Simon Cowell posed with his biggest fan – David Walliams – as the judges arrived at the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in London.

Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon added a touch of glamour to proceedings at the Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday afternoon.

Amanda braved the cold in a biscuit-coloured and white pencil dress, while new mother Alesha covered up in a grey jacket and ripped, skinny jeans.

Presenters Ant and Dec told how they recently replaced Simon on the judging panel for the ITV show in Manchester, after the TV mogul fell ill.

Dec said: “It was really hard because we’d been talking to all the acts backstage and we’re on their side, so to have to hit the buzzer you immediately apologise and say ‘I’m really sorry’.”

He added: “I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to be judges any time soon!”

Amanda said of Simon becoming a father: “He’s got very strong plans on what he’s going to be doing and where he’s going and I keep saying ‘that’s not going to work out’ because babies aren’t that portable at that age!”

Simon said of the new series of Britain’s Got Talent, which will feature a golden buzzer to get acts through to the live rounds: “You never change a winning formula too much…”

And he said of The X Factor: “I would love Cheryl to come back and I’ve got to persuade her now.”

Asked how he would cope with the sleepless nights when he becomes a father, he said: “I’ll be good.”