Fern Britton ‘replaced’ by Amanda Holden in bombshell career move: ‘She just cried’

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TV star Fern Britton was revealed to have been in the original casting to be a judge on Britain’s Got Talent when the show first debuted back in 2007 but at the last minute, bosses went with actress Amanda Holden instead. The ITV competition is still one of the biggest shows in the UK, but it’s not only the incredible talent that the viewers love so much, it’s the judges, too.

I had Fern Britton on the panel, the original pilot we did

Claudia Rosencrantz

The former This Morning host, was reportedly going to be one of the initial judges on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, who filmed an unseen pilot episode together during the casting process.

BGT commissioner Claudia Rosencrantz, explained that she wanted to get a feel for how they would react to talent and noted Fern was great fun.

“I had Fern Britton on the panel, the original pilot we did,” she said.

“She laughs so much, and she’s a great laugher. And when Fern laughs she literally just cries and I like that, it made me laugh.”

Despite the fan-favourite’s great qualities, Claudia decided to go with Amanda for the role instead.

Express.co.uk reached out to Fern and Amanda’s reps and ITV for comment.

The TV commissioner also hailed Piers for his quirky qualities, mainly because of his outspoken views.

“I did the pilot of it and in the pilot we had Piers Morgan,” she recalled.

“I liked the fact that Piers was unpredictable and kind of very tabloid in his views so I thought he’d be quite an interesting person to have one on a panel, very different anyone that’s been on any other panel.”

The GMB host appeared in the judges hot seat from the first episode but left in 2011 to host a show on CNN in America.

He has praised media mogul Simon in the past for helping “kick-starting” his primetime TV career stateside.

Claudia also revealed that show boss Simon, insisted on being included in the pilot despite her concerns.

“I said, ‘But that’s not helpful because it’s going to limit me and when I can play the show, because there’s gonna be a great show,'” she said.

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“‘It’s gonna be fabulous,’ and he said, ‘I’ll just do the pilot.‘”

She remembered the unseen episode was so funny she was “nearly sick” with laughter, after a man waltzed on stage with a concrete mixer on his head.

The judging panel has seen quite the shake-up over its 13-years on-air, but Amanda and Simon have remained at the table throughout.

Over the years, more celebrities were added to the show, such as Alesha Dixon and David Walliams who make up the current judging line-up.

BGT 2020 auditions came to an end earlier in the year and now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been left waiting for its return in Autumn.

The series was halted as the live semi finals and finals would conflict with lockdown restrictions of large gatherings and social distancing.

Over the weeks, there were five Golden Buzzers moments, with the judges favourite acts heading straight to the semi finals, and fans can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned.

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