On this week’s episode of Britain’s Got Talent, a very special judge joins the panel when Simon Cowell is delayed to the London auditions. Britain's Got Talent airs Saturday, 8pm on ITV.
When the other judges took their places at the judge desk, David decided to invite his mum up on stage. Speaking to the audience and his fellow judges Amanda and Alesha, David says, “I think we really need someone to fill that seat. Actually my mother is here today, she’s going to be Simon Cowell if she doesn’t mind. Come on mum!”
And Kathleen proved to be quite a match for Simon, as she wasn’t afraid to use her buzzer on a number of acts, giving straight talking, no-nonsense critiques. In fact it takes several acts before Kathleen decides not to use her buzzer and actually put someone through to the next round.
Speaking off camera about his Mum’s special guest appearance David commented:
“Once a year Simon is always very late to the recording so we have to start without him. This year it coincided with my mother being in the audience. So I wondered whether she would want to take Simon’s chair. What I was really hoping was that she would use Simon’s Golden Buzzer in his absence but she didn’t. She was great actually, she was very quick to press the buzzer, of course that’s the thing people often don’t want to do. She was great with her critique and actually some of the audience thought it was Simon! There was no difference.”
“It was quite surreal, it was like having a really odd dream about the show. When you have dreams things are not in their rightful place, so I was like, ‘What is my mum doing sitting in Simon Cowell’s chair on Britain’s Got Talent?’. I think she did really well, especially as it was completely sprung on her. The hardest thing is to be critical because everyone wants to be liked. But my mum actually didn’t mind buzzing people off. She wasn’t nasty, she just said it how it was.”
While Amanda agreed, saying that Kathleen proved to be a sterner judge than her son.
“Kathleen is quite hardcore! David is quite a wuss about pressing his buzzer, he’s always last and he never says no. He just doesn’t seem to be able to give any criticism that’s bad, he’s sweet really. But Kathleen, she pressed hers first once, I was like, ‘Woah!’. She was like, ‘Well no, I just don’t think the audience warmed to you!’. She is basically David in a dress and went down like a house on fire. I can see a future for her.”
And Ant later joked, “She’s like a silent assassin you see, because she’s doing it all with a great big smile on her face so you don’t mind. Simon could learn a thing or two from her!”
In the episode viewers will see that just like Simon, Kathleen isn’t easy to please and she is the first to buzz an act that she doesn’t find agreeable.
The straight talking lady says to ‘The Blue Bag Lady’, “I thought it was nice music ruined by stupid movements… I’m afraid it’s a no from me.”
Amanda jokes, “Ooh, she’s taking to it like a duck to water!” with Alesha agreeing, “She really is!” A surprised David even comments on his mum getting into her judging role, “You’ve got a dark side, Mum.”
When an act performs ‘imaginary tennis’, Kathleen is the first to buzz and shrugs, “That was a bit dull.”
At the side of the stage, Ant & Dec forewarn other acts who are yet to take to the stage that Simon Cowell isn’t judging but Kathleen Walliams is! Speaking to an act, Ant explains: “You do know Simon is not here, David’s mum has stepped in… she’s quite harsh, she’s already buzzed someone.”
As auditions continue and Kathleen gives a verdict to an act that “it was very sweet but not very exciting”, Amanda comments: “It is weird how much you are like Simon, you’re very similar.”
Ant & Dec then come onto the stage to see if they might be able to help and find an act who Kathleen might appreciate a little more. Dec says, “We’re a bit concerned backstage there seems to be a lot of buzzers,” with Ant adding, “We just want to know what are you looking for and we’ll go and try and find it.”
“I like nice male singers, preferably with their tops off,” she smirks. David jokes, “Exactly what Simon likes as well, it’s weird!”
Ant & Dec try to find a singer to suit Kathleen’s taste although even he fails to impress as Kathleen buzzes first and asks the performer, “You didn’t look very happy when you were singing that song. Were you annoyed about something?”
David joked, “I think Simon’s spirit has entered my mum,” reflecting on his mother’s comments and their similarity to Simon’s.
When a pair of young gymnasts take to the stage, Kathleen is extremely impressed with their performance and for the first time, she doesn’t use the buzzer and joins the rest of the judges in a standing ovation.
“That was absolutely fantastic. It’s a yes from me, definitely.” Her comments are received with much applause backstage from a relieved Ant & Dec.
Britain's Got Talent airs Saturday, 8pm on ITV.