One “Dancing With the Stars” judge may have a new gig, according to reports from The Sun and The Daily Mirror. The outlets reported on Monday, January 16 that insiders say Bruno Tonioli has joined Simon Cowell’s talent competition series, “Britain’s Got Talent.”
Here’s what you need to know:
An Insider Says Simon Cowell Always ‘Preferred’ Bruno Tonioli to Join ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Over Comedian Alan Carr
“Britain’s Got Talent” has been looking for a new judge to replace David Walliams, who ended his ten-year run with the show in 2022, according to the Mirror. While some outlets reported British comedian Alan Carr was slated as his replacement, according to The Sun, BGT creator Cowell wants current “Dancing With the Stars” judge and former “Strictly Come Dancing” judge Tonioli to fill Walliams’ seat.
“For almost two months Alan [Carr] may have been the favourite to take over from [Walliams], but Bruno was always Simon’s preferred choice,” a source told The Sun. “Not only does he have years of judging experience under his belt from his time on ‘Strictly,’ he will bring an outrageous brand of comedy that BGT needs on the panel. In so many ways this is already the perfect job for Bruno as it sees him return to a glitzy showbusiness favourite that fits in with the rest of his work.”
The source added that it came down to Tonioli “being presented with an offer enticing enough to make a commitment” to the hit talent competition series. After some “intense negotiations,” they reached an agreement, the source said.
A second source told the Mirror that “Bruno has all the right experience and his famous exuberance will go down a treat. He and Simon have long hoped to work together so this has proved the perfect opportunity. Everyone’s very excited.”
In a 2018 interview with The Sun, Tonioli said Cowell had approached him to discuss working together.
“I’ve told [Cowell] to come up with something new and we’ll think about it,” Tonioli said at the time. “We have discussed these things for a number of years but it has never come to anything concrete.”
If Tonioli joins “Britain’s Got Talent” as a judge, he will sit beside Cowell, actress Amanda Holden, and singer Alesha Dixon on the panel.
When Holden was asked about Carr joining BGT during an appearance on “The One Show,” she said coyly, “Watch this space, is the top line. I was really contained and found my filter. I was really good. Watch this space.”
She added, “[Carr would] be good, it’s a good idea. It’s a good idea. We’ll miss David, but it’s a good idea.”
How Will Bruno Tonioli Joining ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Affect ‘Dancing With the Stars’?
Previously, Tonioli attempted to pull double duty on “Dancing With the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” which air at the same time in their respective countries. But flying back and forth across the pond became too much for Tonioli and he gave up his role on SCD.
“Getting through the airports is not like it used to be, so it created a situation that was unsustainable,” Tonioli told “The One Show” in May 2022. “Because of the travel situations I cannot really guarantee that I’m going to be there because anything can happen. Two years ago, I changed my tickets every week and they need continuity.”
But according to The Sun, Tonioli’s DWTS and BGT schedules won’t overlap because the shows film at different times of year.
David Walliams Is Expected to Step Down From the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Judging Panel
According to a November 2022 report from The Sun, “Britain’s Got Talent” has been looking for a replacement for judge David Walliams, who is expected to step down after The Guardian published sexually explicit remarks that Walliams made about auditionees for the show in January 2020.
At the time, Walliams issued a statement to the Guardian apologizing for his remarks, saying, “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2020. These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”
Production company Thames TV added, “Although relating to a private conversation almost three years ago, the language used was inappropriate. Even though it was private, those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations as to future professional conduct.”
“We do not condone the language outlined in these allegations, and we have spoken to the producers of ‘Britain’s Got Talent.’ Duty of care towards all participants on any of our programmes is always of paramount importance and we have protocols and guidelines in place for all our production partners,” said broadcast network ITV in its own statement.
In November 2022, a source told The Sun that Walliams “decided to bow out after a 10-year run. He wants to leave on a high after a wonderful time.”
The source added, “Being on the show has been a huge source of entertainment and joy for him and he is arguably the most popular member of the panel. … He hasn’t taken the decision lightly, but it feels like time to move on and focus on his other projects.”