Britain's Got Talent
Britain's Got Talent
Britain's Got Talent logo.png
Genre Talent show
Created by Simon Cowell
Directed by Jonathan Bullen
Presented by
Voices of Peter Dickson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original English
No. of series 11
No. of episodes 182 (as of series 11)
  • Nigel Hall
  • Lee McNicholas
  • Amelia Brown
  • Richard Holloway
  • Matt Banks
  • Charlie Irwin
  • Paul Jones
Running time 60-155 minutes
Distributor FremantleMedia
Original network ITV
Picture format
Original release 9 June 2007 (2007-06-09) - present
Related shows
External links
Official website

Britain's Got Talent (often abbreviated to BGT) is a British television talent show competition, and is part of the Got Talent franchise. Produced by both Thames (formerly Talkback Thames) and Syco Entertainment production, and distributed by FremantleMedia, it has been broadcast on ITV since June 2007, and is hosted by Ant & Dec, with each series accompanied by a sister show on ITV2 entitled Britain's Got More Talent presented by Stephen Mulhern. Contestants of any age, who possess some sort of talent, can audition for the show, with their performance judged by a panel of judges; the current lineup consists of the show's creator Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and David Walliams. Those that make it through the auditions, compete against other acts in a series of live semi-finals, with the winning two acts of each semi-final proceeding into the show's live final. The prize for winning the contest is a cash prize (the amount varying over the show's history), and an opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in front of members of the British Royal Family, including either Queen Elizabeth II or the Prince of Wales. To date, the show has had eleven winners, ranging from musicians and singers, to variety acts, magicians and dancers.

A significant show in British popular culture, Britain's Got Talent is the UK's biggest television talent competition, ahead of both The X Factor (also created by Cowell) and The Voice UK, with the show's live final in the third series attracting 17.3 million viewers, a 64.6% audience share at the time of its broadcast.[2] At present, the programme is contracted to run until 2019.[3]

There have been eleven winners of the series to date: Paul Potts, George Sampson, Diversity, Spelbound, Jai McDowell, Ashleigh and Pudsey, Attraction, Collabro, Jules O'Dwyer and Matisse, Richard Jones and Tokio Myers.


Ant & Dec have both hosted the show since it began in 2007.
Cowell is primarily responsible for the show's creation, and has served as a judge since it began in 2007.

The show's format was devised by X Factor creator and Sony Music executive, Simon Cowell, who was involved in the creation of other Got Talent programmes across several different countries. To showcase his idea, a pilot episode was filmed in September 2005, with the judging panel consisting of Cowell, Fern Britton (at the time, presenter of This Morning), as well as tabloid journalist Piers Morgan.[4] The pilot was not broadcast on television until it was shown as part of a documentary series entitled The Talent Show Story in January 2012.[4]

The original plan for the show was for it be aired within 2005-06, before the broadcast of America's Got Talent, with Paul O'Grady presenting the programme under the title Paul O'Grady's Got Talent, after having hosted the pilot, with his selection as host due to the popularity he was attaining from his teatime chat show, The Paul O'Grady Show.[5] However, complication arose when O'Grady was involved in a row with ITV and refused to appear on another show of the broadcaster, eventually defecting to Channel 4 to continue hosting his teatime show, effectively putting plans for the programme on hold.[6] In a 2010 interview, O'Grady commented about the row by stating:[7]

"I did the pilot for Britain's Got Talent - which was originally going to be called Paul O'Grady's Got Talent. But I told the producers they were having a joke if they thought I would front a show with that title. The original panel of judges was going to be Simon Cowell, Fern Britton and Piers Morgan. I was the host. Then when I had the row with ITV I was banned from the studios. I remember I rang Simon and told him he had a huge hit on his hands, but there was no way I could do it. I said, if I am banned I have to be banned from everything. I can't be a hypocrite and come in and do this. I had to bow out."

On 12 February 2007, following the success of America's Got Talent the previous year, ITV announced their intentions for a British series of Got Talent. Their announcement revealed changes to the original plan for the programme, with Ant & Dec revealed to be the hosts for the new programme. While Cowell remained as part of the judging panel, the new plan intended for David Hasselhoff and Cheryl Cole. However, both resigned before the programme was due to air, leading to Morgan being part of the panel as originally planned, and actress Amanda Holden joining him and Cowel as a judge; Hasselhoff would later join the panel for the programme's fifth series after being a part of the panel for America's Got Talent, while Cowell later employed Cole to be a replacement for Sharon Osbourne on The X Factor. At the same time, the broadcaster also announced that the show would be accompanied by a sister show on ITV2, entitled Britain's Got More Talent, with Stephen Mulhern as its presenter.



