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Alesha Dixon breaks her silence on David Walliams’ exit from BGT: ‘I’ll miss him dearly’

Alesha Dixon said Walliams’ departure from BGT left her “deeply saddened”  (PA)
Alesha Dixon said Walliams’ departure from BGT left her “deeply saddened” (PA)

Alesha Dixon has broken her silence on David Walliams’ exit from Britain’s Got Talent, admitting his departure has left her “deeply saddened”.

The Little Britain star, 51, quit the ITV series ahead of its 2023 instalment after a leaked recording caught him calling an elderly performer on the talent show the C-word three times.

He was replaced by former Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli, 67, in January.

Speaking about Walliams’ exit in the latest issue of Waitrose Weekend, Dixon, 44, shared: “I haven’t spoken about it, but of course, I’m deeply saddened because David is a great friend.

“I love him very much. We started the show together, and I’ll miss him dearly.”

In November, the comedian was forced to apologise after the profanity-laden recording emerged.

Walliams left the ITV talent series (ITV)
Walliams left the ITV talent series (ITV)

According to a transcript leaked to the Guardian, the best-selling children’s author also said of a female hopeful: “She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them but you don’t.”

Walliams’ slurs were picked up by a microphone used to record chats between him and fellow judges Holden, Cowell, and Dixon at the London Palladium in January 2020.

At the time, the star, who joined BGT in 2012, was reprimanded for his derogatory comments by show bosses.

In the wake of the fallout, he said in a statement: “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.”

Bruno Tonioli (L) has joined Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell on the judging panel (PA Wire)
Bruno Tonioli (L) has joined Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell on the judging panel (PA Wire)

In January, Tonioli was announced as a judge for the next instalment of BGT after Alan Carr was initially rumoured to be joining.

The Italian star was a judge on BBC’s Strictly from 2004 up until 2020. He has since been replaced on the show by Anton Du Beke.

The choreographer continues to judge on the US version of the show Dancing with the Stars, which is due to start filming again in Autumn.

Tonioli won over Strictly fans for his outlandish charm, and will no doubt bring his same lively persona to BGT’s judging panel.