Simon Cowell has spoken at his relief that Amanda Holden is recovering after her recent childbirth ordeal – and said he has kept a seat for her on the judging panel of Britain’s Got Talent.

Speaking at Saturday’s auditions at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the mogul – who left a seat on the panel empty in her honour – said it had been a “worrying” time, but added: “She is quite cheerful and hopes to be out of hospital soon.”

The 40-year-old actress was critically ill for three days and needed several blood transfusions following the birth of her daughter Hollie Rose last Monday. However she is now reportedly doing well and is expected to leave hospital this week.

A source told the Sunday Mirror: “She’s still weak but is feeling so much better and is starting to get back to her usual self.”

Simon added that there were no plans to replace Amanda on the judging panel of the show, which returns to screens in the Spring with new judges David Walliams and Alesha Dixon.

“We are not looking at a replacement,” he said. “We want Amanda back when she is good and ready.”