Britain’s Got Talent presenters Ant and Dec have defended the decision to allow Susan Boyle to appear on the show despite concerns over her health.

Speaking at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, the pair addressed the issue of allowing vulnerable contestants on such shows and also over allowing children to take part.

The last series of Britain’s Got Talent raised such concerns after runner-up Boyle was admitted to London clinic The Priory the day after the final, suffering from exhaustion.

Another finalist, 10-year-old Hollie Steel, also hit the headlines after forgetting the words to her song onstage.

However Ant said, “You can’t start censoring people because you don’t think they would be able to handle the fame and the attention as well as they should.

“You can’t turn round and say you don’t think she’s going to handle it that well so we won’t have her on the show.”

He added that he had started out on TV as an 11-year-old.

Dec, meanwhile, added that Boyle had appeared on the show to fulfil a dream.

“How do you say you can’t go on?” he said.

The pair were also asked if they were prepared to take a pay cut in the current recession. Ant said he would, while Dec jokingly responded, “Let’s not be too hasty.”

However Ant pointed out that he was being realistic about the situation.

“If the whole of the industry is suffering it would be naive to assume that we would not suffer too,” he said.