The show holds two auditions for contestants. The first is an open audition held across several different cities across the UK during the Autumn months while the second, referred to as the "Judge's Auditions", is held the following year during January and February, prior to the broadcast of the show during spring or early summer, and consists of the contestants who made it through the open auditions. It is held within a select set of cities, which has commonly included Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London. For the Judge's Auditions, each site used for these is located within a theatre or convention hall. These sites are primarily chosen for the purpose of having facilities that can handle large volumes of contestants, with each set up into three arrangements when auditions are taking place: a waiting area for contestants to prepare and await their turn to perform, with monitors to allow them to see the performances of other contestants; the wings, where a contestant enters and leaves from, and where friends and family of the contestant can view them from; and the main stage, where the contestant performs their act before the judging panel, who are located in front of the stage. The main stage area is usually modified to include the judge's panel desk, along with a special lighting rig above the stage, consisting of Xs that each have a name of the judge under them.

Each contestant that auditions is given a number by the production team and remains in the waiting area until called out into the wings, giving them a certain amount of time to prepare their act. Upon being allowed onto the main stage, they will usually be asked by one of the judges for their name and what they plan to perform, along with other details such as age, occupation, personal background, and what they wish to achieve if they won. After this, they are then given three minutes to conduct their performance before both the judges and a live audience, with some acts being supported by a backing track provided by the production team. If at any time, the judges find the performance to be unconvincing, boring or completely wrong, they may use the buzzer before them, which changes the Xs from white to red; if all the judges press their buzzers, then the performance is immediately over. However, a judge can retract their buzzer's use if they felt they had done so prematurely before witnessing a contest's performance to the end; this is true if the performance appears to look bad, but later turns out to have been good in their eyes.

Once a performance is over, each judge will give an overview of what they thought about the act, before casting a vote. If the contestant(s) receives a majority vote of "Yes", they then proceed onto the next stage in the contest, otherwise they are eliminated from that series' contest. In Series 8, a new feature was added to the auditions, which had been previously used on Germany's Got Talent, called the "Golden Buzzer".[8] Situated in the centre of the judge's desk, the Golden Buzzer allows a judge to effectively send the contestant(s) into the live semi-finals, regardless of the opinions of the other judges, if they felt that a contestant's performance was outstanding; when pressed, the judge's X turns gold and the stage is showered in gold glitter strips. However, as a general rule, they may only press it once and cannot press it again in later auditions. While the hosts of Britain's Got Talent may also press the Golden Buzzer for a contestant, they may only press it once themselves in the same manner.[9][10]

Filming for the show begins during the Judge's Auditions, with footage that is recorded in these being edited into a series of episodes that are aired on a weekly schedule before the live semi-finals, and featuring the best highlights of the auditions, including those from the best performances the judges saw, to the worst that appeared, whether funny, poorly conceived or generally bad, and in some cases totally inappropriate. These episodes also include interviews with the contestants in a separate area, as well as additional interviews conducted within the wings before and after a performance, that are conducted by the hosts, who also give personal comments about a performance while watching from the wings.

Judges' Decisions

This stage takes place after the auditions have been completed, and is also referred to as Deliberation Day, in which the judges look through the acts that have successfully made it to this stage, and begin whittling them down to those who would stand a fair chance in the live semi-finals. The amount that goes through has varied over the show's history, though usually consists of a number that can be divided equally over the semi-finals being held in a series. Once the judges have decided on who will go through, all contestants that have reached this stage are called back to discover if they will progress into the live semi-finals or not. After this has been done, the acts are divided up between the semi-finals that the series will have; usually eight in each series, except for the sixth to tenth series which had nine acts per semi-final.

For the fifth series, some acts were asked to perform again, as the judges had had difficulty coming to a final decision on the semi-finalist, and thus needed to see their performance again in order to make up their minds; it is only time in the show's history that this has happened, and has not been repeated since.[11]

Semi-finals & Final

Contestants that make it into the semi-finals by making it through the auditions and being chosen by the judges (or, from series 8, received the Golden Buzzer during their audition), perform once more before an audience and the judges, with their performance broadcast on live television. Until the tenth series, live episodes were broadcast from The Fountain Studios in Wembley, the same site used for The X Factor, but following its closure in 2016,[12] the show relocated its live episodes to Elstree Studios. Like the Audition stage of the contest, each semi-finalist must attempt to impress by primarily conducting a new routine of their act within the same span of time; the judges can still use a buzzer if they are displeased with a performance and can end it early if all the buzzers are used, along with giving a personal opinion about an act when the performance is over. Of the semi-finalists that take part, only two can progress into the final, which is determined by two different types of votes - a public phone vote, and a judges' vote.

The phone vote, which occurs after all the semi-finalists have performed, determines the first winner of the semi-final, and takes place via a special phone line over a short break from the programme. During this time, the public votes for the act they liked best, through a phone number in which the final two digits are different for each semi-finalist - these digits are primarily arranged by the order of their appearance. Once the lines have closed and the votes have been counted, the programme airs a live results episode, in which the semi-finalist with the highest number of votes automatically moves into the final. The second winner is determined by the judges' vote, which held after the results of the phone vote have been given out, and determines whether the second or third most popular semi-finalist in the public vote moves on to the final. The judges' vote, held after the result of the phone vote, determines the second act that wins this stage, and is conducted between the second and third most popular acts the public voted on. After the number of judges was increased to four, the rule on the judges' vote was modified - if the vote is tied, the semi-finalist with the second highest tally of public votes automatically moves on to the final. In the eleventh series, the judges' vote was dropped from the show's format, meaning that the semi-finalists with the highest and second-highest tally of votes, moved on to the final.

