Print Comment

Simon Cowell says goodbye to Mr Nasty as 'Britain's Got Talent' returns

Enlarge

New love with stylist Mezhgan Hussainy seems to have brought out Simon Cowell's more caring side in the new series of Britain's Got Talent
Photo: © Talkback Thames 

Enlarge

On the first show ten-year-old Chloe Hickinbottom wowed judges with her rendition of Dame Vera Lynn's (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover
Photo: © Talkback Thames 

Enlarge

Another of the contestants was parrot Max and his owner Irene, who fed him potato
Photo: © Talkback Thames 

16 APRIL 2010

When Britain's Got Talent returns for its fourth series on ITV1 on Saturday night, viewers might notice a change for the better in the man long known as TV's Mr Nasty.

It seems Simon Cowell's relationship with reported fiancée Mezhgan Hussainy has brought out his softer side when it comes to judging the talent show's eclectic line-up of contestants.

"Good and bad moods affect my judging," 50-year-old Simon told The Mirror.

"I am in a very good mood at the moment and life with Mezhgan is great."

Contestants on the new series, who include a woman who feeds mashed potato to her parrot and a group of naked dancing men with strategically placed balloons, only receive a smattering of harsh comments from the once hard-to-impress judge.

One of the stand-out acts on this year's show looks set to be 10-year-old Chloe Hickinbottom, who left the panel gobsmacked with her mature rendition of Dame Vera Lynn's (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.

"I can't believe a little 10-year-old girl has such a beautiful, old-fashioned voice," commented judge Amanda Holden.

Simon's more caring approach has also been considered a response to criticism of last year's series, when child singer Hollie Steel, 10, rushed off set in tears and runner-up Susan Boyle had to be treated for exhaustion.

"Because of what happened last year with Susan, we are aware of what can happen to people," said Simon.

"So 12 months later you approach it in a very, very different way and you are aware that pressure can do all sorts of things to people."

This year a psychologist was available on set to help contestants with any emotional problems.

Completing the judging line-up, Piers Morgan returns alongside Simon and Amanda, while there was also a special appearance from The X Factor's Louis Walsh, who stood in for one audition when Simon was ill.

As for the eventual winner, this time Simon is hoping that something other than a song or dance act will walk away with the £100,000 prize money and the chance to perform before royalty at the Royal Variety Performance.

"I'm looking for the perfect dog act. I'd like to find the next Lassie," he said.

The new series of Britain's Got Talent starts Saturday, ITV1, at 8pm.