David Walliams has reportedly quit Britain’s Got Talent after 10 years on the judging panel.
The comedian, 51, is set to leave the ITV show ahead of the 2023 series weeks after being forced to apologize for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’ and making of vile sexual remarks about a woman who competed.
Show bosses are thought to already have a replacement lined up before filming begins next year.
He’s finished! David Walliams reportedly quit Britain’s Got Talent after 10 years on the judging panel, weeks after he apologized for making mean comments about a contestant
A source told The sun“He didn’t take the decision lightly, but it just feels like time to move on.”
David has decided to retire after ten years. He wants to leave with a good feeling after a wonderful time.
“His team has been quietly having conversations over the past few days making it clear that David is about to step down – and then producers will start thinking about who could replace him.”
It comes as David’s co-stars Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon are negotiating their contracts for 2023. None of them have signed a deal yet.
He’s finished! The comedian (pictured in 2012) is about to leave the ITV show ahead of the 2023 series, weeks after being forced to apologize for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’
A BGT source told MailOnline: ‘It is currently very much up in the air whether David will take part in next year’s show. However, no decision has been made yet.’
A Britain’s Got Talent spokesperson said: ‘The jury for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for David Walliams for further comment.
Shocking: David’s future on BGT was in doubt after he described an older contestant as an asshole and made vile sexual comments about a woman who also competed on the show
Oti Mabuse is reportedly being considered as a replacement for David, with reality show bosses discussing how the former professional dancer on BBC’s Strictly would be perfect for the role.
She is currently at the center of a tug-of-war between ITV and the BBC, who both want her to star in their shows due to her overwhelming popularity.
A television insider told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Oti’s name is in the frame. She is touted as the perfect replacement for Walliams if ITV decides not to take him back.
“Several talks are taking place as negotiations are currently taking place, but Oti is a clear route that many BGT stakeholders want to take. They think she’d be perfect.’
Oti made her debut as a television judge on another Simon Cowell program, The Greatest Dancer, in 2018 and he grew very fond of her.
After she quit Strictly last year, the South African dancer was poached by ITV to be part of the judging panel of their skating competition, Dancing On Ice. They also made her the host of her own dating show, Romeo And Duet.
But the BBC then took her back for a new quiz show, The Tower, which she recently filmed for the broadcaster.
Shocking: The comments, made in January 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium, were picked up by the program’s microphones and revealed earlier this month
David’s future on BGT was in doubt after he described an older contestant as an asshole and made vile sexual comments about a woman who was also on the show.
The comments, made in January 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium, were picked up by the programme’s microphones and revealed earlier this month.
In one incident, picked up by the show’s microphones, an elderly performer engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a joke about Walliams, an exposé from The Guardian claimed.
After the audition, the pensioner left, after which Walliams allegedly described him as a ‘c**t’ three times.
Claims: Sources close to BGT said David’s return was ‘very threatened’ and he was ‘under the microscope’
In a separate incident, after a female contestant walked off stage, Walliams remarked, “She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub and think you want to fuck them, but you don’t.” He later added, “I know, she just says, ‘Oh, f*** off!’ I said she thinks you want to fuck her, but you don’t.
“It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like, ‘Yeah, I bet you do!’
‘No, I won’t! I had a little ab***r, but it’s okay now, it’s shriveled up in my body now.’
Sources close to BGT said David’s return was “very threatened” and he was “under the microscope”, while some senior staff said he should be suspended immediately.
Beloved: O ti Mabuse is reportedly being considered as David’s replacement, with bosses discussing how the former professional dancer on BBC’s Strictly would be perfect for the role
A source said: ‘This couldn’t have come at a worse time in terms of his return to BGT, discussions are currently underway so David’s comments have now become a big part of the conversation.
“He hasn’t signed a contract yet and that’s a relief because now there are options. It’s a family show and this isn’t just a negative thing, it’s offensive to people.
“It has put David in a very precarious position. There are some people involved in the show who flat out don’t want him back, there’s a danger that this incident will become part of the BGT story and no one wants that. It’s a beautiful show that brings so much joy.
“Some say David’s return is now highly unlikely.”
In a statement to The Guardian, the Little Britain star said: “I want to apologize to the people I made disrespectful comments about during filming breaks for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020.
“These were private conversations and — like most conversations with friends — were never meant to be shared. Still, I’m sorry.’
Outspoken: In a statement, David said: ‘I want to apologize to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks filming for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020
An ITV spokesperson said: ‘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 to all participants in all of our programs is always paramount and we have established protocols and guidelines for all our manufacturing partners.”
Meanwhile, sources at London-based production company Thames said they have provided better training and education to BGT judges on their language and more respect for contestants.
A spokesperson said: ‘While it related to a private conversation from nearly three years ago, the language was inappropriate.
“Although it was private, those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations regarding future professional conduct.”
Behaviour: Meanwhile, sources at London-based production company Thames said they have provided enhanced training and education to BGT judges