Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) is into its 17th series with episodes starting in April but do you remember a time when the ITV show didn’t exist?

The talent competition hasn’t always been on our screens but it’s been a popular show on Saturday nights for a long time.

People from across the world have entered the competition in a bid to impress the judges and take home the top prize and now it’s time to do it all again in 2024.

From magic tricks to acrobatics, the show has seen plenty of variety over the years but when did it first start?

When did Britain’s Got Talent start?

Simon Cowell recently explained how the show took off in the UK.

Speaking about the forthcoming series at a Q and A event in London, the 64-year-old said: “This show has a very interesting history.

“When we first started, we did the pilot here and it was rubbish.

“Then luckily, we sold it to America and it was a hit.”

Cowell explained that the show was then bought by ITV, which is where the reality series has been broadcast since its debut in 2007.

“I always thought, if we could get three or four years out of this, it will be amazing”, he added.

“And then you reach 10 years and you go, ‘That’s a milestone’.

How much is Ant and Dec's net worth each?

“I think because so many people now come from all over the world to compete and it’s not just winning the show, it’s having that viral moment which you know, can literally change your life overnight in a way.

“These clips sometimes get hundreds of millions of views.

“I think that’s why people are going to come back year after year after year and hopefully keep competing and get better, because that’s what I’m seeing is that the acts are actually, thank God, getting better.

“And because the show has all ages I think it’s gonna be here for a long, long time.”

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How to watch the new series of Britain’s Got Talent 2024

If you’re looking forward to seeing the Britain’s Got Talent judges and hosts Ant and Dec on your screen this weekend, here’s how you can tune in.

Singer Alesha Dixon, former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, radio presenter Amanda Holden and head judge Simon Cowell will all return to the judging panel.

Britain’s Got Talent airs from Saturday, April 20 at 7.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

The show will also air on Sunday, April 21 but at a slightly later time of 7.40pm.