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Britain’s Got Talent 2022 judges: Meet the panel
Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon reveal what we can expect from BGT 2022.
After a one year break, Britain's Got Talent returns to ITV on Saturday 16th April at 8pm, promising its biggest year yet of laughter, tears and talent.
Once again, Simon Cowell is taking his place at the judges’ desk alongside Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
Here’s all you need to know about the 2022 TV contest’s jury of light entertainment experts.
Head judge Simon is the maestro of the show and the judge that every act wants to impress, whether they love him or loathe him.
Simon’s been present for every single series of Britain’s Got Talent, with a varying line-up of other celebrity judges joining him.
Aside from putting the variety acts through their paces, Simon is best known for his head judge role on another ITV talent show, the X Factor, where he’s only ever missed a couple of series but has always remained in charge, even if off screen.
He’s a big deal Stateside, too, with regular gigs in charge of American Idol and America’s Got Talent.
Talking about the 2022 series of BGT, Cowell said: "I have to say, the contestants are brilliant, we have seen so many good acts this year. So many great stories have come out of auditions too.
"I think sometimes having the little break that we did is a positive thing. I think they realised how important the show is to them because they need a show like this for whatever they want to achieve in their lives. Everyone felt more excited about it."
It wouldn’t be Britain’s Got Talent without Amanda, who has served as Simon’s right-hand woman since series one.
With a love for musical theatre and a background on the stage, Amanda usually favours acts that fall into those categories – although just like her fellow judges, she can’t resist a dog act.
Amanda’s well-known for her TV roles in hairdressing drama Cutting It, family adventure Wild at Heart, and circus sitcom Big Top.
She has also been nominated for an Olivier Award for best actress in Thoroughly Modern Millie and starred as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical, so this is the mentor you want if you’re harbouring dreams of being on the stage.
Talking about BGT's return to live audiences, Holden said: "When I walked into The Palladium, that iconic building, and walked onto stage, I nearly burst into tears when I saw a proper audience there for the first time in so long .
"We’ve always classed the audience as our fifth judge and part of our BGT family, and to have them missing for all that time has felt really quite sad. So 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."
Singer, MC and former Strictly Come Dancing winner Alesha has occupied the third judge’s seat since series six.
The former Mis-Teeq star and successful solo artist can offer expert guidance to singing groups and dance troupes, and appeals to a younger audience than the other three judges.
Her time on Strictly, where she also served as a judge after winning, has given her insight into the ballroom and Latin acts who often grace the stage, adding an extra string to her bow.
Her raucous laugh, friendship with Amanda, and willingness to get up and dance to almost anything have made her a popular judge.
Alesha believes that the year break from screens for the show has improved the talent in 2022.
"I think that the talent having a bit of a break has meant that people have more time to work on their act," said Dixon.
"And actually, there was a contestant who said, 'I was supposed to come on the show last year when it was cancelled, and actually having that extra year to really work on my act has been really good.'
"You also hear stories about acts coming out that have come up with these crazy ideas during lockdown, and I love those stories."
BGT hasn’t always featured a fourth judge – the end seat was added in series five when David Hasselhoff joined the panel for a single series.
Since David signed up for season six and made his debut alongisde Alesha, he has never failed to lighten the atmosphere and has produced quite a few outrageous moments in the process.
Talking about the show's return in 2022, the Little Britain comic said: "I think it's pretty celebratory, because 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.
"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.
"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. Not everyone gets to do that. I mean, most people don't.Most of us don't, who maybe aren't performers, get to experience that.
"So I think it's kind of emotional and meaningful. 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'."
Who else has judged BGT?
Odd as it seems now, the third judge who sat alongside Simon and Amanda for the first four series of BGT was former tabloid editor and outspoken Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.
He was replaced by comedian Michael McIntyre for series five, but despite being an incredibly popular TV star at the time, somehow his humour didn’t quite translate to the role in the same way that David’s does.
Baywatch and Knight Rider legend David Hasselhoff also joined series five for a single run, but although his role on the panel didn’t last long, he did gain a new wife: he met Hayley Roberts in Cardiff while he was filming auditions in the Welsh capital, and the couple married in 2018.
Other guest judges over the years have included Kelly Brook, Louis Walsh and Carmen Electra, and of course hosts Ant and Dec get a Golden Buzzer choice each year, too.
Britain's Got Talent 2022 starts on ITV on Saturday 16th April at 8pm.