Diversity Star Ashley Banjo Will Replace Simon Cowell For Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finals

24 August 2020, 15:49

Simon Cowell will be temporarily replaced by Ashley Banjo on the BGT semi-finals
Simon Cowell will be temporarily replaced by Ashley Banjo on the BGT semi-finals. Picture: Ashley Banjo/Instagram / PA

Simon Cowell is being replaced by Britain’s Got Talent winner Ashley Banjo for the series’ semi-finals, after the head judge broke his back.

Simon Cowell is continuing his recovery after breaking his back when he fell from his electric bike earlier this month, meaning he won’t be able to return to the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel in time for the semi-finals.

Ashley Banjo has stepped in to temporarily fill Simon’s seat, joining Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.

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In 2009, Ashley won the talent series with his dance troupe Diversity and the group have gone on to be hugely successful in the TV industry ever since.

Simon Cowell is unable to join the BGT semi-finals after breaking his back
Simon Cowell is unable to join the BGT semi-finals after breaking his back. Picture: PA

He said of the temporary new job: "As if 2020 couldn't get any crazier! It's super humbling and super exciting! I remember being on that stage last year and talking about how it's been ten years since we won, and how people should never tell you, you can't do something.

"Walking on that stage as a 20-year-old street dancer from the streets of East London and now I am walking out there and stepping in for the big man! It feels really nice, almost poetic."

Ashley has already shared a sneak-peek behind the scenes of BGT, posting a heart-melting photo of himself in the judging seat with his hand on the red buzzer and his arm around his baby boy Micah, five months.

He captioned the picture: “Funny what can change in a year - Let alone in a lifetime... @simoncowell get well soon boss man, I’ve got you until then. From contestant to judge... The journey continues #bgt #wearediversity.”

Ashley Banjo brought his new baby boy to the set of BGT
Ashley Banjo brought his new baby boy to the set of BGT. Picture: Ashley Banjo/Instgram

Simon said Ashley “will be a fantastic addition to the panel,” saying: “He knows the power of the show; and the responsibility of it.”

"I couldn't think of a better person to sit in my seat whilst I follow doctor's orders," he added. "I hate that stupid bike!"

Ashley has been a judge on Sky1 show Got to Dance and ITV’s Dance, Dance, Dance, as well as Dancing on Ice, so he’s certainly experienced enough for the job.

Meanwhile, Simon is recovering from surgery to treat his back injuries after the accident near his home in California left him with a broken back in several places.

Britain’s Got Talent’s semi-finals will air in the autumn.

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