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Britain’s Got Talent | Interview with Amanda Holden

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How does it feel to be back?

Well, it feels phenomenal . When I walked into The Palladium, that iconic building, and walked onto stage, I nearly burst into tears when I saw a proper audience there for the first time in so long . We’ve always classed the audience as our fifth judge and part of our BGT family, and to have them missing for all that time has felt really quite sad . So it was such an overwhelming and joyful moment to see them all in front of us . And they were well up for it! It felt like they’d missed us as much as we’d missed them .

What was it like missing a year of the show?

I was very fortunate to continue working . I have to say I was relieved we had our audience back in the auditions as it wasn’t the same without them! It made us realise just how important that live audience is . The energy they bring to the show makes them very influential to the performer on stage .

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It was a bold decision by everyone to take it off air last year…

Ultimately, the safety and health of everybody needed to come first . I think having that natural rest for a year is the best thing that we could have done in hindsight . The energy is back, the judges are back, the audience is back . The acts that had two years to practice at home are now bubbling with excitement to be on stage . It has been the perfect antidote for what has happened in the last two years .

Has it been nice reuniting with Ant and Dec?

The best thing about this year is that obviously for safety, we couldn’t come through the audience like we normally do . So we were coming via the side of the stage, and it meant that we saw them properly every single day, and chatted to them, and just got to see them more . So that, for us, was really joyful .

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Tell us about the Phantom Man who auditioned?

We had a phantom man perform and he got me up on stage . I’ll be honest, I can’t really remember what happened . One minute I was on stage and then the next minute I was asleep, and Alesha was like, “Well, you just did this . ” And I was like, “No I didn’t . ” I was tasked with guessing what the other judges had picked from a box . He obviously had control over my mind because I guessed exactly whatever Alesha picked, even though I didn’t see. I don’t know how it happened or how it worked . I can’t wait to watch that one on TV .

What else has surprised you about auditions this year?

We’ve got loads of choirs, which is something we’ve never had loads of before . What was really special this year is that loads of them had just come together that day, because they’d only ever met on Zoom before! We had loads of moments like that on Britain’s Got Talent where people were actually physically meeting for the first time .

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Have there been any stand out choirs this year?

We had some people that work for the NHS, we’ve had schools, we’ve had Armed Forces choirs . All these groups of people who were the unsung heroes of the pandemic who got through it by singing and trying to stay joyful, met for the first time on our show .

Did you have an idea of what you wanted for your Golden Buzzer this year?

Not a clue! None of us plan it, and that’s why they’re so authentic because they are heartfelt and you have to have that feeling . I couldn’t wait for mine to get to the end because I knew I needed to get that buzzer pressed before anyone else did it . There was a lot of acts this year where I think each one of us would’ve gone, “I would’ve pressed it for that . ” I think all of us have got strong Golden Buzzer acts this year .

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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