Amanda Holden is back on the panel of Britain’s Got Talent alongside Simon Cowell, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon, as the ITV show looks for the next great magician or fire-juggler or performing dog.
Here’s everything you need to know about this actress and TV presenter.
Amanda Holden has been a Britain’s Got Talent judge since way back at the beginning, when she joined the panel in 2007 alongside Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan.
The 46-year-old made her first television appearance back in 1991. Hilariously, she was a contestant on Cilla Black’s game show Blind Date. She later began an acting career, with roles in Wild at Heart, Kiss Me Kate, Ready When You Are and Cutting It.
Since becoming a judge on BGT she’s been in demand as a TV presenter, with shows including The Door, Give a Pet a Home and Text Santa.
Amanda married the comedian Les Dennis in 1995. The two finally divorced in 2003, three years after Amanda’s affair with the actor Neil Morrissey was exposed. She has an 11-year-old and a five-year-old with her second husband, record producer Chris Hughes, but has also suffered a miscarriage and a stillborn child.
How does she get on with the other judges?
Simon Cowell has apparently become a Pinterest addict this year, staying up until 4am working on his mood boards. “He’s been showing me what he likes, I’ve even shown him some landscape gardening I’m interested in. It’s been really domestic, I’ve loved it,” says Amanda.
But she does have one bone to pick: Simon needs to stop meowing whenever she and Alesha critique a female contestant. “He thinks we’re being catty, which is ridiculous,” she explains.
Amanda thinks showbiz is “horrendous”
“Show business, and this is going to sound like a cliché, is a horrendous business,” she says. “It’s really difficult, it’s backstabbing, it’s competitive, I think only three percent of the industry are working at any one time, so of course I have come across so many obstacles.
“It’s Beecher’s Brook at the Grand National, if you can’t jump over it then you have to find a ladder and climb over it, you just have to find a way. I’ve always said that being told no, for me, is the first step on the road to yes. I just don’t take no for an answer, I’m very annoying like that!”
One of this year’s contestants will serenade her
“It was very cute. He had written a whole song about me, so I stood on stage while he sang it. I was absolutely thrilled, slightly awkward but thrilling nonetheless.”
She thinks very hard about what to wear
When it comes to the audition tour, Amanda gets a little preoccupied about what she’ll be wearing – understandably, considering how many times she’ll be filmed and photographed.
“The night before I get butterflies about seeing the other judges,” she says. “I also worry about the frock I am wearing! I love getting ready.”
And what about her outfits for the live shows?
“I haven’t planned them all yet. There are a couple of ideas but we do it later so that it’s after big events like the Oscars, Grammys and Baftas to make sure nothing we have picked gets worn before us. I’m getting a lot of stuff made for me.”