Britain's Got Talent
|Britain's Got Talent|
|Created by||Simon Cowell
|Directed by||Johnathan Bullen|
|Presented by||Ant & Dec|
Alesha Dixon (2012–)
David Walliams (2012–)
Piers Morgan (2007–10)
Kelly Brook (2009)
David Hasselhoff (2011)
Michael McIntyre (2011)
|Voices of||Peter Dickson|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||6|
|No. of episodes||74 (as of 12 May 2012) (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Nigel Hall
The Fountain Studios (live shows)
|Production company(s)||Thames (2012–)
Talkback Thames (2007–11)
|Original channel||ITV, STV, UTV|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV) (2010–)
576i (SDTV) (16:9) (2007–09)
|Original run||9 June 2007– present|
|Related shows||Britain's Got More Talent
The X Factor
Red or Black?
|/ [http://tinyurl.com/d7bp2en BGT Official website]|
Britain's Got Talent (sometimes shortened to BGT) is a British television talent show competition which started in June 2007 and originated from the Got Talent series. The show is a Thames production (formerly Talkback Thames) distributed by FremantleMedia and is produced in association with Syco TV. The show is broadcast on ITV and its sister show Britain's Got More Talent is broadcast on ITV2. Anyone of any age with some sort of talent can audition for the show. Acts compete against each other in order to gain the audience support while trying to win the title of "The winner of Britain's Got Talent". Each year, on the morning of the first show of the new series, Britain's Got Talent has a special program titled "Most Talented", featuring interviews of the winners from the previous series and their progress since winning.
Throughout the show, contestants must perform in front of the judges, and each year initial auditions have been held in front of a live audience. Auditions precede live shows, where the final 40 contestants (45 in 2012) perform nightly for a week in order to impress the British public. There have been six winners to date: Paul Potts, George Sampson, Diversity, Spelbound, Jai McDowall and Ashleigh and Pudsey. The winner of each series is given the opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in front of members of the British Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II. The winner also receives a cash prize, which from series 1 to 5 was £100,000, but was increased to £500,000 in series 6 and then lowered to £250,000 in series 7. Britain's Got Talent is known as one of Britain's biggest television talent competitions and has also proven popular throughout Europe. The series 3 live final brought in 17.3 million viewers, (a 64.6% audience share). On 18 October 2010, ITV announced that Cowell had signed a new three-year contract renewing Britain's Got Talent until 2013.
The initial judging panel consisted of the show's creator Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. Kelly Brook was brought in as a fourth judge during series 3, but was axed just days later. In 2010, it was announced that Morgan would not return as judge for series 5 and that Cowell would be absent during the auditions stage, so Michael McIntyre and former America's Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff joined the panel. In 2011, Hasselhoff and McIntyre revealed that they would not return for series 6. They were replaced by comedian and actor David Walliams and Alesha Dixon, a former Strictly Come Dancing judge and member of girl group Mis-Teeq.
The show's format was devised by The X Factor creator and Sony Music Entertainment A&R executive Simon Cowell, who has created a Got Talent series across the globe. On 12 February 2007, it was announced by ITV the judges would be Cowell, Piers Morgan (who had also judged America's Got Talent) and Amanda Holden. Hasselhoff, along with Michael McIntyre, acted as judges in the 2011 series. In a similar fashion to The X Factor, the show has an ITV2 counterpart called Britain's Got More Talent, presented by magician and former CITV presenter Stephen Mulhern.
It was originally planned that the show would be broadcast in 2005 (before America's Got Talent) and presented by Paul O'Grady. However, after defection to Channel 4 for The Paul O'Grady Show, he refused to appear in another ITV show, so the series was put on hold after just one rehearsal show.
Presenters and judges 
Since series 1, the show has been presented by English comedy and TV presenting duo Ant & Dec.