From the sixth series onwards, the show introduced a new format known as the "Judges' Wildcard", in which the judges were given the power to reinstate an act that had been eliminated from the semi-final, their choice determined by a private vote conducted before the airing of the final. This format was later expanded to include a "Public Wildcard", in which the public could vote on an act that had been eliminated in the semi-finals during the judges' vote and reinstate it for the final; although used in the ninth and tenth series, this format was dropped for the eleventh series.

For the final of each series, the format of the contest operated in exactly the same manner as the semi-finals, including being broadcast live on television, though this time the winner is determined purely by a phone vote, with the finalists attempting to secure more votes than the others by performing a new routine at their best. Upon the result being given, the top two acts are brought onto the stage, with the hosts announcing which of them received the most votes. The winner of each year's contest receives a cash prize, and earns the opportunity to perform in the Royal Variety Performance later that year.

For the show's scheduling, the live episodes are usually arranged to take place over the course of a week, with the semi-finals aired mainly on weekdays, and the final aired on the weekend; in some series, the schedule featured a break between the live episodes of the semi-finals, due to coverage of live events. All live episodes are divided into two parts when they are aired - the first half focuses on performances, each beginning with a short clip of the semi-finalist/finalist's background, and ending with comments by the judges; the second half occurs after voting is closed, usually after another programme has aired between the two parts, and focuses on the results of the phone vote, with a guest performance taking place prior to the announcement of the results. This format was initially used for the live finals only, up until the start of the semi-finals in the fourth series.


Holden is the longest serving judge on the show, only being absent in a few episodes in 2012 due to health reasons.
Hasselhoff previously worked as a judge on America's Got Talent, before joining the show for the 2011 series.

For the first four series after the show began in June 2007, the judging panel consisted of music executive and television producer Simon Cowell, television and West End star Amanda Holden, and newspaper editor and journalist Piers Morgan. When the third series was starting in 2009, it was announced that Kelly Brook would be joining as a fourth judge in the panel,[13] but this later dropped less than a week later by the producers, who believed at the time that the format would be "too complicated" with four judges, thus leaving the panel consisting of just three judges; Brook was later credited as a guest judge.[14][15][16] In 2010, Cowell fell ill during filming of the fourth series and was unable to attend the Birmingham auditions, leading to fellow The X Factor judge Louis Walsh stepping in as guest judge in his place, until he had recovered.[17]

In 2011, Morgan revealed he was leaving the show to travel to America and begin filming of his new show, with Cowell announcing that, although he would attend the live episodes of the fifth series, he wouldn't be present for the auditions, due to his busy schedule with launching The X Factor USA.[18] The show's producers decided therefore to have Holden act as the head judge in the auditions until Cowell returned, while also having comedian Michael McIntyre, and actor, singer and former America's Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff, join the fifth series and oversee the auditions,[19][20] although Walsh had to be brought in again as a guest judge for the London auditions, due to Hasselhoff's commitments with a pantomime; both judges remained on the panel for the live shows, with Cowell becoming a fourth judge upon his return. After their appearance, it was announced later that year in October, that neither Hasselhoff nor McIntyre would be returning as a judge for the sixth series, after Cowell returned full-time.[21]

On 2 January 2012, the producers revealed its decision to adopt the use of a fourth judge for the programme, after it announced that both Cowell and Holden would now be joined by David Walliams and Alesha Dixon in the sixth series, with the latter moving to the talent show after deciding to leave BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.[22] During filming in February, Holden was unable to attend the London auditions, due to having given birth to her daughter and suffering some after effects from her pregnancy, leading to actress and model Carmen Electra stepping in as a guest judge until she recovered. In subsequent series, the line-up remained as Cowell, Holden, Walliams and Dixon, with no further incidents except for the eighth series in 2014 - Cowell missed the first day of the Manchester auditions, leading to Ant & Dec filling in for him, and was also absent for the final day of the London auditions - and the tenth series in 2016 - Cowell was late for an audition, and was temporarily replaced by Walliam's mother Kathleen, who was attending it.

Series Main Judge Guest Judge
1 2 3 4
1 Simon Amanda Piers N/A N/A
4 Louis2
5 Michael David H.
6 Alesha David W. Carmen3
7 N/A
8 Ant & Dec4
9 N/A
10 Kathleen5
11 N/A
  1. ^ Brook was credited as a guest judge for the Manchester auditions, after the producers dropped plans for her to be a permanent judge in this series.
  2. ^ Walsh served as a guest judge in place of Cowell during the fourth series, and Hasselhoff during the fifth series.
  3. ^ Electra served as a guest judge in place of Holden, during the sixth series.
  4. ^ Ant & Dec served as guest judges in the eighth series, substituting for Cowell on the first day of the Manchester auditions.
  5. ^ David Walliams' mother, Kathleen Williams, served as a guest judge in place of Cowell, while attending a session in the tenth series.

