Britain’s Got Talent smashes ratings as it returns to ITV for new series

Britain’s biggest talent show returned for its seventeenth series on Saturday, April 20, attracting millions of viewers.

The first episode of Britain’s Got Talent featured impressionists, talented dogs and a cheer squad, as well as two Golden Buzzer acts. As a result, 5.8 million viewers watched a highly talented group of acts take to the stage on ITV1, making it the channel’s largest overnight audience of the year so far since last month’s FA Cup quarter-final, which took 5 attracted .5 million viewers.

The show’s overall stats are even more impressive: the show attracted 55 million viewers and 143 of the episodes have surpassed 10 million viewers each.

All four judges returned to Britain’s Got Talent for series 17(Image: Stuart C. Wilson)

Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli all returned for the brilliant new series and announced plenty of twists – including the panel using nine Golden Buzzers between them, rather than just the usual.

Amanda will perform two acts with the Golden Buzzer, including singer Sydnie Christmas whose audition aired in episode one. However, she was criticized after viewers discovered she previously starred in Starlight Express.

Sydnie Christmas was the first Golden Buzzer of the series (Image: ITV)

Hosts Ant and Dec also pressed the Golden Buzzer in episode one for the group Ssaulabi, a taekwondo act who traveled all the way from South Korea. In a conversation with OK! magazine, Bruno revealed that he actually broke the Golden Buzzer during filming.

“Typical!” he laughed. “I didn’t even know I was that strong! There was someone on stage who was so moving and very inspiring. The type of person who wants to be good so badly, puts so much into it and has so much passion. I just hacked it.

“It had never happened before, so they had no replacement for the buzzer. They had to fix it with tape – it looked like a mess. I thought, ‘let’s start with a bang’, and we certainly did that!”