Bruno Tonioli will replace David Walliams as a judge on Britain's Got Talent, it has been confirmed.
The former Strictly Come Dancing judge will join the ITV panel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.
He said in a statement: “Here we are, Britain’s Got Talent. I am so excited.
"It’s my first show, I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I’m sure it’s going to be brilliant.”
Tonioli will replace David Walliams, who had to apologise in November for making “disrespectful comments” about contestants during breaks in filming the popular show.
According to a leaked transcript seen by The Guardian, Walliams referred to an older performer as a “c***” three times when he was out of earshot.
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.”
Now in its 16th series, filming for Britain's Got Talent 2023 auditions started on Tuesday, with hopefuls facing the judges at the London Palladium.
Performers are all vying to impress the judges and secure their place in the live semi-finals taking place later this year.
Ever-popular duo Ant and Dec will also be returning as hosts.
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