Published On: Thu, Nov 10th, 2022

David Walliams apologises for sexually explicit and offensive remarks about Britain’s Got Talent contestants | Ents & Arts News


David Walliams has apologised for “disrespectful” comments he made about Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) contestants while filming the reality show.

The 51-year-old comedian, actor and children’s author said in a statement: “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.”

The remarks are understood to have been both derogatory and sexually explicit, referring to one contestant as a “c***” and saying of another: “She thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t”.

Anthony McPartlin, David Walliams Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Declan Donnelly attending the Britain's Got Talent photocall held at The London Palladium, Soho in London. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 19, 2019. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
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BGT judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Walliams, with Ant & Dec in 2019

The comments were part of a leaked transcript, seen by The Guardian, which was from a recorded audition show at the London Palladium in January 2020.

Walliams has been a judge on the show since 2012, along with fellow judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.

There has been no implication that any of the other judges made inappropriate comments about contestants.

More on Britain’s Got Talent

Walliams’ remarks were the only inappropriate comments seen by The Guardian within the leaked transcripts, which covered three episodes of the show.

They are understood to have been picked up by the microphones on the judges’ desk at the centre of the auditorium.

Responding to the comments, creator of BGT Simon Cowell and his company Syco Entertainment said they did not condone Walliams’ remarks and made clear that Cowell had not been aware of the remarks at the time.

Walliams, who has been named best judge at the National Television Awards three times during his 10-year stint on the show, has frequently been praised for his chemistry with Cowell.

Thames TV, the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent, said in a statement to Sky News: “Although relating to a private conversation almost three years ago, the language used was inappropriate.

“Even though it was private, those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations as to future professional conduct.”

Thames are also understood to have provided training for their on-screen judges over the last few years, dealing with issues of language and respect around contestants and members of the public.

A spokesperson for ITV said: “We do not condone the language outlined in these allegations, and we have spoken to the producers of Britain’s Got Talent.

“Duty of care towards all participants on any of our programmes is always of paramount importance and we have protocols and guidelines in place for all our production partners.”

ITV has been under the spotlight in recent years, with questions asked over the channel’s duty of care to contestants following the death of Jeremy Kyle Show participant Steve Diamond a week after appearing on the talk show, and the deaths of two former Love Island contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, who both took their own lives.



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