Speculation is growing that David Walliams will be leaving his position as judge on Britain’s Got Talent. The actor and comedian has been part of the lineup for ten years, with ITV confirming his future on the show is ‘still very much up in the air’.
Walliams has faced backlash after it was revealed he made derogatory and sexually explicit comments about contestants during auditions in 2020.
He has since apologised for his remarks, explaining in a statement that: “These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”
In a statement Britain’s Got Talent told PA news agency: “The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course.”
So, who could replace David Walliams as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent? Here’s everything we know so far.
Has David Walliams quit Britain’s Got Talent?
Walliams has been a judge on the ITV series for ten years alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon. However, The Sun has reported that he has decided to step down from the show.
ITV has not yet confirmed the speculation, in a statement they said: “The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course.” Adding: “It’s still very much up in the air at the moment on whether David is going to take part in next year’s show. No decision, though, has been made as yet.”
PA news agency has reported that no judges are currently contracted for the upcoming 2023 series and that as of yet no auditions in front of judges had been held.
What did David Walliams say?
Walliams was caught on his microphone making derogatory and sexually explicit comments about show contestants. The Guardian reported the comments took place at the London Palladium in January 2020.
During the incident Walliams called a pensioner a c*** three times and in a second incident he commented on a female contestant who had made an unsuccessful audition. Walliams said: “She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t.
“I know, she’s just like: ‘Oh, f*** off!’ I was saying, she thinks you want to fuck her, but you don’t. It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like: ‘Yep, I bet you do!’ ‘No I don’t!’ I had a bit of a b****, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.”
Following the revelation Walliams issued a statement apologising, he 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.”
Whilst ITV said in a statement: “We do not condone the language outlined in these allegations, and we have spoken to the producers of Britain’s Got Talent. Duty of care towards all participants on any of our programmes is always of paramount importance and we have protocols and guidelines in place for all our production partners.”
Who could replace David Walliams on Britain’s Got Talent?
Since it has been reported that Walliams is likely to be leaving the show fans quickly took to social media to speculate about who could replace him. Names that were suggested included former TV judge Piers Morgan and Britain’s Got More Talent Host Stepehen Mulhern.
One Twitter user tweeted: “There is only one man who can replace David Walliams as BGT Judge... STEPHEN MULHERN!”
However, other names have also been rumoured to be in the running. Here’s a speculated list of who could replace David Walliams on BGT.
There has been speculation that Morgan could possibly return to the series. He was previously a judge on Britain’s Got Talent between seasons 1 to 4 from 2007 to 2010 and was also a judge on America’s Got Talent, sitting on the panel through seasons 1 to 6 from 2006 to 2011. The journalist and TV Personality is currently working for TalkTV, where he has interviewed figures such as Donald Trump and Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr on his new programme Piers Morgan Uncensored.
Mulhern is a television presenter, magician, and comedian. He has previously hosted Britain’s Got Talent’s sister show Britain’s Got More Talent. The series featured behind-the-scenes interviews with contestants and judges and included acts that hadn’t made the cut for the main show.
However, it was not renewed for 2022, speaking to The Sun in April, Mulhern said: “It’s a shame and when it was decided they weren’t going to do the ITV2 version I think the consensus among the boys and judges was this is a massive gap.”
He added: “We did it from day one, when there were only three judges. Do I think it’s a shame? I do. We got away with a lot of stuff.” Stephen added: “Do I miss BGMT? The answer is yes. But that’s life.”
Mandel has been a judge on America’s Got Talent for 13 seasons, joining the lineup in season 5. The Canadian actor, comedian and TV personality was the voice for Gizmo in the Gremlin’s franchise and has since went on to host both the American and Canadian versions of Deal or No Deal. The comedian is good friends with fellow judge Simon Cowell, so there is speculation that he might be invited to join the UK version.
Hammond has been a presenter on ITV’s This Morning since 2002, she has not previously worked for Britain’s Got Talent. Fans on Twitter have called for her to replace Walliams, with one tweeting: “I think @AlisonHammond should be a judge on #BGT she would bring the laughs. I feel anybody else it will just be a failure of a show.”