As this year’s Britain’s Got Talent auditions kick off on ITV on Saturday night, judge Amanda Holden reveals the show’s new Golden Buzzer is causing quite a stir…

There’s a twist at this year’s Britain’s Got Talent auditions as the judges each have the power to send one act through to the live shows by pressing the Golden Buzzer. Do you like the show’s new element?

“I had this feeling of euphoria for one act – like I had when I saw Stavros Flatley in 2009 – and stood up to give them a standing ovation, then it dawned on me I could press the Golden Buzzer. So I hit it, the audience went wild and I felt like I’d won a trip to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It does feel quite powerful being able to give someone a fast pass straight through to the live shows – I only wish I could have hit the buzzer more than once.”

With the other judges unable to have a say on the decision, has the Golden Buzzer caused a few arguments?

“David pressed the Golden Buzzer for one guy to stop Simon pushing his red one to get rid of him. Those two certainly had a few tussles this time – at one point David wrestled Simon to the floor!”

Can you give us a taster of the kinds of acts we can expect to see at the auditions, which begin on Saturday…

“We’ve got motorbike jumpers, snake charmers, drag queens, singing dogs and even a woman who lifted me up by her ears. There’s a swing band, a Rat Pack act, some great singers and really amazing kids. But best of all we’ve found some different dance acts. We were getting inundated with ‘street’ and now we’ve got line dancers, Country & Western dancers, ballroom dancers and Irish hip-hop dancers!”

You’ve been known to shed a tear or two at the auditions, have you been getting as emotional this year?

“I’ve shed a couple of tears, but I actually think Alesha’s more emotional this year and I reckon that has a lot to do with the fact she’s a new mummy. I’ve definitely cried less as the year’s have gone on, compared to the first year when I cried over everything – I always wondered why I didn’t get a sponsorship from Kleenex!

And has becoming a dad to baby Eric made Simon a kinder judge?

“Ha ha! I don’t think he’s unkind, I just think he’s got bigger b**** than anyone else! He just seems so full of love; you know when someone’s in the first throes of love and they just soften and seem more happy. Well, that’s how he is. Eric is gorgeous and looks just like Simon. He’s got his lips, his nose and the back of his head. He’s very Simon.”

Hungarian shadow troupe Attraction won the contest last year – do you think foreign acts are an important part of the show?

“I think having overseas acts really ups the level of talent, then what happens is Britain then adopts a particular act and does it better. Simon embraces them because they always say they choose to come on Britain’s Got Talent because it’s the best show. Simon’s like: ‘You’re right, welcome!'”

So, do you think Britain’s still Got Talent?

“Yes! We’ve got some brilliant acts this year and so many that have literally been rehearsing in their kitchens in front of their nan. I think this has brought the show right back to how it started, which is really homegrown with lots of variety. Everyone’s in for a treat!”

Britain’s Got Talent begins on Saturday, April 12 at 7.15pm on ITV.