Series overview

Series Start Finish Winner's prize1 Winner Runner-up Third place
1 £100,000 Paul Potts Not announced
2 George Sampson Signature Andrew Johnston
3 Diversity Susan Boyle Julian Smith
4 17 April 2010 5 June 2010 Spelbound Twist and Pulse Kieran Gaffney
5 16 April 2011 4 June 2011 Jai McDowall Ronan Parke New Bounce
6 24 March 2012 12 May 2012 £500,000 Only Boys Aloud
7 13 April 2013 8 June 2013 £250,000
8 12 April 2014 7 June 2014 Collabro Lucy Kay Bars & Melody
9 11 April 2015 31 May 2015 Jules O'Dwyer & Matisse Jamie Raven Côr Glanaethwy
10 9 April 2016 28 May 2016 Richard Jones Wayne Woodward Boogie Storm
11 15 April 2017 3 June 2017 Tokio Myers Issy Simpson Daliso Chaponda
  1. ^ In addition to the cash prize, winners also earn the opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in the year they win.

Series 1 (2007)

The first series was aired during 2007, between 9-17 June. Auditions for this series took place within the cities of Manchester, Birmingham, London and Cardiff, between January and February earlier that year. The series had 3 live semi-finals, featuring a total of 24 semi-finalists, all of whom were vying for a chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance, as well as claiming a £100,000 cash prize. The series was won by opera singer Paul Potts; the results of the other finalists were not announced.

Series 2 (2008)

The second series was aired during 2008, between 12 April to 31 May, and featured notable differences. Not only did the series run for much longer, auditions took place in Blackpool and Glasgow, the latter following complaints that Scotland hadn't been visited during the previous series, along with Manchester, Birmingham, London and Cardiff. In addition, the show had five live semi-finals, featuring a total of 40 semi-finalists. The series was won by street-dancer George Sampson, with dual dance group Signature coming in second, and singer Andrew Johnston placing third.

Series 3 (2009)

The third series was aired during 2009, between 11 April to 30 May, with auditions held in the same five cities as before. Initially, the producers intended to change the format by including a fourth judge on the panel, but this was later dropped a few days after auditions began. The series was won by dance troupe Diversity, with singer Susan Boyle coming in second, and saxophonist Julian Smith placing third.

Series 4 (2010)

The fourth series was aired during 2010, between 17 April to 5 June; a single episode of this series, intended for airing on 22 May, was pushed back to 23 May, in order to avoid it clashing with live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final that year. The auditions were once more held across the same five cities as before, though the series also held auditions with Newcastle upon Tyne; the city had been originally planned to hold auditions for the previous series, but these were cancelled before this could happen. Owing to illness, Cowell was unable to attend the Birmingham auditions, which led to Louis Walsh being in brought in as a guest judge for these.[23] The series was won by gymnastic troupe Spelbound, with dancing duo Twist and Pulse coming in second, and drummer Kieran Gaffney placing third.

Series 5 (2011)

The fifth series was aired during 2011, between 16 April to 4 June, and was the first to be broadcast completely in high-definition; like before, a single episode intended for airing on 28 May, was pushed back to 29 May, to avoid it clashing with live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final that year. Auditions took place across the same five cities, though also included Liverpool. This series saw a change in the judging panel, following Piers Morgans departure from the show,[24] with Holden joined by David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre during the auditions; Cowell appeared during the live episodes of the series with the rest of the panel,[25][26] while Louis Walsh returned as a guest judge for the London auditions when Hasselhoof couldn't attend due to other commitments at the time.[27] The series was won by singer Jai McDowall, with singer Ronan Parke coming in second, and boyband New Bounce placing third.

Series 6 (2012)

The sixth series was aired during 2012, between 24 March and 12 May. For this series, the cash prize was increased from £100,000 to £500,000, and a new feature was introduced called the "Wildcard", in which the judges could select one of the acts eliminated in the semi-finals, to return and compete in the finals. The show also increased the number of semi-finalist for the semi-finals to 45, with nine acts per semi-final, and the number of judges for the entire contest to 4; the previous series also featured four judges, albeit for the live episodes only. In addition, the show attempted to bring in a new way of voting for the semi-finals via a mobile app, but this was suspended for the series after it suffered technical problems during the first live semi-final. This series featured an open audition in London, along with inviting other acts to audition via YouTube, before holding Judge's Auditions within Birmingham, London, Manchester and Cardiff, Blackpool and Edinburgh. As both McIntyre and Hasselhoff announced in late 2011 they wouldn't be returning,[21] the show announced on 2 January 2012 that they would be replaced by David Walliams and Alesha Dixon,[28] and join both Holden and Cowell for the new series, the latter having announced he would be returning as a full-time judge on the show.[29][30] Holden was unable to attend some of the auditions due to her pregnancy that year, leading to Carmen Electra stepping in as a guest judge for these. The series was won by trainer and dog duo Ashleigh and Pudsey, with opera duo Jonathan and Charlotte coming in second, and Welsh boys choir Only Boys Aloud placing third.

