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Britain's Got Talent (often shortened to BGT) is a British television talent show competition which started in June 2007 and originated from the Got Talent franchise. The show is a Thames production (formerly Talkback Thames) distributed by FremantleMedia and is produced in association with Syco TV. The show is broadcast on ITV and its sister show Britain's Got More Talent is broadcast on ITV2. Anyone of any age with some sort of talent can audition for the show. Acts compete against each other in order to gain the audience support while trying to win the title of "The winner of Britain's Got Talent''. The original judging panel consisted of the show's creator Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. Kelly Brook was brought in as a fourth judge in series 3, but was axed after one audition site. Morgan did not return for series 5 and Cowell was only present during the live shows, while David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre joined the panel. Alesha Dixon and David Walliams joined the panel in series 6 as replacements for McIntyre and Hasselhoff.
Throughout the show, contestants must perform in front of the judges, and each year initial auditions have been held in front of a live audience. Auditions precede live semi-finals, where the final 45 contestants (24 in series 1, 40 in series 2–5) perform nightly for a week in order to impress the British public. Each night, two acts from each semi-final (the act with the most votes and another chosen by the judges from the acts in second and third place) progress to the live final which takes place on the Saturday of the following week (the same week in series 1–6). There have been eight winners to date: Paul Potts, George Sampson, Diversity, Spelbound, Jai McDowall, Ashleigh and Pudsey, Attraction and Collabro. The winner of each series is given the opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in front of members of the British Royal Family, including eitherQueen Elizabeth II or the Prince of Wales, and also receives a cash prize of £250,000 (£100,000 in series 1–5, £500,000 in series 6).
Britain's Got Talent is Britain's second biggest television talent competition (after The X Factor) and has also proven popular throughout Europe. The series 3 live final brought in 17.3 million viewers, a 64.6% audience share. On 15 November 2013, it was announced that a new deal had been signed to keep Britain's Got Talent on air until 2016.
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