Britain's Got Talent lines up Champions spin-off amid 'pay row' claims

Potential acts allegedly "furious" after only being offered expenses

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Britain's Got Talent is readying its 'Champions' spin-off amid claims of a backlash from potential contestants over pay.

Simon Cowell is planning an all-stars version of ITV's variety contest after the concept proved a smash across the pond.

It will see BGT winners and fan favourites return to compete against stars of other international versions of Got Talent.

However, The Mirror suggests the show has hit a financial stumbling block - with bosses only willing to cover performers' expenses.

Acts who have been invited to take part were apparently "furious" to find out they would not receive appearance fees.

"They are just being offered expenses, which some find insulting," a source said.

"These aren’t unknowns, they are experienced performers who have carved out very profitable careers since.

"Many feel they can’t turn down the show as it gave them such a platform in the first place – but it’s put a few noses out of joint to say the least. All they ask for is a decent wage for their time."

A show insider played down the row, pointing out that contestants could win a huge cash prize and "the honour of being named the BGT Champion of Champions".

They added: "Each act will, of course, be paid all expenses which is entirely normal and appropriate for major television shows around the world.

"This is the ultimate celebration of Got Talent and the feedback so far has been that acts can’t wait to take part and show their skills in front of a huge TV audience of millions. Everyone at Got Talent is hugely excited."

According to the newspaper, Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, Collabro and Tokio Myers are among the acts chiefs have invited back. There is no suggestion that any of them are involved in the pay dispute.

Other names rumoured to be returning include Ashleigh Butler, alongside her new dog sidekick Sully.

Britain's Got Talent: The Champions is due to air later this year, with regular presenters Ant and Dec at the helm.

For now, BGT bosses say they're focused on the upcoming live shows of this year's main series, which begin on Monday.

They said: "Britain’s Got Talent is currently averaging almost 10 million viewers per episode once again demonstrating the UK public’s enduring enjoyment of the show – for which the whole Got Talent family are incredibly grateful.

"As a result, for now, everyone is focusing on making next week’s live shows as entertaining and exciting as possible for the watching audience at home."

Britain's Got Talent will air its final audition show on Saturday ahead of the semi-finals from Monday, May 27, live on ITV.

Earlier this month, US broadcaster NBC announced it has renewed America's Got Talent: The Champions for a second season.

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