Series 7 (2013)

The seventh series was aired during 2013, between 13 April to 8 June; the show took a break on the 29 May, due to live football coverage of England's friendly with the Republic of Ireland. While the show retained the new features introduced in the previous series, the cash prize was reduced to £250,000, with the series featuring auditions within five cities - Birmingham, London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester. The series was won by shadow theatre troupe Attraction, with comedian Jack Carroll coming in second, and opera duo Richard & Adam placing third.

Series 8 (2014)

The eighth series aired during 2014, between 12 April to 7 June. This series was the first to introduce the "Golden Buzzer", and for the first time since the second series, auditions were not held in Scotland, instead being held in Northern Ireland within Belfast, along with Cardiff, London, Birmingham and Manchester; Edinburgh joined these cities to hold open auditions in late 2013, along with Blackpool and Brighton, with additional open auditions held in various local branches of Morrisons within "Talent Spot" tents, owing to the show's sponsorship deal with the supermarket chain at the time. The series was won by boy band Collabro, with opera singer Lucy Kay coming in second, and rapper duo Bars & Melody placing third.

Series 9 (2015)

The ninth series was aired during 2015, between 11 April to 31 May. This series saw the "Wildcard" feature updated; along with the judges being able to put forth an eliminated act from the semi-finals into the final (referred to as the Judges' Wildcard), the show now also allowed the public to vote between the three most popular eliminated acts, with the one with the highest number of votes going forward into the final - this act is referred to as the Public Wildcard. Audition took place within Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, and London, with the latter three cities holding open auditions in late 2014 along with Newcastle, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Leeds, Norwich, and Bristol. The winner of the series was trainer and dog duo Jules O'Dwyer & Matisse, with magician Jamie Raven coming second, and Welsh choir Côr Glanaethwy placing third.

Series 10 (2016)

The tenth series was aired during 2016, between 9 April to 28 May. Auditions were held within Liverpool, Birmingham and London, with all three holding open auditions in late 2015 along with Cardiff, Glasgow, and Manchester. It was the last series to hold live episodes within The Fountain Studios, before its closure at the end of the year. The series was won by magician Richard Jones, with singer Wayne Woodward coming in second, and dance group Boogie Storm placing third.

Series 11 (2017)

The eleventh series was aired during 2017, between 15 April to 3 June; the final was originally planned for 4 June, but this was moved forward to avoid it clashing with the One Love Manchester benefit concert that day.[31] The series saw two major changes: the first saw the total number of semi-finalist reduced to 40 with eight per each semi-final, as it had been prior to the sixth series; the second saw the Judges' vote being dropped, with the two semi-finalists with the highest number of public votes moving on into the final. In addition, the live episodes were now broadcast from Elstree Studios, owing to the closure of the previous site. Auditions were held within Salford, Birmingham, London, and Blackpool, with the latter two cities holding open auditions in late 2016, along with Peterborough, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Kingston upon Hull, Lincoln, Reading, Manchester and Luton. The series was won by pianist Tokio Myers, with magician Issy Simpson coming in second, and stand-up comedian Daliso Chaponda placing third.

Future series

At present, Britain's Got Talent has been renewed for two more series until at least 2019.[32]

Britain's Got More Talent

Stephen Mulhern has been the host of the sister show to Britain's Got Talent, since 2007.

Britain's Got More Talent is a companion sister show that is broadcast on ITV2, and is aired after each episode of Britain's Got Talent since the main show began in June 2007. Hosted by Stephen Mulhern (with occasional appearances by Ant & Dec), the programme operates in a similar manner to The Xtra Factor (the companion show of The X Factor), in that it features interviews with contestants and behind-the-scenes footage, though what is shown depends on what the main show is focused on during its broadcast. When the auditions stage is being broadcast, its sister show focus on highlights of acts that couldn't be shown on the main show, with Mulhern operating in a similar manner to Ant & Dec by viewing the performances in the wings and giving comments, as well as interviewing contestants before and after their performance. When the main show begins broadcasting live episodes, its sister show conducts live "after-show" episodes, featuring interviews with the semi-finalists/finalists, as well as chatting with the judges.

In addition to this format, each year also sees Britain's Got More Talent broadcasting a special set of compilation episodes featuring the best and worst auditions from that year's contest, entitled Britain's Got Talent: Best and Worst, which are presented by Mulhern who introduces each clip shown.


Awards and nominations

Britain's Got Talent has been nominated for a number of National Television Awards in the category of 'Most Popular Talent Show' since 2007. But has lost out to its sister shows The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. Ant and Dec have won the award for 'Most Popular Entertainment Presenters' at the same awards for twelve consecutive years (as of January 2014). Britain's Got Talent has also been nominated for two British Academy Television Awards in 2008, but failed to win any awards. In 2007 and 2008, the show was nominated at the TV Quick and Choice Awards in the 'Best Talent Show' category, losing out to The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing respectively.

