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Britain's Got Talent 2014: Sick Simon Cowell misses auditions... Ant and Dec replace him!

Simon Cowell (Britain's Got Talent 2013 judges)

An ill Simon Cowell has missed today’s Britain’s Got Talent 2014 auditions.

It’s the second year in the row that Simon has had to pull out of the try outs in Manchester due to illness.

Earlier today, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden walked the red carpet outside the city centre venue but there was no sign of Simon.

BGT hosts Ant and Dec explained to a rather disappointed audience that Simon wouldn’t be able to attend filming after coming down with the flu.

A source revealed to the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Simon hates missing auditions and filming sessions but he has not been out of bed for two days and is struggling to shake off the flu.

“The only good thing is it means auditions in the afternoon will start on time as normally Ant and Dec and the judges are left waiting for Cowell to show up. Fans won’t be waiting outside too long either.”

David took to Twitter this afternoon to lament: “My @SimonCowell is not well today so we are filming the #BGT Manchester auditions without him. This is the worst day of my life.”

But it seems that the comedian quickly got over Simon’s absence, later writing online: “A hugely entertaining day of auditions for #BGT Manchester audiences are the best.”

And he went on to reveal that Simon had a pair of replacements on the show, telling followers: “@antanddec sat in for @SimonCowell today but were too nice to buzz anyone. Aaah…!”

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Britain’s Got Talent will air on ITV in the autumn.

Browse pictures of the judges arriving in Manchester below…