Simon Cowell awarded BAFTA for talent shows 'that have transformed TV'

BRITAIN'S Got Talent boss Simon Cowell was awarded an honorary prize for reinventing Saturday night entertainment at the TV Baftas last night.

The X Factor supremo was handed the Special Award at the Philips British Academy Television Awards for his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry.

The award, presented to TV luminaries such as Jane Tranter and Andy Harries in the past, also recognises his role in developing new talent.

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John Willis, chairman of the Bafta TV committee, said: "Over the past few years he has not only helped change the entertainment landscape but has re-invented Saturday night family entertainment.

"His shows enable exciting new talent to shine and are the most talked-about programmes on British television.

"He is quite simply one of the most brilliant entertainment producers of our time."

Cowell became a TV mogul after rising to prominence as a judge on Pop Idol, later creating The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent which finished this weekend, as well as becoming a big name in the US with American Idol. He has helped to make Susan Boyle a worldwide success and the Got Talent format is now screened in more than 40 countries.

Meanwhile, members of Spelbound, the 13-strong acrobatic act that won the Saturday night final of Britain's Got Talent, revealed they hoped to take part in the 2016 Games and had received offers to perform in Las Vegas shows.

Group members also hit back at accusations that talent was running thin in Britain amid rumours Cowell would broaden his show to include entertainers from across the globe.

Show sources confirmed the judge was "exploring the idea" of launching a World's Got Talent show.

But speaking at a press conference at Sony HQ in west London, the group members told how they hoped the show could provide a springboard to Olympic success.

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However, their brand of acrobatic gymnastics is not recognised at the London 2012 Games. But when asked whether they would like their sport to be considered in the wake of their achievements, group member Alex Uttley, a 25-year-old gymnastics coach, said: "Yeah definitely, the recognition for the sport has now increased dramatically from what it would have done.

"If it could get into the Olympics – what better achievement for us?

"We are going to the World Championships and European Championships but that's as far as it goes for us.

"To be considered to be in the Olympics would be out of this world. It would be one of the best things that could happen."

When asked whether they could win gold, the group replied in unison: "Yes".

Spelbound were crowned winners of Britain's Got Talent in front of 15 million viewers, 60 per cent of the television audience, according to ITV. It was the most watched entertainment show of 2010, the channel claimed.

The group members were left jumping for joy after Cowell hailed them as "astonishing" before they won the public vote.

The bookies' favourites secured the public vote with a routine involving one of the dancers being launched over judge Amanda Holden.

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They fought off competition from an 81-year-old chanteuse and a 13-year-old drummer to take home the 100,000 prize and secure the chance to show off their skills at the Royal Variety Performance.