In 2008, it was a recipient of a Royal Television Society Programme Award for its technical achievements. It has also won four Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards from five nominations. In 2009, it won its first ever Digital Spy Reality Award for George Sampson for 'Favourite Reality Contestant'. The show was further nominated in the 'Reality Show' category, but lost out to The X Factor in the 'Reality TV Presenter' category for Ant & Dec and two nominations in the 'Reality TV Judge' category for Cowell and Morgan.

Year Group Award Nominee Result
2007 National Television Awards Most Popular Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
Most Popular Entertainment Presenter Ant & Dec Won
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Best Reality Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
Best TV Presenters Ant & Dec Won
TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
2008 National Television Awards Most Popular Talent Show Nominated
Most Popular Entertainment Presenter Ant & Dec Won
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Favourite Winner George Sampson Won
British Academy Television Awards Lew Grade Award Britain's Got Talent Nominated
Audience Award Nominated
Royal Television Society Programme Awards Best Production Design-Entertainment Dominic Tolfts Won
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Best TV Presenters Ant & Dec Won
Best Family TV Show Britain's Got Talent Won
Best TV Baddie Simon Cowell Won
2009 TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
Digital Spy Reality TV Awards Favourite TV Reality Nominated
Favourite TV Reality Judge Simon Cowell Nominated
Piers Morgan Nominated
Favourite TV Reality Presenters Ant & Dec Nominated
Favourite Reality Contestant George Sampson Won
2010 National Television Awards Most Popular Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
British Academy Television Awards Best Entertainment Programme Won
2011 National Television Awards Most Popular Talent Show Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Talent Show Won
2012 National Television Awards Most Popular Talent Show Nominated
2013 Broadcast Awards Best Entertainment Programme Nominated
National Television Awards Most Popular Talent Show Nominated
2014 Nominated
2015 Nominated
TV Judge Simon Cowell Nominated
David Walliams Won
2016 Most Popular Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
2016 British Academy Television Awards Best Entertainment Programme Britain's Got Talent Nominated[33]
2017 22nd National Television Awards Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated[34]
TV Judge Simon Cowell Nominated[34]
David Walliams Nominated[34]
2017 British Academy Television Awards Best Entertainment Programme Britain's Got Talent Nominated[35]
Diversity in Media Awards TV Programme of the Year Britain's Got Talent Nominated
2018 23rd National Television Awards Talent Show Britain's Got Talent Nominated
TV Judge Simon Cowell Nominated
David Walliams Won

Controversies and criticism

The show was criticised by psychologist Glenn Wilson, who referred to it as a "freak show". He stated that "[contestants'] deficiencies and shortcomings are as important as their talent. We enjoy the stress we are putting these people under - will they or will they not survive?"[36]

The treatment of contestants at the audition stage was heavily criticised by the Daily Mail, which described applicants being kept waiting for over 10 hours with no food or drink provided, with no certainty of being allowed to perform more than a few seconds of their act. It also detailed how staff intentionally built up the hopes of low-quality performers in order to maximise the dramatic effect of the judges' put-downs, and the fine points of the contracts performers must sign, which gives the show infinite freedom to "modify" the footage for their own purposes, and to use the footage indefinitely for whatever purpose they choose.[37]

In two separate interviews in 2012, MC Kinky said "Shows like X Factor and Britain's Got Talent reduce the art of making music and practising your craft to the level of a low rent game show with huge financial backing and support. It's a means to make money, not a means to produce ground breaking or interesting artists that demonstrate what they are feeling or are compelled to do. It's corporate"[38] and "it's a churn 'em out fast food form of putrid shit that I have no affiliation with".[39]

In 2013, Bruce Forsyth questioned the show's allowing children to audition. He said, "I don't think that's entertainment. I don't think they should put children on that are too young. If you're going to do that, have a separate show. Have a children's show, British Children Have Talent."[40] Cowell responded to Forsyth, stating that: "someone, Mr Grumpy, said we shouldn't have children your age on the show", after the performance of dance troupe Youth Creation.[41]Jessie J joined the debate, declaring: "I cannot agree with kids having to go through three or four auditions when it's purely for ridicule. I don't understand why it's legal, I think it's wrong".[41]

In 2013 it was revealed that up to 50% of acts on the televised shows had been headhunted by producers. In 2012, electropop band Superpowerless were approached to appear in the semi-finals. They attended the audition after assurances that the act would be portrayed in a positive light. On the day they felt that all interviews, especially those with Stephen Mulhern, were conducted in a manner intending to portray them in a negative light, reducing their act to a novelty/comedy routine intended for ridicule and humiliation. While many newspapers wrote articles on this topic, very few were published as the news outlets were told that running the story would cut that publication out of any advance coverage of the show in the future.[42]

Live tour

On 17 April 2008, a thirteen date live tour was announced visiting the UK's major cities during the month of June, featuring the semi-finalists, the finalists and the winner from series two, along with a few surprises. Stephen Mulhern hosted the tour, which began on 6 June. None of the judging panel were present, and there was no live voting. After high demand for tickets, the tour was later extended to twenty two performances, including matinées. The tour featured all ten finalists, as well as semi-finalists Tracey Lee Collins and Anya Sparks. The tour also featured a duet with Faryl Smith and Andrew Johnston.

