'Gobby' Alesha excited by BGT role

Alesha Dixon added some leggy red carpet glamour as she joined the 'Britain’s Got Talent' panel today – and admitted she was going to be “gobby”.

Alesha Dixon added some leggy red carpet glamour as she joined the 'Britain’s Got Talent' panel today – and admitted she was going to be “gobby”.

The star braved the cold and rain in an off-the-shoulder bright yellow gown flanked by umbrella-wielding minders as she attended the first audition of the series in Salford.

Show supremo Simon Cowell was equally unfazed by the weather, wearing shades despite the gloomy skies as he hit the red carpet outside the Lowry Centre before hopefuls went through their paces.

This year’s winner has already been promised an out-of-this-world prize after being offered the chance to perform in space, thanks to Richard Branson’s space venture Virgin Galactic.

Dixon – who joins the show this year, along with David Walliams – was poached from BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing.

Cowell said: “We nicked her – but she wanted to come on the show.”

Dixon, a former Strictly winner, said: “I like a new challenge and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to get involved in a show that would find a new star.

“I just want somebody, whether singing, dancing, juggling, acrobatics, comedy, it doesn’t matter, as long as it evokes some kind of emotion and the whole country gets behind them.

She added: “We can find a real star that hopefully will translate abroad as well, all around the world, not just in the UK. That’s the beauty of this show - the unknown.”

Amanda Holden, a “veteran” judge on the show, also returns this year and proudly showed off her baby bump as she arrived at the audition.

She said: “We are looking for a galactic act this year – not just a global act.”

Cowell missed the audition stages last year but this time he is in the judging process from the start.

He was greeted with the loudest cheers of the day by hundreds of rain-lashed fans, despite being the last judge to head up the red carpet before auditions began.

Cowell has already admitted that criticism of BGT and another of his shows The X Factor has prompted a slight rethink.

He said: “I have worked in this business a long time. You have got to be a big boy about it and get back to basics.”

Cowell said he is excited by the prospect of the winner’s high-level performance. “The idea of the first person to perform in space is brilliant. I love it,” he added.

In the past, the series has uncovered stars such as singer Susan Boyle, dance act Diversity and tenor Paul Potts.

Asked for his hopes for the show this year, Cowell replied: “Somebody who can be a star all over the world – that’s all I want. I’m positive – ish.”

Comedy actor Walliams said he was looking forward to working with Cowell – and giving him a sniff.

Walliams added: “I think I’m there to provide a bit of comic relief. I’m just going to be myself and hopefully I will be funny at some points.

“I always wanted to do a show like this. It’s the biggest show on TV. It’s a great year to do it because Simon is back. I’m going to be close enough to smell him.”

Walliams joked that if he had to audition his performance would be “naked hula hoop dancing”.

Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly turned up carrying Union Flag-design umbrellas.

McPartlin said: “Simon is the best talent judge out there and it’s great to have him back.”

The new series of Britain’s Got Talent will begin on ITV in March.

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