Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

David Walliams sues Britain’s Got Talent producers following exit over derogatory remarks


David Walliams is suing the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent.

Walliams exited the ITV talent show in January after off-camera, alleged derogatory remarks he made about contestants were leaked to The Guardian.

According to various outlets, Walliams has now filed a High Court case against the show’s producers, FremantleMedia, over data protection.

The Sun reports that the papers, filed last Thursday (21 September), accuse Fremantle in connection with the leaked transcript that ended his 10-year tenure as judge on the show.

The Independent has contacted Walliams and Freemantle for comment.

According to the transcripts, Walliams allegedly referred to an elderly contestant as a “c**t” multiple times and described a female contestant as “the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t”.

Walliams apologised 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.”

Judges (left to right) David Walliams, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon
— (Getty Images)

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli was announced as Walliams’s replacement in January this year. He joined Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden on the judge’s panel.

Cowell, who is also one of the producers on the show, broke his silence on Walliams’s exit in April. The creator of the X Factor and Got Talent franchises told The Sun that he “didn’t really get involved in the decision”.

“From what I understand, he decided to take a step back,” he said. “It all happened relatively quickly. 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.”

Cowell, 63, continued: “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.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.