Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have revealed they had two Golden Buzzers on the first day of Britain's Got Talent 2022.
When What To Watch catches up with them for a video chat about the return of ITV's entertainment juggernaut Britain's Got Talent after a year's hiatus from our screen. And the popular presenters promise us that the standard of talent is as strong as ever!
"There was a real renewed sense of excitement when we all got back together again at the London Palladium with an actual audience," explains Dec.
"There was a renewed appreciation of the talent, too," adds Ant. "BGT being away for a while meant that all the talent was fresh and really good."
As the auditions begins, the 15th series will again see a wonderful array of acts. take to the stage in the hope of impressing judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams for the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance and win a £250,000 cash prize.
The show took a break last year because of the pandemic. What impact has being away had on the standard of talent?
Dec: "We had some acts who’d met in the last two years and had rehearsed over Zoom to perform together for the first time in front of an audience at the London Palladium. It was very moving that they’d used what was a horrible time to create something positive. BGT 2022 felt like a really special series. Also, what we love about BGT is that we never know whether the next act coming around the corner is going to be absolutely bonkers or a global superstar. What keeps the show fresh after all these years is that it continues to surprise us."
What’s the dynamic like between judges Simon, Amanda, Alesha and David this time?
Ant: "This is the 10th year that this group of judges has been together. I couldn't imagine BGT having any other judges now and the four of them were on great form again. David’s been winding Simon up a treat and we ribbed Simon about falling off his bike. A lot."
There’s a new element this year, Golden Moments…
Dec: "The Golden Moments sees people, who probably wouldn’t apply for the show themselves, being nominated by friends or family to audition. Each judge surprised a different person, inviting them to the London Palladium."
Ant: "We had one guy, who was sitting in the audience, when his two daughters walked on stage and surprised him. He rehearsed and, later, came out on stage and sang a song about them. It was really touching. Half the theatre was in tears, I know we were."
Do you and the judges still have a Golden Buzzer act each?
Dec: "Yep, we still have those. We felt a bit of pressure this year because our Golden Buzzer act, comedy pianist Jon Courtenay, won the last series, so we are defending champions!"
Ant: "Yes, so we’ve got a lot at stake. Our Golden Buzzer act this time is a guy who’s very funny and very different to what we’ve had before but his talent is exceptional. The talent was so strong this year, we had two Golden Buzzers on the first day of auditions."
Can we expect any really unusual acts?
Dec: "We had The Invisible Man audition for us! Fifteen series in and we’ve never had The Invisible Man, so that was a first and it was an incredible audition. How will it work on TV? You’ll have to wait and see…"
If BGT was around when you were starting out, would you have auditioned?
Dec: "Ha, ha! No, I don’t think so. We certainly wouldn’t have put PJ and Duncan together and gone up there with 'Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble' that’s for sure!"
Ant: "We both went to Newcastle College for a year and did performing arts together. We’d tour the old people’s homes with a little two-man show, where we’d perform sketches and stuff…"
Dec: "The old people hated it, so I can’t see it working on Britain’s Got Talent!"
What act from the past 14 series do you think epitomises Britain’s Got Talent?
Dec: "When you say the words Britain’s Got Talent the act that stands out for me would be dance troop Diversity. I think they're the ultimate BGT winners."
Ant: "I’d say, our very first winner, Paul Potts. At the auditions that day, Paul was among a few acts waiting to go on and me and Dec thought: ‘It doesn’t look like there are any potential winners there, let’s go and have lunch.’ So there we are, eating ham and cheese sandwiches, and we can hear Nessun Dorma coming through the dressing room speakers followed by a massive standing ovation. We raced to the stage to chat to Paul and luckily we caught him. We now interview everybody — we wouldn’t want to miss the winner."
Britain's Got Talent starts on Saturday April 16 at 8pm and continues Easter Sunday at 7.35pm on ITV.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!