Ten years ago, show bosses had no idea quite how big Britain’s Got Talent would become – nowadays, it’s one of the biggest titans of ITV’s schedule.
But back in the day, chiefs were not wanting to take any chances in having all bases covered to ensure the series got off to a strong start – and their desired secret weapon was Paul O’Grady.
With his chat show going down a storm at the time, O’Grady was approached to be on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and now the presenter has revealed that they were even prepared to change the show’s name to get him on board.
He claimed that producers offered to change the name to Paul O’Grady’s Got Talent. He revealed he turned this down flat, saying in 2010: ‘I told the producers they were having a joke if they thought I would front a show with that title. I refused to have it as it sounded quite arrogant.’
Just a bit.
And he hasn’t looked back since. He told The Sun: ‘I have no regrets about turning it down. I would get bored if I was a judge on it.’
He went on: ‘It’s a great show with all those eccentrics. But I would not go on it if I was starting off today. I would not touch it with a barge pole. You have to have a sob story. And I haven’t got skeletons in my closet, I’ve got cemeteries!’
Luckily, it has managed to survive without him. We don’t think it would be celebrating its tenth anniversary in such a healthy shape if it had had its other potential title, somehow.