The first series of the talent show began on 9 June 2007, and was broadcast daily with a live final on 17 June 2007, revealing Paul Potts as the first winner. Street-dancer George Sampson went on to win the second series of the show on 31 May 2008. The third series began on 11 April 2009, and ended on 30 May 2009, with Diversity being named winners infront of 19.2 million viewers (roughly 68% of the viewing audience).
For a list of all acts that have auditioned for Britain's Got Talent, see List of Britain's Got Talent Acts (please note list is not entirely complete).
Semi finals and final
The semi-final and final shows are broadcast live, with a varying number of semi-finals, followed by the one live final split into two episodes over one night. The remaining acts perform across a number of semi-finals, with the two most popular acts from each semi-finals winning a position in the final. Unlike the American version, judges may still end a performance early with three Xs. The judges are again asked to express their views on each act's performance.
After all acts have performed, phone lines open for a short time. After the votes have been counted, the act that has polled the highest number of public votes is automatically placed in the final. The judges then choose between the second and third most popular acts, with the winner of that vote also gaining a place in the final. All other acts are then eliminated from the competition.
The 2007 series of Britain's Got Talent began on 9 June 2007 and ended on 17 June 2007. The first five shows covered the audition stages and the final three shows were the live semi-finals and final. Altogether, 24 acts performed in the semi-finals, eight acts in each episode, with a further two acts disqualified from the competition before the semi-finals were aired. The series was eventually won by opera singer Paul Potts. Connie Talbot took second place.
The 2008 series of Britain's Got Talent included notable differences from the 2007 series, including the fact that the auditions visited Scotland and that there were 40 in the live semi-finals. The series also ran for longer, this time airing for seven weeks instead of one. The series was won by street-dancer George Sampson, with dual dance group Signature coming in second and singer Andrew Johnston third.
As announced at the end of Series 2, Britain's Got Talent returned on 11 April 2009. Ant & Dec returned as the hosts of the show. Sister-show Britain's Got More Talent with Stephen Mulhern has also returned, as announced in the last episode of the second series.
The 2009 panel of judges consists of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. Kelly Brook was originally announced as a new fourth judge, reportedly being offered £200,000 for the role, but was fired after just six days, having acted as a judge in Manchester only, just one of the five audition venues.
The application process took place throughout January and February 2009 with auditions being held in five of Britain's major cities: Manchester for three days, where the judges saw a total of 120 auditionees; Glasgow for one day, viewing a total of 40 auditionees; Birmingham for three days, watching a further 120 auditionees; London for three days, seeing 128 acts; and Cardiff for one day, where they saw 40 auditionees.
The "First Round Call-Backs" took place in London on Saturday 7 February, where 40 acts were made aware that they would be competing in the live semi-finals in May.
Britain's Got Talent 2009 kicked off on 11 April and there will be semi-final shows taking place beginning on the 24th of May, until the final on the 30th of May.
One of the most notable performances for the series was by Susan Boyle, a 48-year-old Scottish woman. Boyle sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Misérables. The performance earned a unanimous "yes" vote and resounding astonishment from the judges. Her performance helped lift the show to a launch record of 11.2 million viewers. Within five days of her initial appearance, YouTube recordings of the event had collectively generated more than 100 million views. Boyle also attracted widespread international media coverage.
However, other people in the final included; Aidan Davis, Stavros Flatley, Flawless, Hollie Steel, Diversity, Shaun Smith, Shaheen Jafargholi, the grandfather and granddaughter singing duo "2 Grand" and Julian Smith who played the soprano saxophone. The top three finishers were Julian Smith, Diversity and Susan Boyle, with Diversity coming out as the winners, Susan Boyle finishing second and Julian Smith third.
Awards and nominations
Britain's Got Talent has been nominated for 2 'National Television Awards' in the category of 'Most Popular Talent Show' in 2007 and 2008, losing to its sister show The X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing respectively. Its shows presenters have won the award for 'Most Popular Entertainment Presenters' at the same awards in 2007 and 2008. It has also been nominated for 2 BAFTA Awards in 2008, but failed to win any awards. In 2007 and 2008, the show was nominated at the TV Quick and Choice Awards in the 'Best Talent Show' category, losing out to The X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing respectively.
In 2008 it was a recipient of a RTS Award for its technical achievements. It has also won 4 Nickelodeon UK Kids Choice Awards from 5 nominations. In 2009, it won its first ever Digital Spy Reality Award for Escala for Favourite Reality Contestant. It was further nominated in the Reality Show category, but lost to The X-Factor in the Reality TV Presenter category for Ant and Dec and 2 nominations in the Reality TV Judge category for Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, but lost to Cheryl Cole from The X-Factor.
Live tour 2008 and 2009
On 17 April 2008 it was announced that a 13-date live tour would be visiting the UK's major cities during the month of June, featuring the semi-finalists, the finalists and the winner from series two, along with a few surprises. Stephen Mulhern hosted the tour, which began on 6 June. None of the judging panel were present, and there was no live voting. After high demand for tickets, the tour was later extended to 22 performances, including matinées. The tour featured all 10 finalists, as well as semi-finalists Tracey Lee Collins & Anya Sparks. The tour also featured a duet with Faryl Smith and Andrew Johnston.
On 13 January 2009 a four-date tour was announced via the Ticketmaster website, with the dates in Newcastle, Cardiff, Liverpool and in Manchester. More dates were later added and the tour will run for 18 shows from 12th to 26th June 2009 and will also travel to Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Wembley Arena, Aberdeen and Bournemouth.