The Version Interview... Ant and Dec on the return of Britain's Got Talent
The one and only, Britain’s Got Talent, is back and celebrating ten triumphant years of talent.
The dream team of judges - Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams - once again take their places on the panel, in search of the most astonishing and exhilarating talent around. They are joined by the nation’s favourite TV duo, Ant & Dec, who will be on hand to encourage, congratulate and commiserate the acts whilst guiding the audience through the auditions.
Ant and Dec tell us more...
Q: BGT is back for its tenth series, why do you think it’s more popular than ever after a decade on the box?
A - The great thing about Britain’s Got Talent is you never know what’s coming next and we’re constantly surprised by the weird and wonderful acts that walk onto that stage.
D - The fact that we still see things we have genuinely never seen before, even ten years on, is what makes people love the show.
Q: Looking to this series, how would you rate the talent?
A - I think the talent this year is phenomenal - it’s like everyone is pulling out the stops for the tenth anniversary of the show.
D - Every year we want the acts to give the British public something they’ve never seen before and I can honestly say this year’s talent does not disappoint.
Q: What made you choose your Golden Buzzer act this year?
A - When she walked onto that stage, I don’t think anybody expected that big and beautiful voice to come out of her mouth. We were stood on the side of the stage with her father and he was just bursting with pride. Then we looked out at the judges and every single one of them had a huge smile on their faces - even Simon! Alesha was in tears and the audience’s reaction was like nothing we had experienced that day. We had to press our buzzer, she was just amazing and we can’t wait to see what she does in the live shows.
Q: What do you think of the judges’ Golden Buzzer choices this year?
A – I think the people the judges pressed their Golden Buzzer for say a lot about the judges. If you put the acts and the judges in a room, you’d be able to match the talent to the judges quite easily. That’s good though because that means they’ve gone for people they really believe in and who they can support and get behind for the rest of the series.
D – Exactly. Each of the judges has picked an act who really represents their tastes in entertainment and variety. And each is really different too.
Q: Has Simon gone back to being ‘Mr Nasty’ on the panel?
A - Simon is Simon and is always just honest with what he thinks. He certainly isn’t afraid to press his buzzer if he’s not impressed and this year is no different.
Q: Is David behaving himself?
D - He is to an extent. Although Simon was joking that he had placed a ban on David so he has to stand 10 feet away from him and the acts at all times. David’s mum was happy to misbehave when sat as a judge in Simon’s place for a few of the acts - she certainly took no prisoners buzzing acts and telling people what she thought of them. She was a natural!
Q: You helped a magician with his act and got to smash phones, were you excited or nervous at the thought of smashing Simon’s?
A - We don’t always get involved with the acts because it’s not about us, it’s about the acts doing their thing. But every now and then we come across a smashing - excuse the pun – reason to get on stage and help someone out.
D - It’s always fun to get involved with the magic acts and when it transpired that Simon’s phone and a sledge hammer were involved, we had to get a piece of that. I’d say we were probably more excited than nervous although there was a moment when it dawned on me; ‘What would actually happen if we did smash his phone?’
Q: What act has surprised you the most this series?
D - There was a really standout performance from a sword swallower - I’m not sure if his act was more surprising or shocking or terrifying but it was certainly the most dangerous act we’ve got on the show this year.
A - I can’t wait for viewers to see that audition. Or perhaps you’ll only partially see it because you’ll be hiding your face behind a cushion!
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the live shows this year?
D - With the live shows it’s quite nice for us to see how the acts have progressed from their first audition. The ones who have been put through will be working hard, getting their acts together to go out live to the nation.
A - It’s great for us to see how they’ve grown and dealt with that pressure.
Q: How do you think the show has changed since it launched?
A - I think the acts have just got bigger and better and more ambitious.
D - I think the audiences’ reactions have got bigger and better as well - that’s the audience at the auditions and at home once the show is on air. With social media having got so much bigger over the past ten years, audience participation has got so much bigger; they can be really vocal about what they do and don’t like. And they are!
Q: What impact do you think BGT has had on both the public and British television while it’s been on air?
A - I think it’s reignited a love and appreciation for the British public - with all of their quirky ways.
D - If you look back at some of our greatest success stories - Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, Ashleigh and Pudsey - these are all ordinary people who showcased their extraordinary talent on the show and the nation then fell in love with them.
Q: What’s your favourite memory from any series so far?
A - It would have to be Susan Boyle’s first audition. When she came on stage and was chatting away, people thought she was a comedy act and then she absolutely blew them away with her performance.
D - That was a stand out moment of the decade I think.
Q: How would you sum up the tenth anniversary series in three words?
D – The best yet!
Britain's Got Talent returns to itv this Saturday.