The 2010 series of Britain’s Got Talent has begun with the first week’s worth of some of the best – and worst – auditions from across the UK.

This week featured highlights from the London and Birmingham auditions, with Louis Walsh stepping in as a guest judge in Birmingham after Simon Cowell was taken ill.

And among those acts impressing the judges were 10-year-old Chloe Hickinbottom, who wowed Louis, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan with her rendition of Vera Lynn‘s classic song White Cliffs Of Dover.

The schoolgirl from Birmingham was speechless as she received a standing ovation from both audience and judges.

“I don’t know what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting that,” Amanda Holden said. “I can’t believe a 10-year-old girl could have such a beautifully old fashioned powerful voice.”

Louis Walsh agreed. “You’ve been the biggest surprise of the day,” he said. “I think you could sell records.”

Also causing a stir was dog dancing act Tina and Chandi, who sailed through to the next round after the pooch’s ballet skills impressed the judges.

“You are the most talented dog I have ever seen on this show,” Piers told Chandi afterwards. “Your dog is an accomplished dancer, amazing.” Louis Walsh agreed, saying it was “the best dog act I’ve ever seen”.

Others who fared well included 22-year-old Tobias Mead, whose body popping act was described by Amanda as “one of the best things we’ve ever had on this show”, and 11-year-old dancer Josh Warner Campbell.

“I see a little bit of myself in you,” Simon told him before sending him through to the next round.

Meanwhile teenage drummer Kieron Gaffney, who auditioned last series but narrowly failed to make it through, returned for another try. This time the 13-year-old brought along his parents and performed with them in a group called Mixed Emotions.

However the judges were unimpressed by the band – instead inviting Kieron to come back and perform as a soloist. And this time he made it to the next stage.

“I thought you were good last year,” Simon Cowell said. “If I’m being honest with you, I thought you were fantastic this year.”

However not all the auditions were so good, and the judges also found themselves subjected to the likes of pensioner Michael Lavender and his impersonations of jungle animals and champion burper Paul Gunn.

Others who failed to make an impression were timbrel-playing sisters Double Take and puppet performer Persephone Lewin, whose act involved inflating a rubber glove with a hosepipe.

“I can’t do this any more, I’m 50 years old,” a stunned Simon exclaimed after he had watched her audition.