FOR Simon Cowell, it was love at first sight. As the chief judge and creator of Britain’s Got Talent worked his way along the line of out-thrust hands at the barriers outside the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, he encountered a girl wearing aviator shades and his own face as a cardboard mask. Like Narcissus caught by his own reflection, he could not help but lean in for a kiss.
The maiden behind the mask was Nicole Hutchison who does not wear her heart on her sleeve, but printed on a white T-shirt which declared: I “heart” Simon Cowell. Prior to their brief encounter she had carefully dissected her passion. “Why do I love Simon Cowell? He wears heels. How can a women not love a man that wears heels? Then there are his trousers that run right up to his moobs. It is so simple. He loves himself and I love him. He is, frankly, the most beautiful man in the world.”
The unquestioned star of the day however, was, Amanda Holden, who arrived for the latest round of auditions for Britain’s Got Talent just three weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Hollie Rose.
Holden suffered complications during the birth and spent three days in hospital critically ill. Job insecurity in the marketplace makes many new mothers make a swift return to work, but few with the speed of Holden, who may have rushed back after the poor reception and boos which greeted her replacement the former Baywatch actress, Carmen Electra.
Yesterday, Holden was permitted the privilege of arriving last, usually Cowell’s favourite position, and when she did step out of the car in black shorts, tights and dark coral chiffon top, she was greeted with cheers, posed for pictures, and smiled. Later she said: “Hollie is absolutely beautiful and the four of us are so happy together as a family. We feel complete. I’m in a fortunate position in that I have a strong support network of family and friends around me.
“My medical care was fantastic. I’m now feeling completely well, despite everything I’ve been through. I’m just happy to be back to normal and heading back to work.”
Holden was greeted by a standing ovation from the audience as she arrived inside the theatre. She smiled and hugged production crew and chatted to members of the audience as she made her way to the judges’ table. Cowell told the excited audience: “We have all missed her.”
The actual talent who had arrived to take part in the auditions and the chance to win £500,000 must remain under a veil of secrecy prior to broadcast, but Scotland on Sunday can exclusively reveal sightings of girls in tartan mini-skirts and grown men wrapped in what appeared to be luminescent Spandex condoms. While a singing duo walked in with the swagger of seasoned stars, handing out cards to the photographers.
For Lee Devonport, 37, who is studying psychology after raising her family, what she was witnessing was not mass hysteria but genuine enthusiasm for a show that champions the ordinary person. “It gives the little guy a chance to show off his talent and next year I’d like it to be me.”
While Scotland was missing from the first series of Britain’s Got Talent, the judges have travelled north in search of talent for the past four series, but usually to Glasgow.
It was there that they discovered the show’s biggest star, when, in February, 2009 Susan Boyle burst into a stunning rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables and watched as, over the next few months, her dream came true when her debut album sold 2.1 million copies.
The YouTube clip of her performance attracted 100 million viewers in the first five days.
Britain’s Got Talent first aired in autumn 2007 and has become a huge success, peaking at 17.3 million viewers for the live final in 2009. It still regularly enjoys ratings of 10 million viewers.
The show is produced by Talkback Thames and SYCOtv, the production company run by Cowell, who, it would appear, has his own set of hidden lights– to better illuminate his tanned complexion.
Yesterday afternoon, as the filmed auditions began, Cowell introduced the audience to the new judges, Little Britain comedian David Walliams and Alesha Dixon, who he jokingly referred to as the traitor from Strictly Come Dancing, a reference to her decision to jump to a more lucrative ship.
Yet the largest cheer came for Holden: “The gorgeous Amanda Holden. We have all missed her and now she’s back.”
Then it was on with the show.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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