Amanda Holden speaks of sadness at David Walliams’ Britain’s Got Talent exit… as comedian sues show while bosses claim he was ‘warned about his behaviour’ over contestant comments
Amanda Holden has spoken of her sadness at David Walliams’ departure from Britain’s Got Talent, insisting she and fellow show judge Alesha Dixon still ‘love’ the comedian.
Funnyman David, 52, decided to leave the ITV talent contest after he was forced to apologise for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’ in 2022.
He is now suing his former bosses at the programme and has reportedly accused London-based Fremantle, which produces the reality series, of an unlawful data protection breach.
And while Amanda, 52, hints David and his former boss Simon Cowell may not be on the best terms, she insists he still has a special place in her heart.
She told The Sun: ‘We love David. Well, Alesha and I love David.
Missing her pal: Amanda Holden, 52, has spoken of her sadness at David Walliams’ departure from Britain’s Got Talent (pictured this month)
Departed: Funnyman David, 52, decided to leave the ITV talent contest after he was forced to apologise for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’ in 2022 (pictured this month)
‘It was sad when he went. I’m in touch with him. Always. We’re always supportive of David.’
‘Simon does so much behind the scenes that nobody knows about. He’s encouraging. He’s got the best sense of humour.
It comes after Britain’s Got Talent insiders said David was ‘warned about his behaviour’ before his off-colour remarks about the show’s contestants were made public – resulting in his departure.
According to court documents, bosses ‘knew of his controversial remarks about contestants when they offered him a £1m contact’ – but insiders have since dismissed those claims
A BGT source told MailOnline: ‘What David said was completely unacceptable and he was warned of his behaviour.
‘This whole writ is frankly bizarre – there are a number of claims in it which seem off-beat but there certainly wasn’t a contract ready to be signed and sealed.’
A source at Fremantle told The Guardian that the show’s judges were aware their conversations were being recorded, adding: ‘It seems somewhat bizarre, as it was widely reported in 2018 that all the comments judges made at the desk were going to be recorded, even when they weren’t speaking to contestants.’
A Fremantle spokesperson previously said: ‘We had a long and productive relationship with David and so are surprised and saddened by this legal action.
Judges: While Amanda hints David and his former boss Simon Cowell may not be on the best terms, she insists he still has a special place in her hearts of herself and Alesha Dixon (L-R: Britain’s Got Talent judges David, Simon, Amanda and Alesha pictured in January last year)
‘For our part, we remain available and open to dialogue to resolve this matter amicably. However, in the interim, we will examine the various allegations and are prepared to robustly defend ourselves if necessary.’
It comes after David’s doctor revealed the frightening toll the BGT fallout took on the former judge.
It was revealed in September, 10 months after he left his £1.5million-a-year role as a judge, that David is suing his former bosses at Britain’s Got Talent and seeking significant damages.
Court documents seen by The Sun have now revealed the worrying impact the ordeal had on David’s mental health, as he left the judging panel after a 10-year stint.
His psychiatrist Dr Mark Collins wrote that the TV star suffered from suicidal thoughts and the documents show he was suffering a mental breakdown, the newspaper claimed.
The doctor increased doses of medication for anxiety, insomnia and depression as his symptoms became worse, it was said.
The documents are alleged to read: ‘He is plagued by uncontrollable negative thoughts, including active suicidal thoughts.’
The newspaper also revealed Walliams was taking a plethora of medications, including escitalopram (for depression), alprazolam (also known as Xanax, for anxiety) and quetiapine (for insomnia).
Warning: Britain’s Got Talent insiders say Davids was ‘warned about his behaviour’ before his off-colour remarks about the show’s contestants were made public – resulting in his departure
Collins reportedly said in a report that the leak of the transcripts has ‘had a profound, severe and, at times, very worrying effect on his mental health’, with David suffering with sleep problems and negative thoughts.
Fremantle told The Sun: ‘We had a long and productive relationship with David and so are surprised and saddened by this legal action.
‘For our part, we remain available and open to dialogue to resolve this matter amicably.
‘However, in the interim, we will examine the various allegations and are prepared to robustly defend ourselves if necessary.’
The High Court writ reportedly sees David accuse Fremantle of recording, transcribing and retaining private conversations for ten years .
He has reportedly alleged that his microphone was kept on and recorded throughout the entire day during filming, including when he went to the toilet.
It has been alleged Fremantle produced and retained transcripts of the audio recordings, which David claims included private information with ‘no relevance to production’ – such as conversations about his marriage, sex life and family disputes.
The transcripts reportedly amounted to 1,700 hours of audio recordings across ten years, as well as 41,526 hours of visual recordings from 191 days of filming.
Court case: David (pictured in 2019) has reportedly accused London-based Fremantle, which produces the reality series for ITV , of an unlawful data protection breach
A copy of the transcripts was allegedly also made available to Simon Cowell’s co-producer firm Syco upon request, but a source told The Sun that none were ever requested.
‘All four judges would regularly make jokes using rude and/or sexual language: that was the culture among the judges on the show,’ his lawyers reportedly claimed.
They claimed the judges made such jokes to keep themselves amused during long days of filming and never intended for the remarks to be made public, as they were ‘private conversations among adult friends’.
David is reportedly seeking £1million he stood to get from Britain’s Got Talent, as well as £1.7million in lost earnings and £3.4million covering future losses for at least two years – totalling £6.1million.
But sources reportedly claimed this could rise to as much as £10million as David is said to be seeking unspecified damages for psychiatric harm, distress and upset, the loss of control over his private information, and legal costs.
David’s earnings reportedly dropped from £3.7million in 2022 to just £101,800 in the initial five months of 2023, according to the court papers seen by The Sun.
Drama: He was also heard calling a female contestant a ‘slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t’. Comedian Clare Harrison Mccartney (pictured in 2020) later claimed these comments were about her, but producers denied it
In the scandal, David was also heard disparaging a female contestant, calling her a ‘slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t’.
Comedian Clare Harrison Mccartney later claimed these comments were about her and branded David a ‘sad misogynist’, but producers denied the remarks were aimed at her.
Bruno Tonioli later took over from him as a judge on the talent show, signing a big money deal.
The comments, made in January 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium, were picked up on the programme’s microphones.
He and his lawyers argued at the time that they were private conversations that were never intended for broadcast, but two weeks later he was ousted.
In one incident, an older performer engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a jibe about Walliams, an expose by The Guardian claimed.
After the audition, the pensioner left, after which Walliams is said to have described him as a ‘c**t’ three times.
In a separate incident, after a female contestant had walked off stage, Walliams remarked: ‘She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t.’ He later added: ‘I know, she’s just like: ‘Oh, f*** off!’ I was saying, she thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t.
‘It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like: ‘Yep, I bet you do!’
‘No I don’t! I had a bit of a b***r, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.’
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