As Britain's Got Talent returns for its tenth series on Saturday, Simon Cowell has been reflecting on the last decade of the show, including its winners, judging panel and hosts Ant and Dec. The music mogul has admitted he doesn't think the talent competition would be the same without the Geordie duo, who have hosted the show since it launched in 2007.
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"When I think of the show I always think of Ant and Dec," Simon said. "When the show first started I didn't know what they were doing in the wings, because I couldn't see them, until I watched the footage back.
Simon Cowell said Ant and Dec "define" Britain's Got Talent
"They are very funny, they like the show and it's their humour. The boys and myself have a very similar sense of humour, so we do crack each other up a lot, it's like a joke only we get."
He added: "When you work with Ant and Dec they are so good and it's so quick. We get each other and we look out for each other. They define the show."
The Got Talent series has now grown to officially become the biggest show in the world, but Simon says they still have many international contestants entering the British show, thanks in part due to the opportunity to perform for the royal family at the Royal Variety Show should they win.
Britain's Got Talent returns for its tenth series on Saturday
"I don't hang out with the royals! The fact is though, they have allowed us to put an act on the Royal Variety, because they could have said no after three or five years, but they like it," Simon said. "It's a big deal for the contestants. Again, with the overseas contestants they all say they would love the chance to perform in front of the royal family because that's a unique prize."
Simon also reflected on how much he has changed personally over the last ten years, and admitted he didn't expect to be settled down and a father to his son Eric, two.
"I never thought I would be a family man, I mean seriously, I wouldn't have guessed that. But then, you know, things happen in your life and you embrace it," he said. "It's good. What it's done, and certainly after ten years, is make me appreciate more the support we have had for the show. It's been great."
Ant and Dec said the tenth series promises to be "the best yet"
Meanwhile Ant and Dec have admitted that Simon has occasionally lived up to his 'Mr Nasty' nickname during this year's auditions.
"Simon is Simon and is always just honest with what he thinks," Ant said. "He certainly isn't afraid to press his buzzer if he's not impressed and this year is no different."
As for what viewers from the tenth series, the duo say that it is "the best yet".
Britain's Got Talent starts Saturday 9 April at 7pm on ITV.