Britain’s Got Talent: The Press Launch

Piers, Amanda and Simon

YOU can rest easy. Britain has still got talent.

There was no repeat of last year’s dramatic SuBo moment at today’s London launch for series four of Britain’s Got Talent.

When 12 months ago a cinema full of cynical media folk suddenly fell silent before a few tears were shed.

No hankies were required this morning, although it was a close run thing.

We were treated to a special video message from Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan.

Not forgetting hosts Ant and Dec.

Before the first screening of the 90-minute opening episode, which will be broadcast on ITV1 at 8pm this Saturday.

For sheer entertainment value, this brilliantly produced and edited first show is hard to beat.

ITV Director of Comedy and Entertainment Elaine Bedell described the series as “a warm portrait” of the nation.

Telling us: “It makes you feel good about Britain.”

For those who can’t wait, here’s a quick selection of highlights from today’s event:

The video message for the media screening:

Dec: “Hi everyone. Sorry we can’t all be there but welcome to this special sneak preview of series four of Britain’s Got Talent, which we have had enormous fun in making. Haven’t we Piers?”

Piers: “We have had a lot of fun and a lot of surprises this year.”

Ant: “Amanda, without giving anything away, what’s the talent been like this year?”

Amanda: “I think this year, more than any other year, we have got more variety. That’s all I can say.”

Simon (grinning): “But just to be clear, Piers isn’t there (at the launch), Ant isn’t there, Amanda’s not there, Dec’s not there. I’m 5,000 miles away. We’re really confident.”

Standing in the wings

Show one features auditions earlier this year in both London and Birmingham.

First up is an act called Double Take, which fails to jingle Simon’s bells.

Followed by some Cheeky Boys with inflated ambitions.

You’ll know by now how this all works, expertly manipulating our emotions from second to second.

So while it’s all great fun – for me, the touchpaper on Britain’s Got Talent 2010 wasn’t lit until we got to a 33-year-old entertainer called Kevin Cruise.

Who lives up to his name…and has a nice line in vests.

Others to look out for on Saturday – for all sorts of reasons – include Tobias Mead, 22, from Wiltshire.

Singer Chloe Hickinbottom, aged 10.

Tina, 37, and her “amazing dancing dog” Chandi, 12.

Plus the return of 13-year-old drummer boy Kieran Gaffney

One of them prompts a shocked Amanda to declare: “One of the best dance acts we’ve ever had.”

While Simon laughs at another point: “I’m 50 years old. And this is what I’ve got to sit through.”

We also get to see Louis Walsh doing his replacement judge act when Simon had the flu in Birmingham, together with Mr Cowell’s triumphant return.

It’s classic Saturday night telly. You’ll laugh (a lot) and maybe wipe away the odd tear.

Britain’s Got Talent is back and remains on top form.

And, yes, it somehow left me feeling good about this little island of ours and all who sail on her.

Over to you Captain Kevin…

ITV1, 8pm Saturday.

Britain’s Got Talent Official Site

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