Amanda Holden says ‘it was time’ for David Walliams to leave BGT

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Amanda Holden, 52, first joined the Britain’s Got Talent judge’s panel in 2006 when it was populated only by Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan. Having seen many other judges come and go since then, the actress assured David Walliams’ sudden exit was simply due to it being “time to step back” and has not left bad blood between them.

The 52-year-old comedian joined Simon and Amanda on the judge’s panel in 2012 along with Alesha Dixon, forming the iconic quarter that fans across the world immediately associate with the show.

After a decade on the show, David announced his exit in November last year, shocking fans and stirring countless rumours online as to the reason behind his sudden departure.

However, speaking to The Times, Amanda hinted that the children’s author is taking time away to focus more on his writing career.

When asked if she potentially had some sway in his exit, Amanda gawked: “It’s not the mafia we work for. Oh my God, no!

“He decided to step away. It was just time to step back.”

She also noted that there are clearly no hard feelings between David and the remaining three judges as they have plans to meet Alesha for dinner and a catch-up soon.

David’s exit divided fans as just weeks before the announcement some controversial comments made by the Little Britain star were leaked.

In a transcript obtained by The Guardian in November last year, David was reportedly heard describing a female contestant as “the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t”.

David apologised for his remarks at the time, telling The Independent: “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.”

Amanda also noted that David’s comments don’t reflect the general mindset of judges on these shows as they watch countless auditions each and every season.

The actress noted that she would personally “never forget how nerve-racking it is to audition”, and that even the sternest judge, Simon, “has more empathy” for contestants since he welcomed his son Eric.

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She added: “There are four very funny people with strong opinions sitting at that table.

“If there is a director’s cut released, I’d like for all of us to be dead when that happens.”

In January it was announced that former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli will be replacing David in this year’s series.

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