The finale of “Britain’s Got Talent” will feature performances from the combined companies of “Les Misérables – The Staged Concert,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Mary Poppins,” presented by renowned theater producer Cameron Mackintosh.
Ant and Dec will host while Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Ashley Banjo will be on judge duty.
The popular ITV show, created by Simon Cowell, took place this year largely without his physical participation as he broke his back following a bike accident early into its season.
The Oct 10. finale will feature five finalists chosen by the judges, including stand-up comedian Nabil Abdulrashid; variety act Steve Royle; dancing duo Aaron and Jasmine; magician Magical Bones; and comedy singer and performer Jon Courtenay. Five more acts chosen by public vote will be revealed on the day, with all 10 acts pre-recording their performances the night before for safety reasons. The champion will get a £250,000 ($323,000) prize.
The Mackintosh musical performances will feature 60 performers from London’s West End, which has been in shutdown for seven months. The performers include Michael Ball, Matt Lucas, Carrie Hope Fletcher, John Owen-Jones, Shan Ako, Killian Donnelly, Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp.
Mackintosh said: “Britain’s theatrical talent is the best in the world so it is a wonderful opportunity after seven months of enforced lockdown to be invited by ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ to showcase three of my greatest British musical hits with their fabulous West End casts all bursting to perform again and remind audiences what an unforgettable thrill it is to enjoy the exhilaration of a live show. Several years ago, Susan Boyle Dreamed her Dream and set the world alight and we are both eager and anxious to be told when we can fully reopen again next year so that we can all properly get on with our lives and celebrate the world beating talents of our amazing culture.”
“The Phantom of the Opera” was one of the highest profile musicals to be shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.
The musical theater-infused finale to “Britain’s Got Talent” caps off a controversial season for the long-running show. Last month, judge Ashley Banjo and his troupe Diversity, winners of the show in 2009, performed a Black Lives Matter-inspired dance routine that drew some 24,500 complaints to U.K. media regulator Ofcom. The bulk of the complaints were about the inappropriateness of a talent show as a platform for political protest. Ofcom investigated the complaints and decided not to take any action, concluding that “there was no explicit reference to any particular political organization — but rather a message that the lives of Black people matter.”
There were some 2,000 complaints more when Dixon wore a gold necklace featuring the letters BLM and a further 1,000 when stand-up comedian Nabil Abdulrashid performed a routine about racism.