David Walliams has apologised after making “disrespectful” comments about Britain’s Got Talent contestants in a leaked transcript.
The comedian, who has been a judge on the ITV series since 2012, made sexually explicit remarks about contestants during the recording of an episode at the London Palladium in January 2020.
In a leaked transcript seen by the Guardian, Walliams is said to have described an elderly contestant as a “cunt” three times after their unsuccessful audition, in which the pensioner made a jibe about Walliams during some banter with the judges.
Another incident reportedly occurred after a female contestant walked off stage, where Walliams said: “She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to fuck them, but you don’t.”
He added: “I know, she’s just like: ‘Oh, fuck off!’ I was saying, she thinks you want to fuck 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 boner, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.”
Following the report, Walliams issued an apology for the remarks, saying: “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks 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.”
A spokesperson for Thames described his language as “inappropriate” and said Walliams’ had been reminded of the show’s “expectations as to future professional conduct”.
According to the report, Walliams’ comments were the only instance of derogatory remarks about contestants in leaked transcripts from three episodes.
ITV shows like Love Island and The Jeremy Kyle Show, which was axed in 2019, have faced criticism in the past over their duty of care protocols for contestants.
Britain’s Got Talent concluded its fifteenth series in June earlier this year, with the show contracted to run until 2025.