| 13.8°C Belfast

Walliams hails foreign acts on Britain's Got Talent


There are a lot more disagreements in the latest season of Britain's Got Talent, Stephen Mulhern has said

There are a lot more disagreements in the latest season of Britain's Got Talent, Stephen Mulhern has said

There are a lot more disagreements in the latest season of Britain's Got Talent, Stephen Mulhern has said

David Walliams has said the foreign acts who participate in Britain's Got Talent "set the bar higher" for the ITV talent show.

Speaking at the show's London launch, the 44-year-old judge defended the non-British acts who have, to date, signed up for Britain's Got Talent (BGT).

"It's sort of become 'World's Got Talent', this show, and that puts us in a very special place," he said.

"I hate to think we wouldn't have people from around the world because they set the bar higher.

"It would be quite tough when you've got one person from Spain and one person from England and you say, 'You can't enter'. Or, 'You are British, but you grew up here or you moved from there'.

"I like that it's open for everybody," he stated.

Show boss Simon Cowell, 56, was absent from the launch due to filming commitments for America's Got Talent.

However, Walliams took the opportunity to dress up as his panel partner, sporting Cowell's trademark sunglasses, black trousers pulled up high and a white shirt with a bit of chest exposed.

He also made jokes at the TV mogul's expense.

"Simon's been in a good mood this year. I think he's having regular sex," the London-born comedian and children's author quipped.

Walliams also poked fun at The X Factor chief and former judge Louis Walsh when asked what he would do if he were Cowell for a day.

"I'd get up at about four in the afternoon and say, 'Louis, it's time to get up!" he joked.

BGT's Alesha Dixon, 37, ruled herself out of The X Factor judging chair recently vacated by Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

She said she "respects" the singing talent series, but enjoys working on BGT because it is a less serious show.

On Saturday, viewers will see Cowell, Walliams, Dixon and Amanda Holden cast an eye over acts including singers, dancers and performing animals.

Once again, TV duo Ant and Dec are on hand to encourage the auditioning acts battling for the opportunity to appear at the Royal Variety Performance.

Walliams said Cowell's approval still means a great deal to the contenders.

He joked that the rest of the panel, himself included, are "window dressing".

"When he says no and we all say yes, the contestants are still really disappointed that they've got through," Walliams said.

"They know he's the one who can make them a lot of money. We're pretty much window dressing."

Holden, 45, has been in the hot seat ever since the very first series back in 2007.

When asked to account for her durability, she said: "I enjoy it. I do feel lucky. I get on really well with Simon."

Talking about the acts tasked with winning over the panel and public, Walliams sympathised with the comedians.

"It's doubly tough for the comics on this show," he said.

"The audience has been there a long time and they're generally not as patient as they might be in a comedy club and it's quite tough to come on and have to talk about it before you do your act as well, if you're a comic."

He added: "It's rare that they do well. When they do, it's great."

Responding to those who say BGT should not include established acts, Wild At Heart actress Holden said: "The competition is open to everybody."

"There's opportunities for absolutely everybody. Anybody that's talented - or not - can come on Britain's Got Talent."

Walliams agreed, saying that ultimately, the public decides.

:: Britain's Got Talent is broadcast on April 9 at 7pm on ITV.