David Walliams is due to step down as Britain’s Got Talent judge

David Walliams is expected to step down as judge on Britain’s Got Talent after a Guardian report revealed he had made disrespectful comments about contestants on the show.

A Britain’s Got Talent spokesperson said next year’s lineup of judges had yet to be finalized and no decision had been made about Walliams’ involvement. A Sun report, however, stated that he was leaving the program after 10 years.

“The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course,” the show spokesperson said. “At the moment it is still very uncertain whether David will participate in next year’s show. However, no decision has been made yet.”

The comedian was also booked to appear on Jonathan Ross’ ITV chatshow on Saturday night but won’t be doing so again. Sources suggested it was Walliams’ decision not to take part in the programme. He has kept an unusually low profile in recent weeks, avoiding red carpet events that would have led to media coverage.

He apologized earlier this month after The Guardian published derogatory remarks and sexually explicit comments he had made about attendee auditions for the ITV show at the London Palladium in January 2020.

According to a leaked transcript seen by the Guardian, Walliams referred to an older performer as a “cunt” three times when he was out of earshot after a botched audition. During the audition, the contestant had engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he joked about Walliams.

The transcript also included additional sexually explicit comments made after a contestant walked off stage.

Walliams said in a statement: “I would like to apologize to the people I made disrespectful comments about during filming breaks on Britain’s Got Talent in 2020. These were private conversations and, like most conversations with friends, they shouldn’t have never be shared. However, I’m sorry.

The Guardian reported that lawyers for Walliams and Thames TV, the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent, had said the comments were part of a private conversation never intended for broadcast.

Thames TV said: “Although he was referring to a private conversation nearly three years ago, the language used was inappropriate. Even though it was private, those involved spoke and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations regarding future professional conduct.

Walliams’ comments were picked up by microphones used to capture discussions between the judges.

ITV said in a statement: “We do not condone the language outlined in these allegations and have spoken to the producers of Britain’s Got Talent. A duty of care to all participants in any of our programs is always of paramount importance and we have protocols and guidelines in place for all of our manufacturing partners.”

The Guardian reported that Walliams’ comments were the only instances of snide remarks made about three-episode contestants that came under scrutiny.

Walliams serves on the show’s judging panel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.

Earlier this week Holden told reporters he ‘would like to see the judging panel as before’ and was in ‘Team David’, potentially creating a headache for the top tier ITV show.

Walliams rose to fame alongside fellow comedian Matt Lucas, producing hit mid-2000s shows such as Little Britain, which has since been re-evaluated for its use of classy stereotyping and blackface. He is also a bestselling children’s author, although one of his short stories was removed from publication last year for being accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes.

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