Britain’s Got Talent stand-in judge Ashley Banjo shares first-look picture from stage

The Diversity dance leader has come full circle on BGT, from contestant to judge.

Ashley Banjo, ITV Pictures, SL

Diversity dance star Ashley Banjo has shared a picture with a special guest from the Britain’s Got Talent 2020 stage as he prepares to stand in for injured BGT supremo Simon Cowell.

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Banjo Instragrammed himself with his baby son, Micah Grace, from the stage of Eventim Apollo, where BGT semi-final recordings will get underway next week.

He wrote: “Funny what can change in a year – Let alone in a lifetime… @simoncowell get well soon boss man, I’ve got you until then ???????? From contestant to judge… The journey continues ???????? #bgt#wearediversity”

Banjo and his East London street dance crew Diversity surprised the nation when they beat favourite Susan Boyle to win Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 and Banjo commented on the amazing trajectory his career has taken since the win.

He said: “As if 2020 couldn’t get any crazier! It’s super humbling and super exciting! I remember being on that stage last year and talking about how it’s been 10 years since we won, and how people should never tell you, you can’t do something. Walking on that stage as a 20-year-old street dancer from the streets of East London and now I am walking out there and stepping in for the big man! It feels really nice, almost poetic.”

Cowell said Banjo would be a fantastic addition to the judging panel, alongside BGT regulars Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden.

“I couldn’t think of a better person to sit in my seat whilst I follow doctor’s orders,” he added, referring to his recent eBike accident.

Britain’s Got Talent would look very different due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent guidelines. Usually running through spring, the show will run through September and October and while some acts would perform on stage for the judges and the TV audience – without a live audience – others would perform from him.

The judges and viewers at home will vote on the Britain’s Got Talent performances and the winner of the final will receive the usual £250,000 and a place on The Royal Variety Performance.
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