David Walliams threatened to quit BGT if Piers Morgan was made judge

David Walliams threatened to quit Britain’s Got Talent if arch enemy Piers Morgan was made head judge on the ITV show following Simon Cowell’s electric bike accident

  • Piers Morgan had been touted as a temporary replacement for Simon Cowell 
  • The prospect is said to have enraged Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams
  • A source said: ‘I heard that David threw his toys out of the pram’

Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams threatened to walk off the ITV talent show rather than share a stage with Piers Morgan, The Mail on Sunday has been told.

The Good Morning Britain host had been touted as a temporary replacement for Simon Cowell as head judge while he recovers from surgery after falling off his electric bike. 

But the prospect is said to have enraged Walliams, who has a famously acrimonious relationship with Morgan, his predecessor on the ITV talent show.

Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams threatened to walk off the ITV talent show rather than share a stage with Piers Morgan, The Mail on Sunday has been told

Morgan confirmed that he had been approached about a return to the show, which he left after the fourth series in 2010. He was also on America’s Got Talent for six series.

‘I heard that David threw his toys out of the pram,’ a source said. ‘Imagine David and Piers sitting on either end of that judging panel – what great TV it would have been.’

Morgan confirmed that he had been approached about a return to the show, which he left after the fourth series in 2010. He was also on America’s Got Talent for six series.

Writing in his weekly column on page 47 of this newspaper, the outspoken star said that, after hearing of Cowell’s accident, ‘my first thought… was genuine concern for my old mate, who should have stuck to the Zimmer frame that I bought him for his 60th birthday last year.

‘My second thought, seconds later, was that there was now a vacancy for head judge on BGT.

‘Amusingly, I was quickly sounded out to see if I was potentially available but had to explain that if I was confined to the same close quarters as that insufferable twerp David Walliams, it wouldn’t end well.’ 

The feeling appears to have been mutual with Walliams, 49, making clear his displeasure at the prospect of Morgan, 55, being parachuted in for the semi-finals and final.

The pair fell out after Morgan noticed that the Little Britain star was ‘liking’ critical tweets about him.

Last night the semi-finals began after a four-month delay due to Covid-19 with Amanda Holden taking Cowell’s role as head judge. They will continue all week and the final will take place next month.

A BGT spokesman said: ‘The decision regarding who would step in as guest judge was made solely by the producers and Simon with Ashley Banjo the top choice to take part.’

Our columnist’s volley of razor-sharp barbs

Aww, here he is again, my favourite little two-faced hate-liker @davidwalliams. Loves scouring Twitter for nasty stuff on me he can ‘like’ but never has the balls to say anything to my face. Hopefully he’ll grow a pair next time

It’s not my fault @BGT ratings were so much higher when I was in your chair Dave!

David Walliams already very very annoying [as host of the National TV Awards]… went down like a lead balloon.

Michael Palin to David Walliams… like going from Nelson Mandela to a Love Island contestant.

Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, creepy Walliams strips half naked to give himself an award. #NTAs

BREAKING: Me-Me-Me-Walliams invites audience to call him a ‘national treasure’… and is met with deafening silence. #NTAs

Nothing personal – he’s just a massive d***head. [when asked about his beef with Walliams]

Rivalry? That would imply a modicum of professional respect. Try ‘enmity’. [Ditto]

Britain’s Got Talent: Comedian Steve Royle is the FIRST contestant to reach the final as fans compare the new socially-distanced format and virtual audience to BLACK MIRROR

Britain’s Got Talent 2020 made its long-awaited return to screens on Saturday night after being forced to put its semi-finals on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For the first time in the ITV show’s history the so-called ‘live shows’ were pre-recorded to ensure they could adhere to social distancing guidelines.

First to earn his spot in the final was comedian Steve Royle after he won over the panel with comedic juggling routine with the help of hosts Ant and Dec.

It’s back! Britain’s Got Talent 2020 made its long-awaited return to screens on Saturday night, as comedian Steve Royle landed the first spot in the semi-finals

Speaking to hosts Ant and Dec after the victory, Steve thanked the judges for inviting him to perform in the semi-finals, after being unable to entertain audiences for months due to the lockdown.

The panto veteran left the judges in side-splitting laughter with a chaotic Riverdance-inspired performance, with David Walliams admitted he regretted not pressing the Golden Buzzer during his audition. 

Steve’s victory meant that the remaining seven acts would go head-to-head in a viewer vote for a place in the final. 

It was certainly a BGT semi-final like no other as the entire programme was performed with a socially-distanced format and a virtual audience watching from their homes. 


Thrilled: Speaking to hosts Ant and Dec, Steve thanked the judges for inviting him to perform in the semi-finals, after being unable to entertain for months due to the lockdown

We’re back! As ever Ant and Dec were back as hosts for the new socially-distanced format, which drew comparisons from some viewers to Black Mirror

Funny: Fans made the hilarious comparison to one of Black Mirror’s first episodes, titled Fifteen Million Merits, which satirised the talent show format

Many fans were quick to compare the new format to an episode of Black Mirror titled Fifteen Million Merits, which famously spoofed the talent show format by featuring character taking part in the show Hot Shot. 

