Aug. 26 (UPI) — Ashley Banjo is filling in for injured judge Simon Cowell during the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals, which are slated to begin taping next week, ITV announced.
“Ashley will be a fantastic addition to the panel. He knows the power of the show; and the responsibility of it. I couldn’t think of a better person to sit in my seat whilst I follow doctor’s orders. I hate that stupid bike!” Cowell said in a statement Tuesday.
Banjo and the dance troupe Diversity were crowned the winners of the competition in 2009.
He will briefly replace Cowell as judge since the longtime panelist is recovering from back surgery following a bicycle mishap earlier this month.
“As if 2020 couldn’t get any crazier!” Banjo said in his own statement. “It’s super humbling and super exciting! I remember being on that stage last year and talking about how it’s been 10 years since we won, and how people should never tell you, you can’t do something. Walking on that stage as a 20-year-old street dancer from the streets of East London and now I am walking out there and stepping in for the big man! It feels really nice, almost poetic.”
The semi-finalists will be announced on Sunday’s edition of the show.