Why is Simon Cowell not on Britain’s Got Talent 2020?
5 September 2020, 18:00
Why is Simon Cowell not on Britain's Got Talent and will he return? Here's what we know...
More than six months after the auditions aired, Britain’s Got Talent is finally back with the semi finals this week.
But things are set to look a little different this time around, with no studio audience and strict social distancing measures in place.
There will also be a big Simon Cowell shaped hole in the judging panel, as the 60-year-old will not be appearing alongside David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Heart Breakfast’s Amanda Holden.
So, where is Simon Cowell and why is he not on BGT? Here’s what we know…
Why is Simon Cowell not on Britain’s Got Talent?
On Sunday 30 August the BGT semi-finalists were revealed, with the show resuming on Saturday 5 September.
But Simon Cowell has had to drop out at the last minute after he suffered a bike accident last month.
On August 8, the music mogul was rushed to hospital after he fell from his electric bike while testing it out with his son Eric.
He broke his back and had to undergo a six-hour surgery which meant he was not able to travel to the UK for filming from his home in Malibu.
A spokesperson said at the time: “Simon had a fall from his bike on Saturday afternoon whilst testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family.
“He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He's doing fine, he's under observation and is in the best possible hands."
Despite his absence, Simon has teased there is something big in store for viewers as the semi finals return.
He previously told Digital Spy: "I don't want to give too much away but when you watch the semi-finals and final you're going to see something you've never seen before, it's very high tech. It's been very stimulating putting the whole thing together.
"We've had to come up with all sorts of different ideas on how we're going to do it, how it's going to be different but ultimately the focus needs to be on the contestants.”
Who is replacing Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent?
Ashley Banjo is replacing Simon Cowell as judge for the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals.
The 31-year-old shot to fame when Diversity won the third series of BGT back in 2009.
Speaking about his huge role, Ashley said it has been ‘bittersweet’ stepping in for his former mentor Simon.
“There are a few people over the course of Diversity’s career who have been integral and had a huge impact, and Simon’s one of those,’ he said.
“So, to hear that he had had the accident was horrible. I’m just so glad to hear he’s recovering well.”
He went on: “Anyone sitting in Simon’s chair would have to bring a level of respect where people go, ‘Do you know what? That person knows what they are talking about’.
“There’s no one more qualified than Simon when it comes to judging variety acts, and if you’re going to sit on that panel you better have some decent qualifications. But I think in terms of the niche of BGT I am a weirdly qualified person purely because of my journey on the show.”