David Walliams is back for his second series of Britain’s Got Talent and before the biggest and most varied competition on UK television kicks off again on Saturday evening, he talked about the new series of the show, his fellow judges and what type of act he hopes will win.
How does it feel to be back on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel for another year?
I had really missed it. There’s six months where we’re not together as our little dysfunctional family, so I was really missing it and I couldn’t wait to get back. It’s not like anything else you ever do in your career; it’s such a circus, the whole thing. I love seeing all the acts – what people have decided might entertain the nation. I look forward to the bad acts as much as the good acts.
Do you think you are any different as a judge second time round?
Possibly. I’m maybe a bit more confident about it because when you’ve never judged before it’s hard to imagine whether you’ll be good at it or not. You do actually have to say “no” to people as part of the job and I found that hard last year. I dreaded it before the first series but now I understand it’s important to be a successful judge. You can’t say “yes” to everybody. I think I’m a bit more confident about saying ‘no’ now.
The thing that is interesting the second year around is that now the audience watching the auditions have seen the last series and the relationship I have with Simon. So they are expecting me to make his life a living hell and I’ve achieved that once again.
What’s it been like being reunited with Alesha, Amanda and Simon? How have you got on this year?
I think we’re all comfortable with each other. The girls get on very well; they’re quite a close unit. A lot of the time the boys and the girls are split down the middle with acts. Simon hates it that the girls get on because he much prefers it when women are at each other’s throats. Most of the time there is a very happy atmosphere.
What is your favourite thing about Alesha?
Her laugh. It’s a bit like Muttley in Wacky Races.
What is your favourite thing about Amanda?
I like the fact that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She’s got a real sense of humour about herself and her life. She really likes rude jokes – the ruder the better. She’s a very glamorous woman but she’s got a very dirty sense of humour.
What is your favourite thing about Simon?
His nipples - whenever I see him they always seem to be erect. You can see them through his jumper! The thing about Simon is that you forget he’s more famous than most movie stars. When he comes into the room absolutely everyone gets excited! We’re told he’s on his way – we get bulletins saying: “he’s 10 minutes away,” “he’s five minutes away,” “he’s one minute away,” so it’s hard not to get really excited that he’s coming. He’s got a very funny sense of humour. You never have a dull moment when Simon’s around.
What are your favourite memories from last year’s show?
Being on stage with The Showbears, that was really joyous, and Dennis Egel’s wing falling off. I loved the fact that we couldn’t guess who was going to win because Jonathan and Charlotte were so brilliant and popular but then Ashleigh and Pudsey were doing something totally different. It was really hard to call.
What type of act are you hoping will win Britain’s Got Talent this year?
We’ve had some really good impressionists. I would love to see a type of act that has never won before, win. We’ve had singers, dancers and a dancing dog but it would be great to see a comedian or an impressionist win. I think the impressionists this year were a really high standard, so I’ve got high hopes.
What do you think of this year’s talent?
There are always new people coming through. There are young people who are really talented but then there are older people who are talented but they’ve just never given it a go. You’d think by now that anyone who had the talent would have already entered but amazingly there are still people who haven’t. I’ve been really pleased. You worry the well of talent might be dry, but it doesn’t seem to be. The only problem is that you get people who have seen Diversity, for example, and they do their version of that and of course it’s never as good, so that’s the only disappointing thing. I’m always willing people to be good so it’s sad when they are not.
Without giving too much away, what have been some of the best acts during this year’s auditions?
There are great singers and there’s some really great speciality acts. There’s some excellent dancers, ballroom dancers especially, astonishingly good ones. We’ve been genuinely very entertained as judges sitting there watching.
And the worst?
We had a very bad comedian who read all of his jokes from a piece of paper and managed to insult everybody. There were also people who amazingly hadn’t done any preparation. You always think: “wouldn’t you do a bit of preparation; you’re going to be on TV?” There are also some people who give up when it’s not going well, which is sad to see.
Are there any surprises we should look out for?
People might be surprised when they see the girls get so upset with the boys over an act that they stage a walkout. I hate the idea of upsetting anybody. Simon’s used to upsetting people, so he delighted in it, but I actually felt bad. I hate falling out with anybody but we managed to patch things up. It was most peculiar. Simon and I tried to carry on the show, just the two of us, but it just wasn’t right - we did actually really miss them. Another surprise is that I got Simon on the stage this year for the first time in the history of Simon Cowell being on television. I had to use all my weight, because I probably weigh about twice as much as he does, but I dragged him up!
What is your advice to this year's contestants?
Work really, really, hard. For most people that are successful, what people don’t see are the years and years of hard work that has gone into it. I think there’s nothing like being incredibly prepared so you don’t crack under the pressure. There’s a huge pressure on this show. If you get through you have to perform on live television and ultimately you might have to perform in front of The Queen, so the more prepared you are the less chance there is that the nerves will get you. Also, be as original as possible. Originality as well as talent is really important.
What are you most looking forward to for the live shows?
Simon’s the big boss so to some extent he can control what goes into the audition shows, but with the live shows he can’t edit those to make himself look good, so really I can get away with saying anything I want! So I’m looking forward to the anarchy I can have on live television.
Britain’s Got Talent starts again this Saturday April 13th on ITV.