walliams says even ‘snobby’ acts relished appearing on BGT


He said it was quite ’emotional’ for people to be back on stage following the pandemic (Picture: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/Shutter)

David Walliams has said even ‘snobby’ acts were buzzing about appearing on Britain’s Got Talent after lockdown, when the show returned to screens after being cancelled in 2021.

The comic and author, who sits on the judging panel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, said the pandemic had been so tough that many performers simply thought, ‘We need this.’

The ITV variety contest is returning to screens after being axed due to the pandemic last year, with the first episode set to air this weekend.

Difficulties in filming amid the pandemic were compounded because acts travel from all over the UK and sometimes abroad to take part in the show, so David says the atmosphere during filming this time has been ‘celebratory.’

Describing their days shooting at the London Palladium theatre, the 50-year-old, said: ‘If you’re a performer, you’re out doing clubs, and pubs and things, you might not have had an opportunity to perform for a long time. So I could see it was quite emotional for people to be back on stage.’

He added: ‘Obviously people are emotional to go on stage in the Palladium because it’s the home of entertainment in the UK, the likes of Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli have all been on that stage.


Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams

The judging panel returns for another series (Picture: Instagram)

‘There is something really magical about going on stage and 3,000 people are all giving a round of applause. It’s a wonderful feeling.’

When discussing auditionees who might not have looked twice at the show in the past, he said: ‘I also think some people who might have been a bit snobby about doing the show have come on this year because they felt like, “Well, the last year or so has been so tough, we need this. We would relish this opportunity to have this exposure, and have the chance of being at the Royal Variety Show”.’

Meanwhile, 51-year-old Amanda, who has appeared on the show since it began, described the feeling of returning to the show as ‘phenomenal,’ and it’ll come as no surprise that she became tearful during filming.


Britain'S Got Talent Auditions - Manchester

Ant and Dec are back too (Picture: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty)

She said, when she walked into the ‘iconic building’ for the first time, she ‘nearly burst into tears’ at the sight of ‘a proper audience’ for the first time in two years.

‘It was such an overwhelming and joyful moment to see them all in front of us. And they were well up for it. It felt like they’d missed us as much as we’d missed them.’

BGT as we know it certainly has been missed throughout the pandemic and we’re in for a full spectacle of glitz and glamour this weekend as the show airs on both Saturday and Sunday.

With thousands of hopefuls already having auditioned, it remains to be seen who’ll make it to live shows and win that coveted spot on the Royal Variety bill.

Alongside the regular judges, loveable Geordie duo Ant and Dec will return to host the gig, having just wrapped another series of Saturday Night Takeaway.

Britain’s Got Talent returns to ITV on Saturday April 16 at 8pm.

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