Now that The Voice is all done and dusted that means the path is clear for ITV to get going with Britain’s Got Talent for the next few weeks. And as the ninth series kicked off tonight, it got off to a flying start with a mixed bag of acts including a free-runner leaping around the theatre, an IT bod playing tunes on a comb, an ultra-bendy contortionist and a troupe of dancers stripping down to their super-sized undies! 

Oh, and then there were the animals. By the end of part three, we were starting to think that Noah himself had parked his Ark at the stage door!

On the judges’ panel, all four – Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams – seemed to be on the same page with most of the acts, delivering either a straight four yeses or four nos. The exception, however, was the first turn of the night – the aforementioned “comb player”. The artiste in question, Narinder Dhanni, a 42-year-old IT consultant from London, performed a medley of songs on his comb. Yes, really! But while Amanda, Alesha and David loved it, each giving him a yes, Simon disagreed and gave him a no. Not that it mattered because the three yeses mean Narinder is through to the next stage of the process.
 

The other acts that got a yes from each of the four judges were: Matt McCreary, 20, the aforementioned free-runner; Magdalena Stilova, 56, the aforementioned contortionist from Bulgaria; Ruby Red Performers, the aforementioned troupe of garment-shedding dancers; roller-skating siblings Billy and Emily England; and Marc Metral and his “talking” dog Wendy.

The biggest act of the night also claimed four yeses from the judges. This was the 162-piece choir – Ysgol Glanaethwy
 
– from Bangor, Wales. And it was feel-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck time when they performed so it’s no surprise that they got a resounding yes from the judges.

Now on to the, er, “other” acts. We thought the comb player was a dead cert to get sent home. Shows what we know. But the acts who reached a dead end were: a woman called Marion trying to navigate her chicken Feathers through an agility course; the cutest dog, Yolo, showing off his goal-scoring skills with owner Tracy; ventriloquist Mal Jacobs and his puppet fashioned to look like a vulture; Tony and Andrew, who turned up on stage with their organs [insert joke here]; and the somewhat mismatched duo called Vision – 38-year-old Tracey and cellist Sue, 60.

Finally, you know there’s going to be trouble when two siblings turn up to audition as solo artists. And so it proved with Jade Scott, 22, and her brother Calum, 26. Remember what we said about the judges only giving a straight four yeses or a straight four? Jade sang Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware mashed up with U2’s With Or Without You, and she was the poor unfortunate who got a total rejection from the judges. Her big bro, however, didn’t just get four yeses with his rendition of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own but Simon’s Golden Buzzer! For the uninitiated this means he’s skipping all the whittling down nonsense and going straight through to the live semi-finals. Scream!

There is just one thing that we can’t help but wonder about the brother and sister – what was the car journey like on the way home?