Amanda Holden has addressed her 2000 affair with actor Neil Morrissey, 57, prior to her split from her first husband Les Dennis, 65, the following year. The Britain’s Got Talent 2019 judge later joined the ITV show in 2007, when she said people could see “who I really was”. The 48-year-old said joining the panel, then alongside Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, allowed her to prove she “wasn’t as bad as I’d been portrayed”. Speaking candidly to the Daily Mirror, she admitted “I am naughty” ahead of the launch of Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions tonight.
“Starting out on Britain’s Got Talent was liberating for me,” Amanda has admitted.
The actress continued: “I mean, without dragging up my past, I think, at the time I was with Chris, we’d been together for something like five years but people still kept going on about Les and Neil, and all the other stuff.
“So what was really nice was that anyone that might’ve had a preconceived idea of me could see who I really was and then really make their mind up.”
Amanda has been happily married to producer and songwriter Chris Hughes, 65, since 2008, five years after her divorce from entertainer Les.
She went on: “So, if they didn’t like me after, that’s totally fine as well. But I think I was able to make a wider audience understand that I probably wasn’t as bad as I’d been portrayed, or as naughty.
“I am naughty, I stand by that, but in a good way! I think it’s important that everyone has a sense of humour in these difficult times.”
Amanda said she was picked by Simon, 59, for BGT because of her role in big ITV drama, Wild At Heart, in which she played Sarah Trevanion.
She appeared alongside on-screen husband Stephen Tompkinson as well as the likes of Deon Stewardson, Lucy-Jo Hudson and Hayley Mills.
She says: “It’s very surreal because I was lucky.
“I kind of feel very comfortable in that area, being able to be funny as a judge has allowed me to go back into comedy acting. I’ve just filmed Plebs for ITV2, which is where I started.”
Amanda is now appearing on the BGT panel with Alesha Dixon, David Williams and father-of-one Simon.
The latest run will showcase acts from around the world, including 2007 winner Paul Potts and singer Connie Talbot.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes have now revealed the frontrunners in the betting ahead of the first show.
Paul currently leads the way at 9/2 ahead of Bad Salsa and former child star, Connie (both 5/1).
Lost Voice Guy is next in the betting at 11/2, while as things stand it’s Jai McDowell and The Nelson Twins, who are rank outsiders at 12/1 apiece.
Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions launches tonight on ITV at 8pm.