Simon Cowell is in a tug-of-war with ITV over new Britain’s Got Talent judge to replace David Walliams
- Cowell and ITV are at odds over who should replace David Walliams at BGT
- It’s understood that ITV wants Alan Carr while Cowell wants Bruno Tonioli
- At one point, Carr thought he had the job in this “messy” briefing war
Simon Cowell and ITV bosses are locked in a behind-the-scenes row over whether Alan Carr or Bruno Tonioli should be the new judge on Britain’s Got Talent, it has emerged.
The scramble has turned into a “chaotic” briefing war as music mogul Cowell, who created the show 15 years ago, is trying to influence the decision on who replaces David Walliams.
The Chron understands ITV want Carr at the center of the issue, while Simon Cowell wants to hand the role to his longtime friend Tonioli, 67.
It can also be revealed today that comedian Carr thought he had the job – and had even started making arrangements for his on-screen clothes – until he saw reports the former harsh judge was also lined up to take on Walliams.
David Walliams was forced to leave the show after ten years last year after making obnoxious remarks about the contestants during the 2020 auditions
The disgraced actor and children’s author was forced to leave the show after ten years last year after he made obnoxious remarks about contestants at auditions in 2020. Carr, famous for his popular Channel 4 show Alan Carr: Chatty Man, is also said to have changed the dates of his filming commitments on the BBC show Ru Paul’s Drag Race so he could be in the BGT auditions. Tonioli has since told his closest friends that he has not heard from ITV or Cowell.
Sources close to the show – which begins filming its next round of auditions next Tuesday – are also wondering if Cowell is playing “mind games” with the two contenders, something he was known for on the now-defunct X Factor.
The Chron understands that ITV would like Alan Carr (pictured) to be at the heart of the matter as the new judge, while Simon Cowell wants to hand the role to his longtime friend Bruno Tonioli
Comedian Carr (right) thought he had the job – and had even started making arrangements for his on-screen attire – until he saw reports the former Strictly judge was also due to take on Walliams
Judges including Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Tweedy and Sharon Osbourne cleared their diaries for months while the music mogul decided who to sign.
They also suggest there have been briefing wars between the two men to see which gets the better reaction on social media. Carr, 46, has so far received much better reception than Tonioli, who still hosts Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly.
Bruno Tonioli. who is being considered for the role, still hosts Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly
A source told the Mail: “It all seems very chaotic. Alan thought the job was his, as were those close to him, until he saw reports to the contrary. He was approached and came home from his vacation to meet.
“Then, out of the blue, the show briefed that Bruno is also in the running. But that’s what Simon does. Back in the X Factor days, Dannii, Cheryl, Sharon and many others didn’t know if they had the job until a few days beforehand. Some call it mind games. He’s the best in the business when it comes to talking about his shows.”
The Mail revealed last week that Carr was set to replace Walliams, leading to a briefing from senior sources at BGT that Tonioli was also in the running. In November, it was reported that Walliams, 51, had resigned from his role, although sources close to the show say he “jumped before he was pushed”.