Has David Walliams quit Britain’s Got Talent? ITV issues statement amid rumours

Comedian has been under fire after lewd comments he made about contestants leaked

David Walliams’ future as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent is “very much up in the air”, a spokesperson for the ITV show has said.

The statement from the broadcaster comes amid reports that the comedian is set to quit the popular reality series after 10 years. The Sun newspaper reported that Walliams is set to leave the show he first joined in 2012.

Walliams recently apologised for making “disrespectful comments” about contestants during breaks in filming the popular show. He was recorded making the statements during the film of the ITV series in 2020.

The Guardian reported the comments after reviewing leaked transcripts. The offensive remarks were made during the filming of audition episodes at the London Palladium in January 2020.

Walliams used a swear word to refer to a pensioner who had auditioned as well as making lewd comments about a female contestant. The Guardian said that in reviewing the transcripts for the episodes from 2020 there was no suggestion that any of the other judges also made derogatory statements about contestants.

What have ITV said about Walliams’ future?

It has been reported that the comedian is set to quit Britain’s Got Talent after 10 years. The Sun said that he is planning to leave the show ahead of the 2023 series.

But a spokesperson for BGT said that no final decision had been made around the judging line-up for next year. “The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course,” they said in a statement to the PA news agency.

“It’s still very much up in the air at the moment on whetherDavid is going to take part in next year’s show. No decision, though, has been made as yet.”

PA understands that as auditions in front of the judging panel are not due to begin for another two months, no one is currently contracted for the show.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: David Walliams attends the Commonwealth Day service ceremony at Westminster Abbey on March 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Daniel Leal-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Has Walliams’ apologised for the offensive remarks?

Following the report in the Guardian about the comments made during the filming of BGT in 2020, Walliams’ issued an apology. He has been part of the judging pannel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon since 2012.

According to a leaked transcript seen by the Guardian, it was suggested Walliams referred to an older performer as a “c***” three times when he was out of earshot, following an unsuccessful audition. During his audition, the contestant had engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a jibe about Walliams, it has been reported.

The transcript also suggests further sexually explicit comments were made after a female contestant had walked off the stage.

In a statement, Walliams said: “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020. These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”

The Guardian reported that lawyers for Walliams and Thames TV, the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent, argued the comments were part of a private conversation never intended for broadcast. In a statement, Thames TV said: “Although relating to a private conversation almost three years ago, the language used was inappropriate.

“Even though it was private, those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations as to future professional conduct.”