BGT: Alesha Dixon says Bruno Tonioli joining show was ‘strange’


Alesha Dixon says it was an adjustment having Bruno Tonioli replace David Walliams on Britain’s Got Talent (Picture: REX/ PA)

Alesha Dixon has said she found it difficult to adjust when David Walliams was replaced by Bruno Tonioli on the Britain’s Got Talent panel.

Last year leaked recordings captured long-time judge David, 51, making disparaging comments about people auditioning for the reality talent show.

After months of speculation that he would be stepping away from the series, it was announced in January that David would not be involved in the next season and was being replaced by the Strictly Come Dancing judge.

That same day Bruno, 67, joined Alesha, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden at the first round of auditions for the upcoming season, with the big reveal made when hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly welcomed the newcomer into the auditorium with his fellow judges.

But, after a decade of working with David, Alesha, 44, has admitted it was strange at first to have someone else in David’s place.

‘Being the family that we were for 10 years, it felt strange at the beginning, it’s like a new normal, a new energy. But Bruno did fantastically well,’ she said.

David and Alesha worked on the show together for a decade (Picture: PA)

‘I think it’s quite difficult coming in as the newbie, but he came with all his energy and pizzazz and the audience loved him,’ she added when appearing on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.

However, it wasn’t completely new territory, as Alesha and Bruno had actually worked together before.

Between 2007 and 2011, the duo were both judges on three seasons of Strictly.

Explaining more about how Bruno took to his new role, Alesha shared that he was incredibly enthusiastic.

‘We had eight golden buzzers this year, which we’ve never had on any series, because the talent was that outstanding,’ she said.

‘Bruno pressed it within the first 10 to 15 seconds of the act. All the rules went out the window, but actually that became the theme of the series. It was great.

Bruno Tonioi.

Bruno joined the panel at the first auditions last month (Picture: David Fisher/Shutterstock)

‘We just threw the rulebook out and it was like anything goes, which made it quite fun.’

The upcoming 16th season of Britain’s Got Talent see acts compete again for the £250,000 prize and chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance.

But before then, Alesha also has another hosting duty on her hands, the Eurovision Song Contest.

Last week Alesha, Graham Norton, Hannah Waddingham and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina were confirmed to be hosting this year’s competition, which will be held in Liverpool in May.

Reacting to the announcement, Alesha said: ‘I’ve performed all over the world and there is just something about the buzz and anticipation of a live show that can’t be rivalled.’

She added that Eurovision ‘delivers that excitement, creativity and talent, but on a vast, global scale’.

Britain’s Got Talent returns to ITV later this year.

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