David Walliams has apologised after making “disrespectful” comments about Britain’s Got Talent contestants.
The comedian was reportedly recorded making the derogatory and sexually explicit remarks about an auditionee during breaks in filming for the ITV talent show.
According to a leaked transcript seen by the Guardian, it is suggested Walliams referred to an older performer as a “c***” three times when he was out of earshot, following an unsuccessful audition at the London Palladium in January 2020.
The incident occurred after a man auditioning has engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges of the show and made a jibe about Walliams.
The 51-year-old also made further sexually explicit comments after a female contestant walked off stage, according to the transcript.
In a statement, Walliams said: “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020.
“These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”
The Guardian reported that lawyers for Walliams and Thames TV, the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent, argued the comments were part of a private conversation never intended for broadcast.
In a statement, Thames TV said: “Although relating to a private conversation almost three years ago, the language used was inappropriate.
“Even though it was private, those involved have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities and the show’s expectations as to future professional conduct.”
His comments were picked up by microphones used to capture discussions between the judges, which include Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.
In a statement, ITV said: “We do not condone the language outlined in these allegations, and we have spoken to the producers of Britain’s Got Talent.
“Duty of care towards all participants on any of our programmes is always of paramount importance and we have protocols and guidelines in place for all our production partners.”
The Guardian reported that Walliams’ comments were the only instances of derogatory remarks made about contestants from three episodes that were reviewed.
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