On 13 January 2009, a four date tour was announced with dates in Newcastle, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester. More dates were later added and the tour ran for eighteen shows from 12-26 June 2009 and also travelled to Dublin, Birmingham, Belfast, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, London, Aberdeen and Bournemouth.

The tour in 2009 included: Diversity, Flawless, Aidan Davis, Shaun Smith, Stavros Flatley, Hollie Steel, 2 Grand, Julian Smith, Shaheen Jafargholi, Susan Boyle, Darth Jackson, DJ Talent and the 2008 winner, George Sampson. Stephen Mulhern hosted the tour.

The tour returned in 2010, this time hosted by comedian Paddy McGuinness. The show also added a new city to the schedule, Brighton. The tour included all the finalists: Spelbound, Twist & Pulse, Kieran Gaffney, Tobias Mead, Tina & Chandi, Paul Burling, Christopher Stone, Janey Cutler, Liam McNally and Connected. The tour lasted from 19 June to 11 July. With 16 cities and 23 shows, it was the longest Britain's Got Talent Tour to date.

The tour in 2011 included all the finalists: Jai McDowall, Ronan Parke, New Bounce, Razy Gogonea, Michael Collings, Paul Gbegbaje, Steven Hall, James Hobley, Les Gibson and Jean Martyn.[43]

In 2012, due to very low ticket sales the tour was axed.[44]

Artists best-selling albums

These albums of former contestants were sold after Britain's Got Talent. The sales numbers are UK sales only.

Artists with BPI-certified albums

Former contestant
Total sales
Debut album Second album Third album Fourth album Fifth Album Sixth Album Seventh Album
Susan Boyle
(Series 3, runner-up)
I Dreamed a Dream
(23 November 2009)
7× platinum

Peak: 1
The Gift
(8 November 2010)
2× platinum

Peak: 1
Someone to Watch Over Me
(1 November 2011)

Peak: 1
Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs from the Stage
(13 November 2012)

Peak: 5
Home for Christmas
(25 October 2013)

Peak: 9
(21 October 2014)

Peak: 13
A Wonderful World
(4 November 2016)

Peak: 22
Paul Potts
(Series 1, winner)
One Chance
(16 July 2007)
2× Platinum

Peak: 1
(1 June 2009)

Peak: 5
Cinema Paradiso
(15 October 2010)

Peak: did not chart in the UK
(12 October 2014)

Peak: did not chart in the UK
Richard & Adam
(Series 7, 3rd place)
The Impossible Dream
(29 July 2013)
Arista Records, RCA Records

Peak: 1
The Christmas Album
(2 December 2013)

Peak: 24
At the Movies
(8 August 2014)

Peak: 5
Believe - Songs of Inspiration
(26 February 2016)

Peak: 9
(Series 8, winner)
(18 August 2014)

Peak: 1
Act Two
(1 June 2015)

Peak: 2
(3 March 2017)
Peak Productions

Peak: 7
Jonathan and Charlotte
(Series 6, runner-up)
(24 September 2012)

Peak: 5
Perhaps Love
(14 October 2013)
Sony Classical

Peak: 5
Solitaire (Charlotte Jaconelli)
(9 June 2014)
Sony Classical

Peak: 40

Tenore (Jonathan Antoine)
(13 October 2014)
Sony Classical

Peak: 13
Believe (Jonathan Antoine)
(19 August 2016)

Peak: 79
Faryl Smith
(Series 2, 4th place)
(9 March 2009)
Universal Classics and Jazz

Peak: 4
(30 November 2009)
Universal Classics and Jazz

Peak: 56
Andrew Johnston
(Series 2, 3rd place)
One Voice
(29 September 2008)

Peak: 4
(Series 2, 4th place)
(25 May 2009)
Sony BMG/Syco

Peak: 2
(15 January 2016)
Arctic Poppy

Peak: N/A
Connie Talbot
(Series 1, finalist)
Over the Rainbow
(26 November 2007)
Rainbow Recording Company

Peak: 35
Connie Talbot's Christmas Album
(24 November 2008)
Rainbow Recording Company

Peak: 93
Holiday Magic
(20 October 2009)
AAO Music

Peak: did not chart in the UK
Beautiful World
(26 November 2012)

Peak: did not chart in the UK
Matters to Me
(25 March 2016)

Peak: did not chart in the UK

Artists without BPI-certified albums

Former contestant Total sales Albums
Charlie Green
(Series 2, semi-finalist)

  • Charlie Green (1 October 2008) did not chart
  • A Friend Like You (9 May 2010) did not chart
  • Rainbow (5 November 2012) did not chart
Hollie Steel
(Series 3, finalist)

  • Hollie (24 May 2010) did not chart
  • Hooray For Christmas (11 October 2011) did not chart
  • Children on the Titanic (19 April 2012) did not chart
Lucy Kay
(Series 8, runner-up)

