Amanda Holden: BGT prank “could have been a career ender”

The Britain’s Got Talent judge admits things could have gone very differently when a certain Simon Cowell told her she was being benched

Who doesn’t love a prank, eh? Well, Amanda Holden didn’t much appreciate being told by Simon Cowell she’d been benched as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, moments before she had to walk the red carpet and take questions from the press.


“He was outrageous. It was absolutely horrendous,” Holden told Graham Norton of the wind up, which was aired on Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 show last week.

Cowell played it well. He called Holden up with some nicey nice questions about the series. Then he hit her with the news that X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini would be taking her seat two or three times a week when the show went live. “For the good of the show,” he claimed.

Holden had turned up to the red carpet moments later admitting she’d had to have a vodka shot to calm down. Cowell himself told he did feel “terrible” afterwards because she actually believed it.

“I was in so much shock that for once in my life I was completely gob-smacked, very polite and very professional,” Holden admitted. “I didn’t swear and I didn’t slag off Cheryl, it could have been a career ender for me.”

Indeed, Holden stayed quite calm, agreeing that Cowell’s instincts were usually right for this sort of thing.

It seems her loyalty can’t be questioned, with the BGT judge having gone to the trouble of getting Cowell’s face inked onto her thigh – with what looks like a Sharpie – for tonight’s interview. Nope, we don’t know either.


See the full interview on tonight’s The Graham Norton Show at 10:35pm on BBC1. Britain’s Got Talent continues this Saturday at 8:00pm on ITV