Amanda Holden declares she’s ‘team David’ while Simon Cowell refuses to publicly back Walliams as star ‘quits’ BGT after making offensive remarks
David, 51, has reportedly quit the ITV show ahead of its 2023 series, weeks after he was forced to apologise for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’ and making vile sexual remarks about a woman taking part.
Yet despite the backlash, Amanda, 51, publicly backed her co-star this week when she proudly declared herself ‘team David.’
Speaking out: Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell weighed into the scandal surrounding David Walliams after offensive remarks he made about Britain’s Got Talent contestants were leaked (pictured in 2019)
Speaking about the future of Britain’s Got Talent, Amanda told Good Morning Britain on Monday: ‘I would like to see the judging panel look like it did before. I think we’re a great team, we’re a family.’
Asked directly if she was ‘Team David’, she replied: ‘Of course I’m team David.’
Simon, 63, wasn’t as forthcoming when probed about his fellow judge in an interview with The Daily Star on Monday.
Asked about David’s conduct, Simon responded: ‘Can we not go there? If you don’t mind.’
When asked if David would feature on the 2023 BGT panel, he cryptically responded: ‘Ask me in a few weeks.’
Scandal: David, 51, has reportedly quit the ITV show ahead of its 2023 series , weeks after he was forced to apologise for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’
He also insisted that the judges weren’t the key to the success of the show, musing: ‘I think for me, the most important thing – and I had this conversation the other day. It’s always about the talent.
‘If you don’t have great talent, you don’t have a show,’ he said. ‘That’s all I care about.’
The remaining Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon has yet to comment on the news.
Days after Simon and Amanda’s remarks, David reportedly quit Britain’s Got Talent after 10 years on the judging panel.
On his side: Despite the backlash, Amanda, 51, publicly backed her co-star this week when she proudly declared herself ‘team David’
It’s thought that show bosses are already lining up a replacement before filming commences next year.
A source told The Sun: ‘He hasn’t taken the decision lightly, but it just feels like time to move on.’
‘David has decided to bow out after a ten-year run. He wants to leave on a high after a wonderful time.
‘His team have quietly been having conversations over the past few days where it has been made clear that David is readying himself to step down – and then producers will start to think about who might replace him.’
Fantastic four: Days after Simon and Amanda’s remarks, David reportedly quit Britain’s Got Talent. The remaining judge Alesha Dixon has yet to comment on the news (pictured January)
David’s co-stars, Simon, Amanda and Alesha are in negotiations for their 2023 contracts. None of them have signed a deal yet.
A BGT source told MailOnline: ‘It’s still very much up in the air at the moment on whether David is going to take part in next year’s show. No decision, though, has been made as yet.’
A spokesperson for Britain’s Got Talent said: ‘The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course.’
Oti Mabuse is reportedly being considered as a replacement for David, with bosses of the reality programme discussing how the former professional dancer on BBC‘s Strictly would be perfect for the role.
She is currently at the centre of a tug of war between ITV and the BBC, who both want her to star on their shows because of her overwhelming popularity.
David’s future on BGT was in doubt after he described an elderly contestant as a c*** and made vile sexual remarks about a female who was also competing on the show.
The comments, made in January 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium, were picked up on the programme’s microphones and revealed earlier this month.
In one incident, picked up on the show’s microphones, an older performer engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a jibe about David, an expose by The Guardian claimed.
After the audition, the pensioner left, after which David is said to have described him as a ‘c**t’ three times.
Stepping in? Oti Mabuse is reportedly being considered as a replacement for David, with bosses discussing how the professional dancer would be perfect for the role
In a separate incident, after a female contestant had walked off stage, David remarked: ‘She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t.’ He later added: ‘I know, she’s just like: ‘Oh, f*** off!’ I was saying, she thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t.
‘It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like: ‘Yep, I bet you do!’
‘No I don’t! I had a bit of a b***r, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.’
Sources close to BGT said that David’s return was ‘very much under threat’ and he was ‘under the microscope’, with some senior staff saying that he should be immediately axed.
One source said: ‘This could not have come at a worse time in terms of his return to BGT, the discussions are going on right now so David’s remarks have now become a huge part of the conversation.
‘He hasn’t signed any deal yet which has come as a relief because now there are options. It is a family show and this isn’t just a negative thing to happen, it is offensive to people.
‘It has left David in a very precarious position. There are some people involved in the show who point blank don’t want him back, there is a danger of this incident becoming part of the BGT narrative and nobody wants that. It’s a lovely show that brings so much joy.
‘Some are saying that David’s return is now highly unlikely.’
Oh dear: David’s future on BGT was in doubt after he described an elderly contestant as a c*** and made vile sexual remarks about a female who was also competing on the show
In a statement to The Guardian, the Little Britain star said: ‘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.’
A spokesman 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.’
Pretty in pink: Despite the news of David quitting the show Amanda seemed in high spirits on Friday as she strutted out of the Heart FM studios in a fuchsia trouser suit
Still smiling: The presenter seemed in high spirits as she strutted out of the London offices
Meanwhile, sources at the London-based production company Thames said that they have provided enhanced training and education for BGT judges about their language and enhanced respect for contestants.
A spokesman said: ‘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.’
Lovely in lilac: Ashley Roberts looked equally as stylish as she strutted out of the radio studios clad in a purple coat teamed with lilac trousers and a black polo neck jumper