Comic actor Warwick Davis narrates new ITV series Planet’s Got Talent, which celebrates the weird and wonderful acts from the Got Talent shows around the world. We caught up with him to find out what’s in store…
Are you a fan of Britain’s Got Talent?
“Absolutely. I used to enter talent competitions as a kid and get involved in all the school plays. Some people just have a desire to perform and there isn’t a more spectacular stage than the Britain’s Got Talent stage or the Got Talent stages around the world.”
Do you think it makes people sitting at home think, ‘I can do that!’…?
“Yes. You watch those shows and you can’t help it. But like most people, when I sing in the shower it always sounds better than it would if I did it live! Often when people go out and try out their talents on stage it doesn’t always go right.”
Is that what happens on Planet’s Got Talent?
“Yes! It celebrates the odd, the funny, the brilliant and the worst of the auditions from around the world and from some the most obscure countries as well – I discovered there’s even a Kazakhstan’s Got Talent! Some of the acts are absolutely outstanding, like an America’s Got Talent act where the dogs can do back flips! Then there’s an India’s Got Talent contestant who can stuff 200 straws in his mouth. To be honest, I don’t really know what the appeal is.”
What about the woman who can ride a moped through 20 panes of glass without a helmet?
“That’s not a talent, that’s just plain stupid! How did she discover it anyway? Did she just go out of control on her moped one day and end up driving through a greenhouse, and then thought, ‘actually I’ve got something here I’ll go and do it on stage’?”
So, do you enjoy the bad auditions?
“I like the good and the bad! I love to get behind the acts that are brilliant, because I like to celebrate proper talent. Paul Potts was great because he was just an ordinary guy who just happened to have the most amazing voice. Ashleigh and Pudsey were also brilliant because of the dedication they put in to what they do. But I do like it when stuff goes wrong, and I can’t get over the number of people that fall 6ft off the stage!”
Do you have a secret skill or talent you can tell us about?
“No, I’m not talented like that. I can juggle, but only three balls and I normally drop them after about 10 seconds. I’ve just taken up the piano, but when you get to 44 it becomes a lot harder to make your fingers do what your brain wants them to.”
You’ve done so many things in your career – do you enjoy mixing things up?
“Yes. It keeps things interesting and exciting. For many years I was an actor and I had dreams of doing comedy. Then I came up with Life’s Too Short and it gave me an entry into that world. I’d never hosted a game show before I got asked to host Celebrity Squares, but I just had to try to develop the skill to do it. I feel lucky that I haven’t been pigeon holed.”
If you were a Got Talent judge what kind of judge would you be?
“I’d be a David Walliams-type judge. I like that he’s firm, but he also understands the business. When you’re a performer you can really empathise with what it’s like to be on stage. Simon’s very honest and more often than not he says things that we’re all thinking. Sometimes he does the acts a favour because otherwise they’d go through life deluded! He saves them a lot of embarrassment.”
Do you believe in going for your dreams, no matter what?
“Yes. You should never stifle your talent. I do a lot of talks in schools and I say to kids, ‘Whatever you want to do in life, just go for it’. The worst thing that can happen is you won’t achieve it, but that’s better than living with regret and thinking, ‘I wish I’d tried that’.”
Planet’s Got Talent starts on Saturday, January 17 at 6.30pm on ITV.