Britain’s Got Talent live semi-finals: The return of Simon Cowell to Elstree Studios

PUBLISHED: 11:15 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:34 19 May 2017

Britain's Got Talent judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden.
 [Picture: ITV / Thames / Syco Entertainment]

Britain's Got Talent judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden. [Picture: ITV / Thames / Syco Entertainment]

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Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell will return to Elstree Studios, where he started his career, when the BGT live semi-finals begin later this month.

Outside the George Lucas Stage at Elstree StudiosOutside the George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios

The Britain’s Got Talent’s live semi-finals, with Welwyn Garden City’s Alesha Dixon one of the judges, start at Elstree Studios on Monday, May 29 on ITV at 7.30pm.

Simon Cowell first worked at the now Hertsmere Borough Council-studios on Return of the Saint, with Ian Ogilvy playing the role of Simon Templar.

Now Cowell is back at Elstree with his top-rated Britain’s Got Talent show.

Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios, said: “I worked with Simon when he started Pop Idol at Teddington Studios.

Britain's Got Talent's live semi-finals will take place at Elstre StudiosBritain's Got Talent's live semi-finals will take place at Elstre Studios

“It is great having him back working at Elstree Studios and we hope this is the beginning of a long-term relationship with his production company Syco and his future productions.

“In fact, we hope to very soon have a new stage which will be ideal for a permanent base for such shows.

“It is also important for us because of the relationship with Talkback Thames including managing director Richard Holloway, and line producer Dawn Gray.”

The technical services for Britain’s Got Talent are being provided by BBC Studioworks, who have a long-term contract with Elstree Studios.

Other shows that are produced in associate with BBC Studioworks in George Lucas Stage 2 are Strictly Come Dancing, A League of Their Own, The Voice and Bigheads.

Previously the stage has been used for Dancing on Ice and, of course, feature films such as Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and Paddington, which were both also shot on location at Hatfield House.

Elstree Studios has a great reputation for light entertainment audience shows because of its proximity to central London, its easy access and audience facilities.

Mathew Firsht, based at Elstree Studios, provides the audiences for many Syco shows, including Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.

The CEO of Applause Store said: “Everything at Elstree Studios is perfectly controlled with excellent security and car parking facilities.”

Elstree Studios is also the home to hit production The Crown and Big Brother and is currently planning on building two large stages to accommodate large entertainment and drama.

• For more about Elstree Studios, visit

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