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Ashley Banjo to replace Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent

Ashley Banjo to replace Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent
Ashley Banjo is to join the judging panel of Britain's Got Talent as a replacement for Simon Cowell, who is recovering from a broken back.

Ashley Banjo will fill in for Simon Cowell on the semi-finals and final of this year's Britain's Got Talent, it has been confirmed.

The ITV series was forced off the air earlier this year when the coronavirus pandemic ruled out staging the live shows at that time, but they are now due to go ahead early next month under new health and safety guidelines.

Head judge Cowell will not be able to participate, however, following an accident earlier this month which saw him fall off his electric bike and suffer a broken back.

Initially it was thought that he may be able to appear via video link but doctors have ruled that out, and now it has been confirmed that Banjo - winner of the 2009 series with his dance troupe Diversity - has been drafted in to take his place.

"Ashley will be a fantastic addition to the panel. He knows the power of the show and the responsibility of it," Cowell told The Sun.

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

Banjo said: "As if 2020 couldn't get any crazier! Walking on that stage as a 20-year-old street dancer from East London and now I am walking out there and stepping in for the big man. It feels really nice, almost poetic."

The BGT semi-finalists will be confirmed in a special programme airing next Sunday, August 30 on ITV.


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Simon Cowell pictured in May 2018
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