Series 1 and 2 consisted of original judges, music executive and television producer Simon Cowell, television and West End star Amanda Holden, and newspaper editor and journalist Piers Morgan. As series 3 started, it was announced that the show would have a fourth judge, actress and glamour model Kelly Brook. However, after less than a week of filming, it was announced that Brook had been dropped as the producers believed that the format would be "too complicated" with four judges; Brook was later credited as a guest judge. Series 4 would remain with just Cowell, Holden and Morgan as judges. Cowell fell ill at one point and was unable to attend the Birmingham auditions, so fellow The X Factor judge Louis Walsh stepped in for him.
Morgan revealed that he would not return as a judge for the fifth series as he was preparing to take over the highly popular Larry King Live talk show on CNN in America. Cowell also announced he would not be present during the auditions, as he would be busy launching The X Factor USA; however he confirmed he would be present for the live shows. It was revealed that comedian Michael McIntyre would be completing the judging panel, as would actor, singer and former America's Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff. Hasselhoff was absent during the London auditions due to his commitments with a pantomime and Walsh returned as a guest judge.For the live shows Hasselhoff and McIntyre remained as judges, with Cowell becoming a fourth judge.
In October 2011, it was announced that neither Hasselhoff nor McIntyre would be returning as a judge for the sixth series, while Cowell returned full-time. On 2 January 2012, it was announced that Alesha Dixon and David Walliams would replace them for the sixth series. Holden missed some of the auditions due to her giving birth to her daughter, and some after-effects. On 6 February 2012, actress and model Carmen Electra was announced as Holden's replacement for the London auditions.
The auditions take place in front of the judges and a live audience at different cities across the UK. Unlike on The X Factor, at any time during the audition, the judges may show disapproval to the act by pressing a buzzer which lights a large red "X" on the stage, indicating that they particularly dislike the act and do not wish the performance to continue. If all the judges press their buzzers, the act must end immediately. From series 1 to 5, it was three buzzers due to the show having three judges, but from series 6 onwards it is four buzzers due to the show having four judges. From series 1 to 5, (with the sole exception of the Manchester auditions in series 3, since there were four judges), voting worked on a majority-of-two basis where two positive votes were required. From series 6 onwards, voting works on a majority-of-three basis as there are four judges. The judging panel give an act a "Yes" if they like them and would like them to return in a subsequent episode, and a "No" if they dislike the act and do not wish to see them again.
After the auditions, the judges have to whittle almost 200 successful acts down to just 24 (series 1), 40 (series 2 to series 5) or 45 in Series 6.All of the performers are called back to discover if they have progressed to the live semi-finals. During series 5, some of the acts were asked to perform again to try to get through to the semi-finals as the judges were having difficulty coming to a final decision on whom to send through to the semi-finals. This was the first time this had ever happened in the history of the show.
The semi-finals and final are broadcast live from The Fountain Studios in Wembley (which is also used for The X Factor), with a varying number of semi-finals, followed by the one live final (sometimes split into two episodes over one night). The remaining 40-45 acts perform in semi-finals, with the two most popular acts from each semi-final winning a position in the final. Judges may still end a performance early with three Xs from series 1 to 4, and four Xs from series 5 onward. The judges are again asked to express their imagination for the audiences amusement. After all acts have performed, phone lines open for a short time, while the public vote for the act they think were the best. After the votes have been counted, the act that has polled the highest number of public votes is automatically placed in the final. The judges then choose between the second and third most popular acts, with the winner of that vote also gaining a place in the final. All other acts are then eliminated from the competition. From series 5, the rules relating to judges' votes in the results show changed from previous series. In the past, the decision as to which act was sent through to the finals was made by the three judges (from which there would always be a majority). Now that there are four judges, if there is a two-way tie, then, just like The X Factor, the act with the second highest number of votes from the public would be sent through to the finals, otherwise the judges' decision stands.
The show's secondary theme song is a full orchestral version of "Lux Aeterna" by Clint Mansell (produced for the theatrical trailer of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, but originally written for the film Requiem for a Dream), which is used to create tension. It is also used for the judges' arrival at the beginning of every live show.
In series 6, a wildcard element was introduced. This is where judges pick an eliminated act from the semi-finals, and that act is sent through to the final. In series 6, the wildcard act selected was The Mend.
