Simon Cowell tells Amanda Holden that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is replacing her on BGT…

Jeremy Clarkson will also replace David Walliams jokes Simon Cowell as April Fools' Day arrives a little late at Britain's Got Talent

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X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini will be replacing Amanda Holden for several nights a week when Britain’s Got Talent reaches the live semi-finals this year… well, at least that’s what Simon Cowell told Holden moments before today’s press launch in a prank played on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show’s Call or Delete. 

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Yes, April Fools’ Day has arrived late to BGT, with Holden admitting she’d had to have a shot of vodka after the mischievous chat with Mr Cowell. 

Indeed, there’s very much a pattern with red carpet events involving Simon Cowell; he arrives last and always a little after everyone was told he would. But today, at this year’s glitzy bash at London’s May Fair Hotel, it was Holden who arrived last, more than a little flustered. 

“Simon phoned me up and said, ‘Darling are you on your own?'” Holden explains saying that the media mogul then went on to tell her the show needed a shake-up. “Then he said that on Tuesdays and Thursdays [during the semi-finals] Cheryl’s going to take my seat because she’s ‘younger, she’s a singer…’,” a ruffled Holden told the press. “He told me it was for the good of the show!”

Holden can take a joke, but certainly seemed to find it much funnier when it was directed at a fellow judge:

“Then he said ‘On Saturday I was thinking I might replace David with Jeremy Clarkson’ and I went, that’s brilliant!” 

Cowell himself, who was playing along with the joke set up by Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, told RadioTimes.com, “I feel terrible now because she believed it”. And in fact, Holden later laughed, “It would be quite a good line up to be fair.”

The panel are in fact sticking together (for now at least!) and will return with the first episode of series 9 this Saturday at 8:00pm on ITV.

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Take a look at the prank itself below – and Holden and Cowell’s subsequent reaction on Twitter: