Britain’s Got Talent series 8: behind the scenes

Before the acts meet Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden they're treated to the BGT holding room. Emma Daly went behind the scenes to scout some of this year's potential stars


Away from the glitz and the glamour of meeting Ant and Dec and performing in front of Britain’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams are the BGT holding rooms.


There’s seats, seats, er some more seats and one of those mirrors with lots of bulbs around it.

This particular holding room was in Hammersmith (‘Glamoursmith’ if you will). Not actually in the Hammersmith Apollo where auditions were taking place. There wasn’t enough space. This holding room was in the local Town Hall.

Shuttle buses were used to scuttle everyone from singers to dog acts between the two venues.

See, Glamoursmith.  

Among the seats were the various acts waiting, prepping, eating, prepping and waiting some more.

It’s quite the sight.

From groups of people stretching, to someone brushing the hair of oversized models of Beyoncé’s head, it certainly wasn’t easy to tell exactly what all of the acts were going to do once on stage.

But before the plucky contestants got to do their thing in front of the judges, they could come and speak to us.

Lucky, right?

The acts on the whole seemed rather confident. After chatting to an all-female dance group called Poison, we got to meet a couple of former Vegas singers, who go by the name of Wet n Wilde. They were in good spirits, and had the rather genius idea of auditioning with one of the shortest songs in their arsenal so the judges wouldn’t have enough time to buzz. Then came the most intriguing of the batch: Operadoo.

And who are Operadoo I hear you cry? Well, Paul plays the didgeridoo while Merissa sings Opera. Paul, rather keen on talking about his didgeridoo, seemed more than up for the challenge. He even gave us a little blast in the waiting room.

But as it turns out, Paul and Marissa have never actually performed together live. They met on the school run, decided to try the combo out and Marissa secretly entered them into BGT after just two goes.

“I was curious to see if I could sing with his instrument,” Marissa says of the unusual musical mix.

The combination of classical and tribal music is surely interesting enough – the judges won’t be down the middle in their opinions, Paul noted – yet they were planning to audition with a re-imagined pop song.

“God help us,” Marissa joked, adding, “We are like chocolate spread and Marmite together,” (which, in case you’re wondering, they have since tried and deemed a rather tasty snack).

“I think it will be something very different to what they’ve heard before,” admits Paul. “It’s on the cusp of being genius and ‘what the hell is that’?”

Will Operadoo blow the judges away? Will the Vegas stars be enough to keep the judges from leaping on their buzzers? And whatever will become of the person with all of those Beyoncé heads? Join Ant and Dec for the start of Britain’s Got Talent from Saturday 12 April on ITV to find out.