Kicking off the show were the dance troupe Urban Turtles who got Alesha dancing in her seat with an energetic routine after rushing from their home in the sewers to reach the studio in time.

Despite judge Ashley Banjo admitting he didn’t feel they could win the show, the group still earned plenty of support for their street-inspired routine.

Next up was the father-son magic duo James and Dylan Piper who left Ashley speechless with their incredible performance. 

Changes: This year’s BGT semi-finalsh has seen viewers watching virtually from their homes, with the judges seated two metres apart to ensure they adhering to COVID-19 guuidelines

Non-stop: Kicking off the show were the dance troupe Urban Turtles who got Alesha dancing in her seat with an energetic routine

After asking the dancer to choose six photographs, James asked his son Dylan – who was appearing via. Zoom – to guess what they were, which he did without hesitation. 

James then revealed that the sixth and final snap was a heartwarming image of Ashley and his baby son Micah, who was born during lockdown, and then showed that the other five snaps were perfectly arranged to spell his baby boy’s name.

Amanda Holden praised: ‘The best thing about your act is the chemistry the love and the sentiment that you bring to it and that’s what makes it stand out and that makes it a lot more meaningful.’

Moving: Next up was the father-son magic duo James and Dylan Piper who left Ashley speechless with their touching performance

Sweet: Their showcase featured a moving reference to Ashley’s newborn son Micah, who was born during lockdown, leaving the dancer stunned

Croydon-born singer Imen Siar Imen also earned universal praise from the panel for her rendition of You Say by Lauren Daigle.

Amanda gushed: ‘Oh my goodness me that was abs phenomenal, like Simon said you made that song your own as well and that whole performance just beamed out of you like a great big golden light.’

Dancer Yakub also won over the panel with his dance inspired by The Lion King, but the schoolboy needed some reassurance to ‘believe in himself’ from the judges. 

Beautiful: Croydon-born singer Imen Siar Imen also earned universal praise from the panel for her rendition of You Say by Lauren Daigle


Emotional: Dancer Yakub also won over the panel with his dance inspired by The Lion King, but the schoolboy needed some reassurance to ‘believe in himself’ from the judges

Things then took a nail-biting turn when Marine James Stott risked his life by hiding in one of five different boxes hooked up to explosives, with his act ending on a heartwarming note with a sweet tribute to his veteran grandfather.

Up next were SOS From the Kids, who reminded viewers that despite the coronavirus pandemic, climate change remains an important issue, as they wowed the panel with a moving pre-recorded performance.

Teen Fayth Ifil, who received Simon’s Golden Buzzer during the auditions, proved she deserved her spot in the semi-finals with a jaw-dropping performance of Andra Day’s Stand Up For Something. 

Tense: Things then took a nail-biting turn when Marine James Stott risked his life by hiding in one of five different boxes hooked up to explosives

It’s still an issue: Up next were SOS From the Kids, who reminded viewers that despite the coronavirus pandemic, climate change remains an important issue

Incredible: Teen Fayth Ifil, who received Simon’s Golden Buzzer, proved she deserved her spot in the semi-finals with a rendition of Andra Day’s Stand Up For Something

Following Steve’s performance Ashley reunited with Diversity for a moving performance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which saw a huge increase in interest during lockdown following the death of George Floyd. 

Judge Ashley has stepped in for Simon Cowell after he was forced to miss the semi-finals due to a back injury. 

Simon was forced to pull out after breaking his back in a cycling accident, and after a six-hour operation has been recovering at home. 

The music mogul has insisted producers have made the show the best it can be despite social distancing now being in place – and has even hinted he will indeed appear at the live final in October, despite being on bed rest. 

Asked ahead of the show’s semi-finals whether he worried the 2020 series was a right off, he said: ‘Yeah, for a moment! But then I thought, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

‘I just thought that if we can talk to each other all over the world on something like Zoom then there must be a way for us to do the live shows.’ 

Memorable: Following Steve’s performance Ashley reunited with Diversity for a moving performance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement

In awe: Judge Ashley has stepped in for Simon Cowell after he was forced to miss the semi-finals due to a back injury

Simon underwent emergency surgery in America after the accident in Los Angeles earlier this month, and has been recovering after having a metal rod installed in his back. 

This year marks the first time in BGT history that the semi-finals have been pre-recorded, and has also seen changes to the way acts will advance to the final. 

Eight contestants will perform in each semi-final and the judges will choose one act to go through. The second finalist will then be chosen via public vote when the episode airs.

With safety concerns paramount, some acts will take part remotely via video link whilst others will perform in the TV studio – with the virtual audiences’ reactions then beamed into the studio on a giant screen.  

The series will then culminate with the live final, in October, where one act will triumph as Britain’s Got Talent 2020 Champion and win the life-changing £250,000 prize plus a coveted role on The Royal Variety Performance.

Britain’s Got Talent continues on Saturday at 8pm on ITV. 

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