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Britain's Got Talent scores highest rating launch episode

Britain's Got Talent scored its highest rating launch episode ever with 11.1 million viewers, ITV said.

Boyband Collabro impressed the judges on last night's Britain's Got Talent Credit: Britain's Got Talent

The previous highest audience for a BGT launch show was in 2010, when the opening episode attracted 10.6 million viewers.

The audience to last night's series opener peaked at 12.3 million viewers and boasted a 47% share.

Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, said: "The fantastic overnight figures show that Britain's Got Talent is event television, and we're delighted that so many viewers tuned to last night's launch episode, on what was a strong night for ITV."

More: Britain's Got Talent: The acts who made it through

Britain's Got Talent: Judges reveal their favourite acts

Britain's Got Talent judges shared some of their favourite moments from tonight's competition.

Britain's got Talent has returned to ITV for its eighth series tonight with acts ranging from a roller-skating Wonder Woman to a man sped-eating a raw onion.

Britain's Got Talent: The acts who made it through

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Britain's Got Talent sets world reality show record

Britain's Got Talent has set a record after becoming the most popular reality show in the world. The talent show has set a Guinness World Record with 59 different versions being made in 58 different territories - including two in Belgium.

Simon Cowell hails Britain's Got Talent success. Credit: PA

Among the most recent countries to make their own version are Kazakhstan, Brazil, Moldova and Iceland.

The show's creator and judge Simon Cowell said: "I am very proud that Got Talent is a home-grown British show. We owe its success to a group of very talented producers all over the world who have made this happen. And, of course, amazing talent."

Guinness World Records president Alistair Richards said: "We are delighted to confirm that Got Talent has broken the previous world record and is now the official Guinness World Record holder for the most successful reality television format, a landmark moment in television record-breaking history."

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Simon Cowell jets to New York to join pregnant partner

Music mogul Simon Cowell is flying back to New York to be with his pregnant partner, Lauren Silverman, after she was admitted to hospital.

Simon Cowell has flown to New York to be with his pregnant partner
Simon Cowell has flown to New York to be with his pregnant partner Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Cowell was in London judging auditions for Britain's Got Talent, and was told the news about his partner overnight.

Cowell has described the prospect of fatherhood as "surreal", and previously said he did not plan to witness the birth of his baby.

Read: Simon Cowell - '100 per cent, I am not changing nappies'

ITV agrees new three-year-deal for BGT and X Factor

ITV have agreed a new three-year-deal to broadcast The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.

The agreement extends ITV's long-running relationship with Simon Cowell until the end of 2016.

Simon Cowell said he was "thrilled" with news of the deal. Credit: PA Wire

Britain’s Got Talent will return to ITV next Spring for an eighth series, with the eleventh series of The X Factor following in the Autumn.

Cowell said he was "thrilled" with the news, and that there were "exciting new plans" to take the popular shows to the next level.

Watch: Simon Cowell on the X Factor musical and twerking

Corden 'not offended' his singing is dubbed in new film

James Corden said he "wasn't offended" that his singing is dubbed in his latest movie One Chance.

James Corden on his new film One Chance, the Paul Potts story.
James Corden on his new film One Chance, the Paul Potts story. Credit: ITV News London

Corden, who plays mobile phone salesman turned Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts, said he even took singing lessons in a bid to get his voice in the film - but the director had other ideas.

For more on this story, visit the ITV News London website

BGT's Alesha Dixon thrilled with baby

Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon has described her newborn baby as "the best present in the world".

Alesha Dixon
Dixon has called her baby girl Azura. Credit: PA

To mark her own 35th birthday, the former Strictly Come Dancing judge tweeted that she is "elated and over-the-moon" after becoming a mum.

Dixon tweeted: "It seems quick because I was hiding it for so long!!! I was in my six month of pregnancy at the Britain's Got Talent final! :) xxx"

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