David Walliams’ future as Britain’s Got Talent judge unclear ahead of final decision on panel

Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams.
Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams Credit: PA

David Walliams’ future as a judge on ITV's Britain’s Got Talent is still uncertain ahead of a final decision about the 2023 panel as reports suggested he will be leaving the show.

Walliams recently apologised for making “disrespectful comments” about contestants during breaks in filming the popular show.

The Sun newspaper reported that the comedian would be leaving the show after 10 years as a judge, having first joined the panel in 2012.

However, a spokesperson for BGT said: "The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course." Walliams was part of the show’s original judging panel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.

As auditions in front of the judging panel are not due to begin for another two months, no one is currently contracted for the show, according to PA media agency.

Walliams' apology, made earlier this month, came after the comedian was reportedly recorded making derogatory remarks and sexually explicit comments about participants auditioning for the show at the London Palladium in January 2020. According to a leaked transcript seen by the Guardian, it was suggested Walliams referred to an older performer as a “c***” three times when he was out of earshot, following an unsuccessful audition.

During his audition, the contestant had engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a jibe about Walliams, it has been reported. The transcript also suggests further sexually explicit comments were made after a female contestant had walked off the stage. In a statement, Walliams said: “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020. “These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.” The Guardian reported that lawyers for Walliams and Thames TV, the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent, argued the comments were part of a private conversation never intended for broadcast.

David Walliams will be one of the celebrity readers at the 500 Words awards ceremony Credit: Ian West/PA

In a statement, Thames TV said: “Although relating to a private conversation almost three years ago, the language used was inappropriate. “Even though it was private, those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations as to future professional conduct.” His comments were picked up by microphones used to capture discussions between the judges, which include Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden. In a statement, ITV said: “We do not condone the language outlined in these allegations, and we have spoken to the producers of Britain’s Got Talent. “Duty of care towards all participants on any of our programmes is always of paramount importance and we have protocols and guidelines in place for all our production partners.”

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