Simon Cowell and Bruno Tonioli were inseparable on Thursday afternoon as the latest series of Britain’s Got Talent descended on London Palladium.
Straight-talking head judge Cowell, 64, famed for delivering brutal feedback to hopeful contestants on the ITV talent show, was in a light-hearted mood while attending a press call at the iconic venue.
The TV personality was joined by fellow judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli on the red carpet as they walked a gauntlet of expectant fans on a crowded Argyle Street.
And they gave them plenty to look at while posing for a round of photos on the Palladium steps, during which Cowell playfully tugged Tonioli’s ear.
The Italian dancer promptly reciprocated by grabbing a handful of Cowell’s backside as the four judges stood shoulder-to-shoulder.
An upbeat Cowell was also happy to indulge waiting fans with repeated requests for selfies and autographs after arriving in a casual Lycra top and black joggers – a contrast to his favoured high-waisted trousers.
Simon Cowell poked fun at fellow judge Bruno Tonioli by tugging on his ear during the Britain’s Got Talent photocall at London Palladium on Thursday afternoon
The Italian dancer promptly reciprocated by grabbing a handful of Cowell’s backside as the four judges stood shoulder-to-shoulder
In a dramatic start to the auditions, security were seen securing the area after police to arrived to the scene to see the ‘intruder’ out.
The unidentified woman, who was pictured with her hood up, allegedly tried to ‘sneak’ past security and trespass into the restricted area.
A Met Police spokesman said of Wednesday’s incident: ‘Police were called at 1.23pm today to reports of a woman suffering a mental health crisis at Argyll Street, W1.
‘Officers and London Ambulance Service attended. The woman was assisted by officers who made arrangements for her to be met by a family member. There were no offences.’
A Britain’s Got Talent source said: ‘Police were dealing with an individual outside of the Palladium who was causing a bit of a stir, and the BGT team helped out.
‘But BGT didn’t call the police and there was no threat to the judges as he didn’t get inside the Palladium.’
Audience members allegedly heard chattering amongst theatre staff who said that an intruder ‘tried to sneak in backstage’ to see music mogul Simon Cowell, and his celebrity counterparts.
The auditions for the hit televised talent show, which seeks to find the nation’s next star, were delayed following the chaos caused by the ‘intruder’, according to reports.
An upbeat Cowell was also happy to indulge waiting fans with repeated requests for selfies and autographs after arriving in a casual Lycra top and black joggers
The judge walked a gauntlet of fans on Argyle Street before making his way inside
L-R: Ant McPartlin, Bruno Tonioli, Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Declan Donnelly outside the London Palladium on Thursday afternoon
Cowell was in a lighthearted mood as he applauded fans outside the central London venue
She was pictured wearing a hooded tracksuit top, flanked by officers, as she was escorted out of the theatre.
Officers were seen speaking to door staff at the theatre following the incident as a small crowd gathered outside the stage door, with security staff standing by it.
The judges and hosts have a busy few days ahead of them as hopefuls will flock to the London Palladium to show off their talents in a bid to make it through the show.
They kicked off the auditions on Wednesday afternoon and will pack in two blocks of audition shows per day until Sunday in a jam-packed schedule.
They will then be heading up to Manchester at the start of February for another five days of auditions, held at the Central Convention Centre.
The release date for the upcoming seventeenth series of Britain’s Got Talent has not yet been confirmed.
The release date for the upcoming seventeenth series of Britain’s Got Talent has not yet been confirmed
The presenting and judging team posed for photos inside the iconic venue on Thursday