Britain’s Got Talent: 15 things you didn’t know about the talent show

Including how tough the audition process really is

BGT judges

by Jadie Troy-Pryde |
Updated on

We bet you didn't know these insane facts about Britain's Got Talent...

Britain’s Got Talent came onto our screens in 2007 and we’ve been huge fans of the talent show ever since. It’s brought some absolutely brilliant acts to our attention, from daredevils, to dancing dogs, to celebrity toast, and we’ve also been lucky enough to see some truly breath-taking singers.

There may be a lot of controversy surrounding previous acts, including fix and cheating rumours, but we are and always will be massive BGT fans.

However, even when we thought we knew everything there is to know about it, we were shocked to find out just how the show actually works.

If you want to know everything from who the original judges were meant to be, to how long the audition process really is, you’re in the right place.

Take a look at the 15 things you didn’t know about Britain’s Got Talent!


Britain's Got Talent: 15 things you didn't know about the talent show

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

1. The show was conceived by Simon Cowell on the back of a packet of cigarettes

Piers Morgan has said that when he met up with Simon for lunch one day back in 2005, he had drawn out his plans for the talent show on the back of his cigarette packet. He was desperate to create a talent show that was open to all sorts of acts. Now in its tenth series, it's still one of the best competitions on the TV!

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

2. It was meant to be called ‘Paul O’Grady’s Got Talent’

Originally, the show would be hosted by loveable TV personality, Paul O'Grady. However, when Paul pulled out of the show it went over to America instead, but due to its huge success it was brought back to the UK and renamed Britain's Got Talent.

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CREDIT: Rex / Shutterstock

3. Fern Britton and Cheryl Cole were both meant to be judges

The original line-up included these two favourites, but for different reasons neither ended up in the final panel.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

4. The judges attended auditions in different cities

Anyone who was part of the audition process this year got to strut their stuff and show off their skills in front of the judges in London, Liverpool and Birmingham.

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5. Audience members get to see a comedian before the show!

In order to warm up the audience and get them excited for the acts they're about to see, Britain's Got Talent have a comedian onstage to loosen them up. He's also there to make sure that everyone keeps tight lipped about what they see to ensure the utmost secrecy!

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

6. The audience is the fifth judge

Before the show, the audience members are encouraged to be very vocal about their opinions of the performers – if they love them, they must woot and clap, if they hate them, they're told to start chanting, "Off! Off! Off!" Charming!

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

7. Alesha and Amanda are provided with healthy snacks

The girls like to graze on things like apple slices during filming, so the crew ensure that there are always some diet-friendly snacks for the girls. David Walliams, however, is often seen asking the audience members for chocolate!

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CREDIT: Twitter / amandaholden

8. It takes A LOT of work to keep the judges looking their best - and the contestants get glammed up too

Between acts, there is often a gap where the next act is preparing to enter the stage. During this time the judges are preened and re-preened to make sure that their hair and make-up is perfect throughout filming. The contestants are also made up behind the scenes.

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9. Kelly Brook was a judge for two days

In 2009, Simon decided to get Kelly on board to make the panel a foursome. However, according to Piers Morgan, she wasn't the right fit for Britain's Got Talent and together, the four of them lacked chemistry.

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CREDIT: Instagram

10. It isn’t as slick as it looks on the telly

Filming days can be long and arduous, with lots of breaks between acts meaning they usually run over schedule. Even if the act doesn't have any intricate staging requests, everything from the sound, to the lighting, to the judges shiny foreheads needs to be checked before filming recommences. Luckily, Ant and Dec are there to keep everyone smiling!

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

11. People who apply for the show have to go through a really long audition process

Once you've sent off your application to attend the open auditions, you're expected to turn up on the day and perform in front of a producer. If they like you, you then have to perform to a more senior producer, and then once more in front of a panel while they film you. If you pass this stage, you're then invited to audition in front of a live audience with the celebrity judges.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

12. Bring snacks to the open auditions

If the team really like you, you'll have to complete all three audition stages on the same day meaning that you could be hanging around for up to 14 hours. That's why it's wise to bring some snacks just incase!

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

13. The judges only actually watch a handful of auditions

A usual day of filming could include anything from 8-16 auditions, so the judges only see a tiny percentage the overall applicants for the show. So that means when they're moaning about long filming days and having to waste time watching silly acts, they're definitely exaggerating!

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14. The crowd you see as the judges enter the arena are actually audience members!

Although sometimes they will film the applicants waiting outside, most of the time the big crowds you see are the audience members who are filmed while they're waiting for the judges to arrive.

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15. Some contestants have gone on to be seriously famous

Paul Potts has earned £7million since he won the show in 2007, and Ashleigh and her talented pup Pudsey have also fallen into the six digit category. George Sampson has appeared on TV and in movies, Diversity had their own show, and Susan Boyle - who didn't even win – has sold 19 million albums worldwide and was nominated for two Grammy's!

Take a look to see what the child stars of BGT did next!

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