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Simon Cowell finally shares thoughts on former BGT judge David Walliams controversy: 'Completely unacceptable'

The children’s author has apologised for his comment

david walliams fatherhood transformed simon cowell
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
April 17, 2023
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Simon Cowell has finally broken his silence about David Walliams’ exit from Britain’s Got Talent, calling his controversial leaked comments "upsetting". The judge, who is once again starring in Britain’s Got Talent, spoke about the situation to The Sun, admitting that he "didn’t really get involved" in the decision for David to step down from the show. 

David quit BGT after several controversial comments were leaked from a previous season, where he used expletives to describe two contestants. Simon said: "From what I understand, he decided to take a step back. It all happened relatively quickly. 

WATCH: Amanda Holden shows her support for David Walliams amid backlash

"I was on holiday and then the next thing is I’m having conversations about who’s going to take his place. We did say to the two producers, ‘You have to make the final decision,’ because, yeah, I am an exec producer, but they’re more hands-on… Obviously everyone had some input – the network, the producers, [production company] Fremantle, all of us said at the time, these comments are completely unacceptable.

"I had not heard them before and, yeah, it was upsetting. But from where I’m sitting, this wasn’t something I believe was ­constant." 

david walliams lorraine appearance© Photo: Rex
David Walliams quit BGT

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

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The bestselling children's book author apologised for his comments in 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."

The television personality has been a firm fixture on the Britain's Got Talent judging panel since 2012. During his stint on the show, David scooped 'best judge' at the National Television Awards on three occasions. He has since been replaced by former Strictly judge, Bruno Tonioli. 

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