Britain’s Got Talent bosses set to go to war with David Walliams insisting that the former judge knew the lewd comments he made about contestants could have been aired
- Walliams, 52, lodged papers to the High Court in London last week
Britain’s Got Talent bosses are to go to war with former judge David Walliams, insisting that he knew the lewd and sexist comments he made about the show’s contestants could have been put on air.
The Mail can reveal that chiefs at Fremantle, the production company that makes the ITV talent contest, will hit back at the star – with the row potentially ending up in court – after he insisted that his off-mic remarks were part of a ‘private conversation.’
Walliams, 52, lodged papers in the High Court in London last week after he was ousted from the show following the X-rated rant, accusing bosses of ‘a data breach.’
However, in April 2018 BGT bosses announced that all off-air comments made by the judges could be aired for the first time. They added in a press release, seen by Walliams and his co-stars, that all of their gossipy conversations made off mic could be made public at Fremantle’s discretion.
It is also believed that a disgruntled worker on the programme leaked the comments made in 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium to The Guardian newspaper.
David Walliams, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon. The Mail can reveal that chiefs at Fremantle, the production company that makes the ITV talent contest, will hit back at the star – with the row potentially ending up in court – after he insisted that his off-mic remarks were part of a ‘private conversation’
A source said: ‘There has been much back and forth between David and Fremantle for the last ten months, since he was sacked from BGT.
READ MORE: What did David Walliams say in foul-mouthed BGT rant?
‘He is saying that Fremantle breached his data rights but he was made well aware two years before he made the comments that they could be put out into the public domain. It was a change to the show which was widely publicised to viewers, the press and the judges.
‘There is very little doubt amongst many working on the show that it was one of the freelance workers who leaked the transcript, perhaps someone who didn’t like David very much.’
Walliams’ decision to instruct a Manchester-based law firm, Brandsmiths, has also raised eyebrows amongst BGT bosses. Despite it claiming to be a legal company that specialises in data breaches, the star lives between his home in Primrose Hill, North London, and Brighton.
The row threatens to taint BGT which throughout its 19-year run has escaped much controversy – unlike other ITV reality programmes such as Love Island and the X Factor.
Meanwhile, sources say that Walliams and Simon Cowell’s one-time close friendship has cooled. He was not at Walliams’ 52nd birthday party at exclusive London restaurant River Cafe earlier this month while his former co-stars Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon were.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Walliams is suing BGT, accusing Fremantle of a data protection breach over the show transcript. His resignation ended a ten-year stint as a judge on the contest.
Sources say that Walliams and Simon Cowell’s one-time close friendship has cooled. He was not at Walliams’ 52nd birthday party at exclusive London restaurant River Cafe earlier this month while his former co-stars Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon were
Walliams and his lawyers argued at the time that the remarks were private conversations that were never intended for broadcast but two weeks later he was ousted.
The transcript shows that an older male performer engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges and made a jibe about Walliams. After the audition, when the pensioner had left, Walliams is said to have described him as a ‘c***’ 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.’
In a statement issued before he quit, Walliams said: ‘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.’
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