Simon Cowell speaks out on David Walliams’ exit from ‘Britain’s Got Talent’

Simon Cowell has addressed David Walliams’ departure from Britain’s Got Talent.

The comedian stepped down as a judge on the ITV series late last year, after he apologised for making “disrespectful” comments towards contestants during a 2020 recording.

In his apology after the leaked transcript was reported by the Guardian, Walliams said: “These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”


Speaking to The Sun about his exit, Cowell explained that he “didn’t really get involved in the decision”.

“From what I understand, he decided to step back,” he said. “It all happened relatively quickly. I was on holiday and then the next thing is I’m having conversations about who’s going to take his place.”

David Walliams
David Walliams CREDIT: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Cowell said he left the final decision to the show’s other producers, adding: “Obviously everyone had some input – the network, the producers Fremantle, all of us said at the time, these comments are completely unacceptable.

“I had not heard them before and, yeah, it was upsetting. But from where I’m sitting, this wasn’t something I believe was constant. Most of the time David seemed very respectful and emotional about the contestants and was doing everything that a judge should be doing on a show like this.”

Bruno Tonioli has replaced Walliams’ as a judge on the latest series, which began on Saturday (April 15). He’s joined on the judging line-up by Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.


Earlier this year, Matt Lucas revealed that he quit The Great British Bake Off to make a new sketch comedy show with Walliams. The pair previously worked together on Little Britain and Come Fly With Me.