Series overview 
Series 1 (2007) 
The first series of Britain's Got Talent began on 9 June 2007 and ended on 17 June. The judges were Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell. The show was hosted by Ant & Dec on ITV, whilst Stephen Mulhern presented sister show Britain's Got More Talent on ITV2.
During January and February 2009, applicants auditioned in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Cardiff. The first five shows covered the audition stages and the final three shows were the live semi-finals and final. Altogether, 24 acts performed in the semi-finals, eight acts in each episode, with a further two acts disqualified from the competition before the semi-finals were broadcast. The series was eventually won by opera singer Paul Potts, second was puppeteer Damon Scott with child singer Connie Talbot in third place.
Series 2 (2008) 
The second series of Britain's Got Talent included notable differences from the first series, including the fact that the auditions visited Scotland and that there were 40 in the live semi-finals. The series also ran for longer, this time lasting for seven weeks instead of one. Morgan, Holden and Cowell returned as judges. Ant & Dec returned to present the main show and Mulhern returned to present Britain's Got More Talent. The series was won by street-dancer George Sampson, with dual dance group Signature coming in second and singer Andrew Johnston third. Other acts in the final included martial arts duo Strike, dance troupe Nemesis, 12-year-old mezzo-soprano Faryl Smith, young dance couple Cheeky Monkeys, and canine freestyle team Kate and Gin.
Series 3 (2009) 
Britain's Got Talent returned for its third series on 11 April 2009. Ant & Dec continued as hosts and Mulhern returned to host Britain's Got More Talent. The 2009 judges were Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. Kelly Brook was originally announced as a new fourth judge, reportedly being offered £200,000 for the role, but was fired after just six days, having acted as a judge at the Manchester auditions only. According to Cowell, the reason given for sacking Brook was because the producers decided the format was "too complicated" with four judges, while insiders maintain neither Ant nor Dec warmed up to the idea of bringing on a judge without their consent. Ant published in his autobiography that the reason the pair didn't like Brook was that on the first day she asked what Ant & Dec would be doing on the show, which they took as a sign that she had not watched the show before. According to interviews, Brook maintains that she was simply asking what they were going to do on that day, as in, "so what's on the agenda today". Either way, the show decided to simplify and just go with three judges.
The live semi-finals ran from 24–29 May (there was no semi-final on 27 May due to the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final being played that night) and the live final on 30 May. Contestant Emma Czikai, who was rejected during the fifth audition show, was said to have "complained to the media regulator Ofcom and lodged a complaint of unfairness and discrimination with the employment tribunal." The series' most notable performance was the audition of 48-year-old Scottish woman Susan Boyle, who sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. The performance earned a unanimous "yes" vote and resounding astonishment from the judges. Her performance helped lift the show to a launch record of 11.2 million viewers. Within five days of her initial appearance, YouTube recordings of the event had collectively generated more than 100 million views. Boyle also attracted widespread international media coverage. The other finalists were Aidan Davis, Stavros Flatley, Flawless, Hollie Steel, Diversity, Shaun Smith, Shaheen Jafargholi, 2 Grand and Julian Smith. In a shock result, Diversity were announced as the winners, with Boyle as runner-up and Smith in third. Bookmakers made a fortune because of the unexpected result. "We are in shock and have made a six-figure sum in what has been the biggest surprise in reality TV history. Susan was a certainty," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams. William Hill estimate that over £3m was bet on the show in the final hour.
Series 4 (2010) 
The 2010 panel of judges remained unchanged, with Cowell, Holden and Morgan all returning for the start of the televised auditions on 18 January at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, although Cowell said that this was his last year doing the auditions. Auditions were then held in Manchester at the Manchester Opera House, Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre. The Journal Tyne Theatre in Newcastle, Birmingham's Birmingham Hippodrome and ended on 10 February at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Due to illness, Simon was unable to attend the filming of the Birmingham auditions and Louis Walsh stood in for him at the last minute, the first time that Cowell has missed an audition show in his entire career. The first programme of Series 4 was broadcast on 17 April 2010. Spelbound won the final on 5 June 2010, with Twist and Pulse as runners-up and Kieran Gaffney placing third. The other finalists were Paul Burling, Tobias Mead, Christopher Stone, Tina and Chandi, Connected, Janey Cutler and Liam McNally.
