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Ant and Dec join Simon Cowell and David Walliams for the first day of Britain's Got Talent filming


Last year’s series may have been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, but the anticipated return of Britain’s Got Talent left huge smiles on the celebrity faces as they arrived for the first day of filming on Sunday.

The Got Talent franchise creator Simon Cowell, 62, cut his typically laidback figure at The London Palladium, sporting a classic long-sleeve grey top teamed with jeans and polished shoes. 

As he got out of a taxi, the music mogul rocked his trademark shades and kept safety at the forefront by putting on a face mask.

Let the auditions commence! Ant and Dec joined Simon Cowell (pictured) and David Walliams for the first day of Britain's Got Talent filming at The London Palladium on Sunday - after last year's series was cancelled due to the pandemic

Let the auditions commence! Ant and Dec joined Simon Cowell (pictured) and David Walliams for the first day of Britain’s Got Talent filming at The London Palladium on Sunday – after last year’s series was cancelled due to the pandemic

Meanwhile the show’s long-running hosts Ant and Dec were all smiles as they piled out of a taxi in Soho. 

The presenting duo, both 46, kept it casual in jeans and a coat and looked thrilled ahead of meeting the enthusiastic hopefuls backstage.

Judge David Walliams, 50, masked up as he arrived at the 2300-seater auditorium, wearing a khaki bomber jacket and jeans. 

Return: Meanwhile the show's long-running hosts Ant and Dec were all smiles as they piled out of a taxi

Happy: The presenting duo, both 46, kept it casual in jeans and a coat

Return: Meanwhile the show’s long-running hosts Ant and Dec were all smiles as they piled out of a taxi

Filming: Ant looked thrilled ahead of meeting the enthusiastic hopefuls backstage

Filming: Ant looked thrilled ahead of meeting the enthusiastic hopefuls backstage

TV icon: The Got Talent franchise creator Simon, 62, cut his typically laidback figure, sporting a classic long-sleeve grey top teamed with jeans and polished shoes

TV icon: The Got Talent franchise creator Simon, 62, cut his typically laidback figure, sporting a classic long-sleeve grey top teamed with jeans and polished shoes

Talent hunter: As he got out of a taxi, the music mogul rocked his trademark shades and kept safety at the forefront by putting on a face mask

Thumbs up: Simon threw a positive gesture for the cameras

Talent hunter: As he got out of a taxi, the music mogul rocked his trademark shades and kept safety at the forefront by putting on a face mask

Arrival: Judge David Walliams, 50, masked up as he arrived at the 2300-seater auditorium, wearing a khaki bomber jacket and jeans

Arrival: Judge David Walliams, 50, masked up as he arrived at the 2300-seater auditorium, wearing a khaki bomber jacket and jeans

The fifteenth series, planned for production and broadcast last year, was met with concerns from ITV, Thames and Syco Entertainment on how to safely conduct filming amid new government restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The initial decision was to postpone production until later on that year, however all involved agreed that they would not produce a new series until the following year.

It was reported on Saturday that Simon will remain on Britain’s Got Talent until 2025 as the show’s deal is extended. 

Hopefuls: The fifteenth series, planned for production and broadcast last year, was met with concerns from ITV, Thames and Syco Entertainment on how to safely conduct filming amid new government restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

Hopefuls: The fifteenth series, planned for production and broadcast last year, was met with concerns from ITV, Thames and Syco Entertainment on how to safely conduct filming amid new government restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

Auditions: The initial decision was to postpone production until later on that year, however all involved agreed that they would not produce a new series until the following year

Auditions: The initial decision was to postpone production until later on that year, however all involved agreed that they would not produce a new series until the following year

The TV personality will be a judge on the TV show for another four series after ITV extended the programme’s current deal by 12 more months, claims The Mirror.

It comes after it was revealed on Friday that Simon is letting go of ‘almost all his staff’ at Syco and significantly downsizing the multimillion pound entertainment empire after almost 20 years.

A source told the publication about BGT: ‘He is showing no signs of slowing down and is working on lots of American projects too.’ 

Here to stay: It was reported on Saturday that Simon will remain on Britain's Got Talent until 2025 as the show's deal is extended

Here to stay: It was reported on Saturday that Simon will remain on Britain’s Got Talent until 2025 as the show’s deal is extended

A representative for Simon and ITV were contacted by MailOnline for a comment.   

It was recently revealed that Simon is downsizing Syco.  

The star, who has repeatedly discussed his resistance to marriage, sent shockwaves earlier this week when it was revealed he had popped the question to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 44, and he is now said to be focused on family. 

Part of the furniture: The TV personality will be a judge on the TV for another four series after ITV extended the talent show's current deal by 12 more months, claims The Mirror

Part of the furniture: The TV personality will be a judge on the TV for another four series after ITV extended the talent show’s current deal by 12 more months, claims The Mirror 

Insiders revealed Simon has begun downsizing the company: ‘Simon has reached a time in his life when he doesn’t want the stress of running a global empire and so has made the difficult decision to wind down Syco.’

A production source told MailOnline: ‘Everyone who has worked with him is just incredibly grateful for those opportunities and experiences and they understand the direction he wants to take things. Those that are leaving will be snapped up fast’.   

Simon, who shares son Eric, seven, with his fiancée Lauren, has spoken in the past about his ‘ unhealthy addiction to work’ and needing to slow down, after breaking his back in a bike crash last year and falling down the stairs in 2017. 

Syco Entertainment is a media entertainment company, based in both London and Los Angeles, and founded and owned by Simon. Having previously centered on music, the company currently focuses on TV production.

The company owns The X Factor and Got Talent franchises while the music branch oversees a slew of talents founded on the respective shows. 

Sweet: The star, who has repeatedly discussed his resistance to marriage, sent shockwaves earlier this week when it was revealed he had popped the question to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 44, and he is now said to be focused on family

Sweet: The star, who has repeatedly discussed his resistance to marriage, sent shockwaves earlier this week when it was revealed he had popped the question to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 44, and he is now said to be focused on family

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