After months of speculation, ITV has confirmed the 'Britain's Got Talent' 2012 judges line-up.
And the big news is that Alesha Dixon is leaving ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ for Simon Cowell’s ITV talent show.
The singer-turned-dance judge has reportedly been lured to ITV with a £350k pay packet offered up by Cowell.
she will join existing judge Amanda Holden, 'Little Britain' star David Walliams and Simon Cowell, who is returning to the show afetr a one year absence.
Alesha's reported 'BGT' pay packet works out at more than three times her ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ salary, which was £100,000 per series.
Dixon’s manager Malcolm Blair said talks with Cowell and BGT had been going on for the last few weeks.
But despite this he confirmed the BBC were only made aware of her departure from 'Strictly' yesterday morning.
BBC executives are said to be ‘surprised’ at ITV’s decision to put Alesha on such a high profile show, while a BBC insider told the Daily Mail that 'Strictly is bigger than Alesha. We gave her her big break'.
Alesha is said to be ‘delighted’ to be joining ‘Britain’s Got Talent' and Simon Cowell sung Dixon’s praises saying: “I love Alesha. She is feisty, opinionated and knows what it’s like to be both a competitor and judge on a hugely popular TV show.”
Meanwhile, comedy actor David Walliams, who will be replacing David Hasselhoff and comedian Michael McIntyre as judges on the show, is said to be receiving £800,000 for his new role.
The revamped 'Britain's Got Talent' will begin auditioning contestants later this month.
Also in today's press
Rumours have already started to circulate about Alesha Dixon's replacement on 'Strictly Come Dancing', with a return for ditched judge Arlene Phillips apparently on the cards. Bookie William Hill, however, sees dancer Karen Hardy as favourite to take Alesha’s judging panel spot with odds of 4/6 with Arlene Phillips at 33/1. [Daily Mirror]
Meanwhile Simon Cowell has said he wants ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ to rival ‘The X Factor’. Despite being boss of both shows, Cowell wants 'BGT' to find a ‘better winner’ than its counterpart and has returned for this year’s run so he can change the show’s perception. [Digital Spy]