7 Questions with… BGT's Ant and Dec: ‘This year we have a keyboard-playing dinosaur’

From Susan Boyle and Paul Potts to Diversity and Lost Voice Guy, Britain’s Got Talent has generated some incredible TV. Ant and Dec tell us why the new series might be the best yet.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 11 April 2020 - 11.49am
ITV/Thames

From Susan Boyle and Paul Potts to Diversity and Lost Voice Guy, Britain’s Got Talent has generated some incredible TV moments over the last 13 series. But the show's presenters Ant and Dec think series 14 might just be the best yet.

With the nation currently staying indoors, the return of Britain’s Got Talent for its 14th series couldn’t be more timely.

National treasures Ant and Dec are back to cheer and console the acts and attempt to keep some sort of order amid the bonkers, surprising and jaw-dropping acts.

The Live Shows are indefinitely postponed until the Coronavirus pandemic is over, but the auditions were filmed earlier this year and will all air as normal through April and July – alongside new ITV Hub series Britain’s Got Talent: Unseeen.

We caught up with Ant and Dec to find out what we can expect from BGT in 2020…

1. When you wake up on audition day, what's the first thing that goes through your mind?

Ant and Dec at Britain's Got Talent auditions Getty
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Ant: What time will Simon Cowell get there today?! The second thing is just thinking about what we will get to see. We have no idea who’s going to walk around the corner, what they are going to do, good, bad or indifferent. You get this real sense of excitement about what you’re going to discover.

Dec: For us, auditions are always fun, and you do think, “Is today going to be the day that we see the winner and unearth a brand-new star?” Everyone who has won the show has gone on to stardom and success of varying degrees. So we always get excited about the prospect of meeting a brand-new star.

Ant: I tell you what’s nice as well, when you meet certain people and they have that look in their eye, especially if they’ve been doing it for a long time where they just realise that this show could change their lives. Whether they win or not, if they do well this show could change their life, their income, their kids’ lives. It’s a big day for everyone who walks around the corner and chats to us.

2. How would you rate the talent this year?

Ant and Dec at Britain's Got Talent auditions Getty
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Ant: I’ll tell you what we’ve had this year more than the last few series is people just giving it a go. We ask them who’s seen their act and they tell us no one: they have just decided to turn up and give it a go. It’s like BGT has gone old school this year and people are just walking in from their bedrooms and showing us their talent. Thankfully, a lot of them have been good! I mean, it’s classic good and classic bad on both sides.

Dec: There have been a lot of those acts who have been doing it without anyone seeing it and they go, “So I thought I’d come to Britain’s Got Talent”, we’re like, “That’s quite a jump, you know?” The balls on them to go out there! It’s felt, at times, like we’re doing the first series again, when you get those people. They are the people who turned up in the early days and now they’re back, it’s quite nice.

3. The judges seem on good form, though David hasn’t been quite as naughty this year…

David Walliams poses for Britain's Got Talent 2020 ITV/Thames

Ant: There’s still time for that! He’s still outrageous!

Dec: He’s still being quite mischievous.

Simon got David up on stage so they could both have knives thrown at them…

Dec: Simon’s got a real fascination with danger acts. It’s not the first time he’s got up on the stage.

Ant: Maybe because he’s lost a lot of weight there’s less chance of him getting hit! There’s less of Simon to hit!

Dec: It is dangerous because with that act there’s no trickery involved, it’s just someone throwing dangerous things at you! No thank you!

4. David was also part of a motorbike stunt act: how did he react?

Ant and Dec at Britain's Got Talent auditions Getty
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Ant: That was good because we spoke to David afterwards and the guy on the motorbike was really winding him up, revving it next to his head and edging back into his privates, taunting him a bit, which was fun - I liked him!

Dec: He was great! And it’s nice to have a bit of danger, it makes it even better when one of the judges are involved.

Ant: And they’re scared! It’s always that slight concern something could go wrong.

Dec: Yeah, up until a few years ago you’d never get Simon up on stage, now he’s done it a couple of times. I think he’s got a taste for it now!

5. Simon is obsessed with novelty acts this year…

Simon Cowell poses for Britain's Got Talent 2020 ITV/Thames

Ant: It’s all about Eric and what he would like. Everything he sees that he would normally have buzzed off in years gone by, now he’s like, “My son would love that”. So, he tends to put them through. Like this year we have a keyboard-playing dinosaur, what? Even if a keyboard came out a few years ago he would have buzzed them straight away and now it’s a dinosaur playing the keyboard and it’s a yes from him!

6. We’ve seen a lot of nervous acts: do you guys still get nervous?

Britain's Got Talent - The judges and presenters for 2020 ITV/Thames

Ant: We were nervous before we hosted the Brits, it’s quite daunting because you’re playing to the room and the audience at home. I think we’re quite lucky because we’ve got each other.

Dec: I think it’s all about being prepared, making sure you’ve rehearsed and prepared for everything. You can be nervous, but I always remember someone saying to me, “It’s a perfectly natural reaction to be nervous, but don’t let it over take you”.

You just have to go, “OK, I feel the nerves, I understand why I feel like this, it’s a perfectly natural reaction and I will use these nerves to keep me focused. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Ant: Yeah, using that energy for good. It shows you care. If you’re not nervous then what’s the point? It might be time to hang it up.

Dec: What you can’t do is go, “Oh my god, I’m so nervous I’m going to balls this up”. It just keeps you focused.

7. You presented three of the biggest shows of the 2010s. What are your plans for the next decade?

Ant: Can we just carry on the same please?!

Dec: I’d settle for more of the same!

Ant: Absolutely! We’re very lucky that we host three of the biggest entertainment shows on telly that show no signs of stopping. We love doing them so long may it continue as long as the audience still loves it. 

Watch Britain's Got Talent every Saturday evening on ITV.

Catch up on BT TV via the ITV Hub.

Watch Britain's Got Talent: Unseen on the ITV Hub - a new episode, every week.