  • Fantasia (24 September 2014) #18
Beau Dermott
(Series 10, 5th place)


There are 6 pieces of related merchandise:

  • Best of The Auditions DVD (2009)
  • The Electronic Board Game (2009)
  • The Magic Set (2009)
  • Finalists of 2009: Annual 2010 (2009)
  • Be the judge buzzer (2010)
  • Finalists of 2010: Annual 2011 (2010)


Since 2010, a Britain's Got Talent app has been available on Apple's App Store and Google Play. The features of the app vary from year to year but always include an interactive feature (e.g. a buzzer, polls or quizzes), relevant social media feeds and clips from the show. In 2015, free in-app voting was introduced. This means viewers are able to vote free of charge for five acts of their choice per voting window during the semi-finals and final rounds.[]


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  12. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (16 January 2016). "Fountain Studios, home to The X Factor and BGT, sold for £1". Metro. Retrieved 2016. 
  13. ^ Moore, Matthew (14 January 2009). "Kelly Brook named Britain's Got Talent judge". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2009. 
  14. ^ "Brook axed as talent show judge". BBC News. 20 January 2009. 
  15. ^ Dickinson, Matt (20 January 2009). "Kelly Brook axed from Britain's Got Talent". The Independent. UK. 
  16. ^ "Kelly Brook Axed from Britain's Got Talent". Daily Mirror. UK. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  17. ^ Louis Walsh replaces Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent 2010! Archived 17 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Unreality TV, 3 February 2010
  18. ^ Britain's Got Talent in turmoil as Piers Morgan quits for US and Simon Cowell tires of 'horrific' acts Daily Mirror, 16 June 2010
  19. ^ "Michael McIntyre joins Britain's Got Talent". BBC News. 14 December 2010. 
  20. ^ "Britain's Got Talent 2011: Michael McIntyre and David Hasselhoff join judging panel". Metro. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "David Hasselhoff confirms 'Britain's Got Talent' exit - Britain's Got Talent News - TV". Digital Spy. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 2012. 
  22. ^ "Alesha Dixon leaves Strictly for Britain's Got Talent". BBC. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  23. ^ Nathan, Sara (4 February 2010). "Britain's Got Talent: Simon Cowell is ill". Daily Mail. UK. 
  24. ^ Morgan, Piers (9 October 2010). "PIERS MORGAN 'I'll miss the late-night drinking sessions with Ant and Dec - and winding up my co-judges'". The Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved 2010. 
  25. ^ McIntyre, Hasselhoff for 'Britain's Got Talent' Digital Spy, 14 December 2010
  26. ^ Sneak peek at rock dog and heartthrob on Britain's Got Talent STV Entertainment, 12 April 2011
  27. ^ Walsh back on Britain's Got Talent RTÉ Ten, 30 December 2010
  28. ^ Hallett, Emma (2 January 2012). "Alesha Dixon quits Strictly Come Dancing for Britain's Got Talent - News - TV & Radio". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 2012. 
  29. ^ "Simon Cowell to return to 'Britain's Got Talent', confirms ITV boss". Digital Spy. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 2012. 
  30. ^ Mendoza, Nadia (30 November 2011). "TV&Showbiz". Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved 2012. 
  31. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (2 June 2017). "Little Mix cancel Britain's Got Talent final performance after show's switch to Saturday night". Metro. Retrieved 2017. 
  32. ^ "X Factor and Britain's Got Talent to run until 2019 in new deal". 29 February 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  33. ^ "2016 Television Entertainment Programme - BAFTA Awards". 
  34. ^ a b c "The National Television Awards 2017 - winners in full". 26 January 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  35. ^ "2017 Television Entertainment Programme - BAFTA Awards". 
  36. ^ Wilson, Glenn (1 June 2009). "The pressure of sudden TV stardom". BBC News. Retrieved 2009. 
  37. ^ Topham, Laura (12 February 2010). "Britain's got cruelty: Exploitation is what this talent show is about". Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved 2010. 
  38. ^ "Feral is Kinky Interview 2012 the Londoner talks about Moombahton, electronic genres and collaborations". Retrieved 2013. 
  39. ^ "Feral aka MC Kinky". Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  40. ^ Cox, Laura (11 May 2013). "Stop putting children through the ordeal of Britain's Got Talent says Brucie: Outcry as Cowell and co reduce youngsters to tears". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2013. 
  41. ^ a b O'Brien, Liam (1 June 2013). "The Voice judge Jessie J slams Britain's Got Talent for allowing children to audition". The Independent. 
  42. ^ "MCM BUZZ - Movies, TV, Comics, Gaming, Anime, Cosplay News & Reviews » Britain's Got Bullies - BGT's War on Nerds". MCM BUZZ - Movies, TV, Comics, Gaming, Anime, Cosplay News & Reviews. 
  43. ^ McLean, Amy. "Preview: Britain's Got Talent Tour opens in Newcastle - Theatre & Arts - Entertainment". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 2012. 
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  45. ^ "Certified Awards Search". British Recorded Music Industry. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. 

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