Britain’s Got Talent: David Walliams reaches ‘amicable resolution’ in privacy case

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Walliams was a judge on the ITV talent show for 10 years
By Steven McIntosh
Entertainment reporter

The producer of Britain’s Got Talent has reached an “amicable resolution” with David Walliams after remarks he made on the show were leaked.

The comic left the programme last year and apologised for making “disrespectful comments” about contestants during filming breaks.

Walliams was suing production company Fremantle for misuse of private information and breaching data laws.

The company apologised and said the matter had been resolved.

A Fremantle spokesperson told the PA News agency: “We are pleased that we have achieved an amicable resolution of this dispute with David.

“We are sincerely sorry that his private conversations when a judge on Britain’s Got Talent were published, and the great distress this caused David.

“We have reviewed our production practices on the show to ensure they fully respect the expectations of our talent whilst satisfying the requirements of the show.”

It continued: “We have enjoyed a great relationship with David over many years.

“We thank David for being an important part of the Britain’s Got Talent family and the enduring success of the show and hope to have opportunities to work with him in the future.”

Walliams has been approached for comment on the agreement.

David Walliams alongside fellow BGT judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon

He made the remarks about contestants while filming at the London Palladium in January 2020.

After the comments were published by the Guardian, Walliams sued Fremantle for misuse of private information and for breaching UK General Data Protection Regulation (UKGDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

High Court documents released last month also said Walliams was accusing the company of causing him psychiatric harm and financial loss.

In the documents, Walliams said he and the other judges would talk and joke among themselves in breaks during filming for the show.

He added these private conversations, which happened while they were still wearing their microphones, included him speaking about sensitive personal matters.

He also claimed he was unaware that they may have been recorded and transcribed. However, in 2018, Britain’s Got Talent did announce that “their cameras would now be rolling 24/7”.

Walliams argued that while he was unaware exactly how the Guardian obtained a transcript of his comments, Fremantle must be the ultimate source of the transcript.

He said he had suffered financially when, after his comments were leaked, Britain’s Got Talent withdrew their £1m offer for him to return to the show.

Walliams added that his reputation and earnings have also been severely damaged, with TV appearances and a podcast with Matt Lucas cancelled, while two planned stage adaptations of two of his books were abandoned.

The comic was a judge on the ITV talent show between 2012 and 2022, alongside Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.

Following his departure from the series, Walliams was replaced on the panel by former Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli.

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