Britain's Got Talent Golden Buzzer: What is it and what happens when it’s pressed?

All BGT's eager auditionees want to impress the judges so much that they press the Golden Buzzer. But what does it mean when they do, and has a Golden Buzzer act ever won the final?

Updated: 14 April 2022 - 11.46am

After a hiatus, Britain’s Got Talent is back for its 15th series in 2022, as a new crop of acts attempt to convince the judges and public that they have what it takes to become stars.

As the wannabe stars through the auditions stage, each of them will be crossing their fingers that they impress either the judges or presenters Ant and Dec enough for one of them to press the Golden Buzzer.

If you’re not sure why that’s a good thing, read on and we’ll explain...

What is the Britain's Got Talent Golden Buzzer?

All four of the show’s judges have red buzzers which they use to vote off acts they don't like - if four red buzzers illuminate the four Xs above the stage, the 'talent' has to end their act there and then and their dreams of glory are over.

In the centre of the judges' desk is a sole Golden Buzzer. This can be pressed once by each judge during the auditions if they think an act deserves to go straight through to the live semi-finals rather than having to face a nervous wait as the quartet whittle down their picks to the 40 or so who take part in the live shows.

Hosts Ant and Dec also have a Golden Buzzer pick between them - they just have to step down from the stage to press it.

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Britain's Got Talent: Where are the past winners?

If an act receives the Golden Buzzer from one of the judges or the presenters – even if all the others have pressed their red buzzers - they are guaranteed to go into the live semi-finals.

David Walliams, in particular, is known for pressing the Golden Buzzer for acts who have received a red buzzer from all his fellow judges. When it is pressed, the relevant judge's 'X' above the stage turns gold and golden confetti rains down on the stage.

Once a judge or the presenters have pressed the Golden Buzzer in a series, they cannot do so again in the same series.

Has a Golden Buzzer act ever won BGT?

Before the 2020 series, there had been 30 Golden Buzzer acts since it was first introduced to Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. Remarkably, none of them had gone on to win the show.

Young rappers Bars and Melody received a Golden Buzzer in 2014, but only came third in the final. Singer Calum Scott and dance group Entity were sent straight through to the semi-finals in 2015, but neither made the top three in the final.

Another Golden Buzzer-grabbing dance troupe, Boogie Storm, came in third in series 10 in 2016, while comedian Daliso Chaponda filled the same position in 2017.

Jack and Tim, Gruffydd Wyn Roberts and Donchez Dacres all made the final in 2018, but Dacres ended in the highest position of the Golden Buzzer acts - third place.

Last year only Flakefleet Primary School’s all-action choir and stand-up comedian Kojo Anim reached the final, and neither finished in the top three.

2020: The first ever Golden Buzzer winner

Finally, in the 2020 series of Britain's Got Talent, Ant and Dec picked a winner.

The duo's golden buzzer act, singing comedian Jon Courtenay, ended up triumphing in the final with an emotional and patriotic musical number Small Things.

It was a strong year for Golden Buzzer acts with sign language choir Sign Along With Us also making the final and coming second.

How to watch Britain's Got Talent 2022

Britain's Got Talent returns on Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th on ITV.

Catch up on the ITV Hub.

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