Britain’s Got Talent is an ITV talent show competition that airs on Saturday nights at 8pm.
The first series began broadcasting in June 2007, with Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan sitting in the judges’ chairs.
It is believed Paul O’Grady was envisioned to be the original host when it was planned to launch the show in 2005. However, a reported dispute led to production being halted until 2007.
Now in its 12th series, Simon and Amanda are still on hand to give acts the thumbs up or thumbs down, but they have been joined for the last six runs by Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
Ant and Dec have been ever-present hosts since the show started – but that double act was divided for the first time as the last series reached the live stages due to Ant McPartlin’s drink-driving woes.
Contestants of any age can audition and those that make it through the auditions then compete against other acts who have also made it through in a series of live semi-finals.
Two acts then progress from each semi-final to the show’s live final where a cash prize and the opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance is on the line.
Previous winners have included Paul Potts, George Sampson, Diversity, Ashleigh and Pudsey the dog and Lost Voice Guy.
BGT viewership peaked during the final of the third series, attracting 17.3 million viewers.
The show is currently contracted to remain on ITV until 2019.
An ITV2 spin off show called Britain’s Got More Talent and presented by Stephen Mulhern has aired after every show since the main show began. It focuses on highlights of acts that didn’t feature on BGT.
Britain’s Got Talent has bagged four National Television Awards and two BAFTAs over the last eleven years.