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*Singer Paul Potts was the inaugural winner of Britain’s Got Talent*

Following the success of Pop Idol, American Idol and The X Factor media mogul Simon Cowell produces his latest search for a star, Britain’s Got Talent.

The all-new reality TV format has already proved a massive global hit, particularly in the States. America’s Got Talent – hosted by Regis Philbin and judged by David Hasselhoff, R&B singer Brandy, and former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan – gave amateur singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, contortionists, ventriloquists and, well, anyone else really, the chance to compete for a $1 million cash prize.

Among the finalists on the first season of America’s Got Talent were a group of acrobats, a clogging ensemble, an Irish fiddle act and, best of all, a 73-year-old Rappin’ Granny. The show’s outright winner was 11-year-old singer Bianca Ryan.

Despite being a Brit, Cowell has made no secret of the fact that he thinks the US boasts a bigger talent pool than the UK – but now he wants to find out how much talent Britain really has to offer.

For the first time since Pop Idol, TV’s golden boys Ant and Dec are reunited with Cowell in the search to find Britain’s top talent. Joining Cowell as judges will be Piers Morgan and actress Amanda Holden.

Over nine nights, viewers can marvel at the wonderful, wacky � or just plain weird! The first five programmes will showcase the national auditions, when true Brits came out in force to show both the judges and members of the public what they were made of. Piano-playing pigs and dancing horses, anyone?

From Thursday, June 14, there will be three live semi-final shows, with eights acts performing each night. The two acts that poll the highest number of public votes will go through to the final on Sunday June 17 when six acts will battle it out to be crowned Britain’s Greatest Talent.

There’s a £100,000 cash prize for the winner plus the chance to perform in front of the Queen at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. If a singer wins, he or she will also earn a recording contract.

Cowell says: “This is a huge responsibility for me. The Royal Variety Performance is a great British tradition so it’s essential we get it right!”

For those who can’t get enough, there’s ITV2’s nightly spin-off show Britain’s Got More Talent. And for all the latest news on the hopefuls keep logging on to whatsontv.co.uk.