‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Judge David Walliams Replaced by Bruno Tonioli Following Controversy

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Judge David Walliams
David Walliams (Chris Jackson/Getty Images), Bruno Tonioli (Lia Toby/Getty Images)

Choreographer and dancer Bruno Tonioli, best known for his stints as a judge on “Dancing With the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” has replaced David Walliams on “Britain’s Got Talent,” according to a new video circulating on Twitter.

In the video, which appears to have been filmed by an audience member at the first round of auditions, “BGT” hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (better known by their collective stage name Ant and Dec) are introducing this year’s judging panel, which is made up of returning judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Tonioli.

“Thank you very, very much,” Tonioli, clad in a sparkly red jacket, tells the applauding audience. “I am thrilled to be here. Look at these girls [Holden and Dixon], they’re stunning and it’s my old friend Simon. What an honor it is to work with you finally. He’s teased me with this for years, years and years and years. I tell you honestly I’m thrilled to be here and very, very nervous.”

Dixon then invited Tonioli to push the “BGT” button, which Tonioli did to big cheers.

Walliams, who has been a judge on the talent show since 2012, found his position on the panel under threat in November after transcripts were published in The Guardian newspaper detailing inappropriate comments he made about contestants on the show during auditions.

At the time, ITV refused to comment on the controversy and there was no suggestion Walliams would be axed from the judging panel, although Thames, the Fremantle-backed production company that produce the show, told Variety: “Those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations as to future professional conduct.”

Representatives for ITV did not get back to Variety by press time.

From Variety US