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Why is David Walliams not on Britain's Got Talent?

The ITV talent competition has welcomed Bruno Tonioli to the panel

David Walliams arrives to Britain's Got Talent
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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Britain's Got Talent is back for a brand new series once again fronted by national treasures Ant and Dec, but viewers will know that the judging panel this year looks a little different.

Head judge Simon Cowell is back along with long-running judge Amanda Holden and singer Alesha Dixon, but David Walliams will be absent from the new episodes instead making way for former Strictly Come Dancing star Bruno Tonioli. So why has David left?

WATCH: Amanda Holden shows support for former BGT co-star David Walliams

The Little Britain actor has not spoken out publicly about the reason why he has stepped down from his role as judge on the ITV talent competition, however, shortly before Bruno's acquisition, it was reported that David had made insulting comments about a contestant while filming back in 2020.

In November, a leaked transcript was published and read David making expletive comments about two contestants who were auditioning for the competition. At the beginning of the year it was announced that Bruno had been brought in by bosses on the show.

MORE: David Walliams poses in incredibly rare photo with son Alfred amid TV break 

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David Walliams with BGT co-stars© Shirlaine Forrest
David Walliams with former BGT co-stars

The arrival of the dancer came shortly after David apologised for the comments he made. The children's author released a statement saying: "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."

Bruno Tonioli with Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell at BGT auditions© Peter Byrne - PA Images
Bruno Tonioli has joined the judging panel

Meanwhile, Amanda Holden previously spoke about Bruno coming onto the show following David's exit. Chatting to HELLO! earlier this year, the Heart FM Radio broadcaster said: "This year we welcome Bruno [on BGT] who I’ve known for years. He’s a wonderful ball of energy and in a good way, he’s already broken every rule! So much so that Simon will probably have to throw out any rulebook this year!"

She also showed support for her former co-star during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, in which she said: "I would like to see the judging panel look like it looked before. We are a great team, we're a family. Of course, I'm 'Team David'." 

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