If you didn’t know already, tonight sees Britain’s Got Talent leap back onto our screens for it’s ninth series.

A fresh batch of hopefuls will be taking to the stage to chase their dreams – but what about the judges’ first stabs at fame?

We take a look at the not-so glamorous origins of Simon, Amanda, David and Alesha.

Simon Cowell

Then:

He’s made millions out of his spiky remarks and ruthless rejections, but before the BGTs, X Factors and Pop Idols, Simon had his own stab at a pop career. Aged 23 he dressed up as blue disco dog Wonderdog and released a track called Ruff Mix. It reached number 31 in the charts.

Now: 

With a cool net worth of £29 million and a stream of successful talent shows on both sides of the pond, Cowell’s early howler has not stopped him from being one of the biggest names in the business.

Simon Cowell’s dog days are over  (Yui Mok/PA)Simon Cowell’s dog days are over (Yui Mok/PA)

 

Amanda Holden

Then:

Amanda’s first television appearance was on a very different kind of Saturday night show. Back in the nineties, Cilla reigned supreme with the (regrettably) now defunct dating show Blind Date. A young Amanda strutted onto the show back in 1991, where she let slip that her dream man is Jack Nicholson.

Now:

After acting appearances on Wild At Heart, Smack The Pony and Cutting It, Amanda has taken Cilla’s crown as queen of Saturday night TV. Sadly, things never worked out with Jack.

Amanda Holden’s been queen bee on the show since it started in 2007 (SYCO/THAMES TV)Amanda Holden’s been queen bee on the show since it started in 2007 (Syco/Thames TV)

 

David Walliams

Then:

Before BGT, David’s career involved lots of cross-dressing, chundering and breast-feeding on sketch show Little Britain, alongside close pal and fellow National Youth Theatre alumnus Matt Lucas.

Now:

Since 2012, David has revelled in his role as Simon’s tormentor on BGT, even awarding himself the title of head judge. His theatrical background shines through – check out his lap dance of Simon.





Alesha Dixon

Then:

Her career began as a rapper in so so so scandalous girl band, Miss-Teeq. After things fizzled out in 2005, Alesha embarked on a solo career and made a name for herself as a dancer, winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 and then replacing Arlene Phillips on the judging panel.

Now:

Alesha jumped ship from Strictly to BGT in 2012. She is set to release her new single, The Way We Are, in June – her first release in over four years.

Alesha Dixon’s come a long way from her days as an MC (SYCO/THAMES TV)Alesha Dixon’s come a long way from her days as an MC (Syco/Thames TV)