Britain’s Got Talent confirms Simon Cowell’s replacement for live finals

The first semi-final will be filmed next week.

Simon Cowell on week 2 of The X Factor

Simon Cowell has asked Ashley Banjo to replace him for the Britain’s Got Talent 2020 live finals.

Advertisement

Cowell suffered a back injury when he was involved in a bike accident in Los Angeles earlier in August and although he is recovering well, he has taken the decision to rest up, and miss this year’s finals.

The show, which is set to record its first semi next week, will now see Banjo in the hot seat.

Cowell says of his replacement: “Ashley will be a fantastic edition to the panel. He knows the power of the show; and the responsibility of it. I couldn’t think of a better person to sit in my seat whilst I follow doctor’s orders. I hate that stupid bike!”

Meanwhile, Banjo has commented on his new role, calling it “poetic”.

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 ten 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,” he said.

The Diversity star knows exactly what it takes to be crowned a BGT champ after his dance troupe beat Susan Boyle to victory way back in 2009.

Ashley Banjo, ITV Pictures, SL
Ashley Banjo (ITV)

Since then, Banjo’s career has gone from strength to strength, judging on Got To Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, and Dancing On Ice. He has also presented on Can’t Touch This and Flirty Dancing.

The Britain’s Got Talent finals will look a little different this year on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were supposed to take place in May, but they are now due to start recording next week with the final eventually airing in October.

Some acts will fight for the crown in the studio – without a live audience – and those who can, will perform from home.

Every performance will be judged by the all-star panel and a virtual audience.

The winner will get £250,000 and most importantly, a coveted spot on The Royal Variety Performance.

Advertisement

Britain’s Got Talent will return to ITV soon. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide