Ashley Banjo to replace Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent’s semi-finals

Ashley Banjo is to replace Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent 2020’s semi-finals.

Simon has asked Ashley Banjo to return to the show – and step in as his guest judge for the start of the upcoming Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals whilst the show’s creator recovers from a recent back operation.

Simon was forced to have emergency surgery after a bike accident earlier this month and is now recovering at home and therefore will not be present for the start of filming.

Ashley will step into Simon’s seat as a guest judge.

Simon said: “Ashley will be a fantastic edition to the panel. 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. I hate that stupid bike!”

Ashley added: “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 of course won Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009 as part of dance group diversity, beating off favourite Susan Boyle in a tense final.

As well as performing with Diversity, Ashley has also appeared on numerous TV shows including Got to Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance and Dancing on Ice.

The Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals will be pre-recorded later this month and air on Saturday nights in September on ITV.

Some acts will take part remotely via video link whilst others will perform in the TV studio. A virtual audience will watch with their reactions then beamed into the studio on a giant screen.

The final will take place live in October.

As usual, Ant and Dec will host the semi-finals whilst Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams will join Ashley at the judges’ desk.

The final will see one act will triumph as Britain’s Got Talent 2020 Champion and win the life-changing £250,000 prize plus that coveted role on The Royal Variety Performance.