It has spawned performing dogs, dance troupes and singing stars – and Britain’s Got Talent is in Birmingham to unearth even more entertainers.
The famous faces of the hit television show had the red carpet treatment yesterday as they arrived for auditions at the ICC in the city centre.
The four judges – Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden – were joined by Ant and Dec.
The Geordie double act stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the many fans on their way into the venue. Ant told the Express & Star of his excitement about the upcoming series. He said: “This is our eighth series but there’s always surprises. In the past we’ve had dog acts but this time we’re expecting to see an owl agility act.
“That’s what I look forward to – constantly being surprised and it’s always good coming to Birmingham.”
And Alesha revealed a new addition to this year’s series – a gold button which judges can press to automatically catapult contestants through to the live shows.
She said: “When we were in Cardiff it was good but it’s really picked up to a new level in Birmingham. Now we’ve got to wait and see if Birmingham people are the most talented. We usually have a good audience here.”
Packed to the rafters, the audience laughed at the judges’ bickering, cheered for the acts and at times even offered standing ovations for the performers.
Many Black Country fans braved the cold to watch the latest acts emerge at auditions. Among them was Kat Lesycsznski, a mother-of-four, from West Bromwich. The 40-year-old said she had been watching the show since it began.
She added: “I was watching last year and as soon as I saw Attraction Shadow Theatre Group I knew they’d win it.”