Once known famously as TV’s Mr. Nasty, it seems Simon Cowell has well and truly mellowed for Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.
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The music mogul, 59, kindly offered to double the prize money for the returning contestants, boosting the prize fund from £50,000 to a generous £100,000 during recording of the first show.
He decided to up the fund after Australian comedians, The Nelson Twins, joked that winning the £50k would be good for them, as they had “blown their life savings on a sandwich in Covent Garden.”
The Champions series welcomes back winners and memorable participants from all over the globe as they compete to be crowned the ultimate champion.
Alongside Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams have returned to judge, with each being offered one press of the golden buzzer per episode to send an act straight through to the final. Hosts Ant and Dec have also been granted a buzzer.
Opera star Paul Potts, singer Connie Talbot, and dancing dog act Ashleigh and Sully, are among the British acts taking part.
Britain’s Got Talent’s 2009 finalist Susan Boyle was originally confirmed, but a source has since indicated that she may no longer be taking part.
Series winners Diversity are unable to take part due to touring commitments.
“Everyone would love for Susan and Diversity to take part,” an insider told RadioTimes.com. “They are both huge stars and the producers understand Susan and Diversity have commitments. It’s a testament to the success of BGT that both have become so massive and everyone wishes them all the best on their upcoming performances and tours.
“There’s a great line-up of acts for BGT The Champions from previous BGT series and other Got Talent shows from around the world and everyone is really excited for viewers to see.”
Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions airs on ITV later this year