X Factor and Britain's Got Talent guru Simon Cowell will be Belfast bound for the first ever BGT judges auditions in the city this weekend.
The notorious TV talent show will be rolling his eyes in horror, unleashing acid tongued critiques or dazzling the chosen few lucky contestants with his Hollywood smile next weekend.
Fellow Britain’s Got Talent judges — Amanda Holden, David Walliams and recent first time mum, Alesha Dixon — will jet in with Simon to cast their eyes over our local talent.
Genial Geordie presenters Ant & Dec will also be enjoying some Belfast banter and Northern Ireland craic with the contestants at the Waterfront Hall auditions on Saturday, January 18.
Britain’s Got Talent producers have held initial auditions in Northern Ireland three times before in the series’ seven year history.
But this will be the first time that auditions will be held in front of the judges and an audience in Northern Ireland.
The Belfast sessions will provide something of a ‘pregnant pause’ for 54-year-old Cowell, as they will take place one month before the eagerly anticipated arrival of his first child — baby Simon if it is a boy!
Just days ago, rumours were swirling around that the 54-year-old multi-millionaire TV talent show star and music mogul was getting married to his US socialite girlfriend Lauren Silverman in sun kissed Barbados.
Before the expected birth date on February 28, Cowell and his fellow Britain’s Got Talent stars will kick off a five-city, eight day BGT Judges Auditions tour in Belfast.
The other cities where Cowell and co will judge singers, variety acts, comedians, dance troupes and more are Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and London.
Britain’s Got Talent spokesman Rick Behari told Sunday Life: “We are heading to Belfast for the judges rounds of our auditions on January 18.
“This will be the first date of our Judges Auditions for the new series and will see all four returning judges watching a range of variety acts.”
And it seems that our homegrown talent has not gone unnoticed — with the quality of previous finalists from these parts helping to sway Simon and the producers decision to bring the judges to Belfast for the first time.
Added Rick: “Given the success of Irish talent last year including Jordan O’Keefe we decided to come back for the Judges Auditions in the hope of finding even more great talent.”
Rick added that they had received a “good response” from potential Northern Ireland contestants.
Applicants initially auditioned in “open try outs” for producers and also online before being chosen to step out in front of Simon, Amanda, David and Alesha and the ‘fifth judge’ — the Belfast audience — next weekend.
Britain’s Got Talent regularly attracts huge audiences of more than ten million for its live final show and has produced stars such as Susan Boyle and Paul Potts.
Two Britain’s Got Talent Judges Auditions sessions will be held at the Waterfront Hall Belfast on Saturday January 18.
You can still apply for free tickets for the first session at 1pm. Applications can be made online at www.applausestore.com. All tickets for the 6pm session have been fully booked.