Stephen Mulhern urged ITV to find a new host for Britain’s Got More Talent when he fell ill

The ITV2 spin-off presenter had to miss four days of filming when he lost his voice, but the channel refused to replace him

Britain's Got Talent - London Auditions - Stephen Mulhern

Stephen Mulhern has revealed that he urged ITV to find a replacement host for Britain’s Got More Talent when he had to miss four days of filming.

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Back in January, the presenter of Britain’s Got Talent’s ITV spin-off show had to forego auditions for the first time in 12 years after completely losing his voice.

“At one point, I did say they should get someone else to do the days I wasn’t there so that we still had content,” Stephen revealed. “But ITV said, and I took this as a huge compliment, that I’ve made the show my own and there’s no other presenter they could see doing it in the style I do it.”

His absence was so disruptive to filming that acts who had already auditioned for the main show had to be recalled in order to film for Britain’s Got More Talent once Stephen was back in action again.

“We had to get acts back that I’d missed which was just bizarre, because some of them had been given a no by the judges but still wanted to come on our show. If it was me I’d have said, ‘stuff it!’. I know it sounds ridiculous but it felt like more pressure because we had to go in and hit the ground running.”

David Williams, Ant McPartlin, Alesha Dixon, Stephen Mulhern, Declan Donnelly, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell in Britain's Got Talent 2018(Syco / Thames, JG)
David Williams, Ant McPartlin, Alesha Dixon, Stephen Mulhern, Declan Donnelly, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell in Britain’s Got Talent 2018
(Syco / Thames)

He also said he felt like a “right idiot” having to write things down on a white board rather than speak, but admitted it was “a real shock” to be told by a doctor that if he didn’t keep quiet for two whole weeks he would have permanently damaged the one thing he needs to do his job.

He did get a “lovely” message from Ant and Dec, and also from Simon Cowell. “He didn’t believe me!” said Stephen. “His words were, ‘Hello Stevie, I know you could lose your head and you’d still be here. I don’t believe any of this about you losing your voice’. That did make me laugh!

“We actually had a really good off camera chat and he said it was amazing how small things can put your life into perspective. He had his fall last year and that made him take a step back and put his life in order of what’s important to him. It’s the same for me, which is why I have finished with panto.”

Yep, apparently Stephen says that it was doing pantomime that made him lose his voice, so for the first time in 16 years he’s now decided not to tread the boards at Christmas 2018.

“I know a lot of people will say, ‘it’s only panto’ but for some people you can do that and not have to work for the rest of the year. But what happened to my voice certainly made me wake up to what’s important and what’s not. I had the bosses at ITV saying I need to get back to full health, so I realise now that rest is so important. You can’t work all the time.”

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Britain’s Got Talent airs Saturdays on ITV