Series 5 (2011) 
Britain's Got Talent returned for its fifth series on 16 April 2011. Auditions took place in January 2011 in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, London and, for the first time, Liverpool. Ant & Dec continued as main hosts on ITV, while Mulhern again hosted Britain's Got More Talent on ITV2. Among the judges, Piers Morgan left the show due to him hosting his new show Piers Morgan Tonight in America. Cowell was only present for the live shows only as during the auditions he was busy launching The X Factor USA. Amanda Holden returned to the regular judging panel, joined by David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre, Louis Walsh also appeared as a guest judge in the London auditions while Hasselhoff was appearing in pantomime. The winner was Jai McDowall, while Ronan Parke finished as runner-up and New Bounce in third.
Series 6 (2012) 
ITV confirmed in June 2011 that Britain's Got Talent would be returning for a sixth series in 2012. In October 2011, it was announced that Hasselhoff and McIntyre would not be returning to the judging panel. Despite rumours of Holden being absent for the auditions stage, she confirmed via her Twitter account that she would be participating in the entire series. In December 2011, it was announced that Cowell would be returning as a full-time judge for the series. On 2 January, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon were confirmed as judges, with Dixon leaving her role on Strictly Come Dancing. Holden missed some of the auditions due to her pregnancy and due to being critically ill after giving birth.
The sixth series hosted a wide range of talent. The series was won by Ashleigh and Pudsey, a girl and her dancing dog. Opera duo Jonathan and Charlotte came second and Welsh boys choir Only Boys Aloud took the third place. Ashleigh and Pudsey received £500,000 as a prize for their win. On Britain's Got More Talent after the final, Cowell announced that he would like Walliams, Dixon and Holden to return to the panel next year alongside himself.
Series 7 (2013) 
ITV confirmed on 12 May 2012 that series 7 would air in 2013. The judges would remain as David Walliams, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell. Ant & Dec would remain as hosts for the main show and Stephen Mulhern will also return to ITV2. On 16 January 2013, the live judges audition tour started in Cardiff and ended in Birmingham. The new series first aired on ITV on 13 April 2013 and is currently airing Saturdays Nights on ITV. http://www.audiencetickets.net/BGT-2013.html 
Series summary 
|Series||Start||Finish||Winner||Runner-up||Third place||Host(s)||Judging panel||Guest judge(s)||Sponsor|
|One||9 June 2007||17 June 2007||Paul Potts||Damon Scott||Connie Talbot||Ant & Dec||Simon Cowell
|Two||12 April 2008||31 May 2008||George Sampson||Signature||Andrew Johnston|
|Three||11 April 2009||30 May 2009||Diversity||Susan Boyle||Julian Smith||Kelly Brook1|
|Four||17 April 2010||5 June 2010||Spelbound||Twist and Pulse||Kieran Gaffney||Louis Walsh2|
|Five||16 April 2011||4 June 2011||Jai McDowall||Ronan Parke||New Bounce||Amanda Holden
|Six||24 March 2012||12 May 2012||Ashleigh and Pudsey||Jonathan and Charlotte||Only Boys Aloud||Simon Cowell
|Carmen Electra4||Virgin Media|
|Seven||13 April 2013||8 June 2013||Morrisons|
- ^ Kelly Brook was a guest judge for the Manchester auditions during season 3; was originally planned to be permanent judge.
- ^ a b Louis Walsh served as a guest judge for Birmingham auditions in season 4, and London auditions in season 5.
- ^ Simon Cowell only served as judge during the live shows.
- ^ Carmen Electra served as a guest judge for the London auditions in season 6.
Britain's Got More Talent 
|Britain's Got More Talent|
|Presented by||Stephen Mulhern|
|No. of series||6|
|Location(s)||The Fountain Studios|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Picture format||1080p: HDTV (2011–)
576i: SDTV (2007–10)
|Related shows||Britain's Got Talent|
Britain's Got More Talent is a companion show which is broadcast on digital channel ITV2 and on TV3 Ireland, after the main ITV and TV3 Britain's Got Talent broadcast. It features behind-the-scenes footage of Britain's Got Talent and shows the emotional responses of the contestants after the judges comment on their performances.
Britain's Got More Talent is hosted by Stephen Mulhern and has been from the first series. Mulhern was also host of the Britain's Got Talent: Live Tour in 2008 and 2009, but Paddy McGuinness took up the position in 2010.
Each year, after the series has come to an end, Britain's Got More Talent has a week of special programmes entitled Britain's Got Talent: Best and Worst, featuring the best and worst auditions from the series, ranging from two to five episodes each year. This series is also hosted by Mulhern, though the series may feature clips of Ant & Dec interviewing the acts beforehand. In 2012 ITV2 had special programmes showing the Best and Worst Auditions EVER these shows were named 'All Stars, 'Kids and Pets Unleashed', All Singing All Dancing' and 'Funniest Moments'
Awards and nominations 
Britain's Got Talent has been nominated for two National Television Awards in the category of 'Most Popular Talent Show' in 2007 and 2008, losing to its sister show The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing respectively. Ant & Dec have won the award for 'Most Popular Entertainment Presenters' at the same awards in 2007 and 2008. It has also been nominated for two BAFTA 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 RTS 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. It was further nominated in the Reality Show category, but lost 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.
Controversy and criticism 
In series 1 (2007) the show was criticised for not traveling to enough Towns and Cities in Britain. In Series 2 Britain's Got Talent added extra Audition Dates. Britain's Got Talent has been criticised by psychologist Glenn Wilson, who has referred to it as a "freak show". He states 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?"
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.
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."
Awards table 
|2007||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Ant & Dec||Won|
|Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||Best Reality Show||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||Best TV Presenters||Ant & Dec||Won|
|TV Quick and Choice Awards||Best Talent Show||Nominated|
|2008||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||Favourite Winner||George Sampson||Won|
|National Television Awards||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Ant & Dec||Won|
|BAFTA Awards||Lew Grade Award||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||Audience Award||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Awards||Best Production Design-Entertainment||Dominic Tolfts||Won|
|Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||Best TV Presenters||Ant & Dec||Won|
|Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||Best Family TV Show||Won|
|Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards||Best TV Baddie||Simon Cowell||Won|
|2009||TV Quick and Choice Awards||Best Talent Show||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Favourite TV Reality||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards||Favourite TV Reality Judge||Simon Cowell||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards||Favourite TV Reality Judge||Piers Morgan||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards||Favourite TV Reality Presenters||Ant & Dec||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards||Favourite Reality Contestant||George Sampson||Won|
|2010||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|2010||BAFTA Awards||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|
|2011||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|2011||TV Choice Awards||Best Talent Show||Won|
|2012||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|2013||Broadcast Awards||Best Entertainment Programme||Nominated|
|2013||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
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 – 11 July. With 16 cites and 23 shows, it was the longest Britains Got Talent Tour to date.
The 'Britain's Got Talent Tour has been axed (due to very poor ticket sales last year) and unfortunately, no annual tour will take place again.
Top selling albums 
These albums were sold after Britain's Got Talent. The sales numbers are UK sales only.
Artists with BPI certified albums 
|Debut album||Second album||Third album|
(Series 3, Runner-up)
|I Dreamed a Dream
(23 November 2009)
(8 November 2010)
|Someone to Watch Over Me
(1 November 2011)
(Series 1, Winner)
(16 July 2007)
(1 June 2009)
(15 October 2010)
Peak: did not chart
(Series 2, 3rd place)
(29 September 2008)
(Series 2, 4th place)
(25 May 2009)
Artists without BPI certified albums 
|Former contestant||Total sales||Albums|
(Series 2, 5th place)
(Series 2, Semi-finalist)
There are five 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)
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