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Sunday 15th December 2019

BGT contestant Jimmy Tamley accuses producers of throwing him under the bus

Venriloquist has his say on Simon Cowell storming off stage

Viewers were stunned when Simon Cowell stormed off stage after Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist Jimmy Tanley tried to make him dance.

Reps for the show later explained that Simon had left the act because he was suffering with an old ski injury to his knee, and was delighted that the explosive moment had become TV gold.

But it seems ventriloquist performer Jimmy isn't feeling too positive about his BGT experience.

He has launched quite the attack on producers of the show with a very lengthy Facebook post.

Simon didn't look impressed (Credit: ITV)

The message begins with the allegation: "I was thrown under the bus by BGT producers..."

He then claims: "That’s it in a nutshell, if you want more, read below what happened to me behind the scenes of a BGT show, but you’ll need a few minutes and a cuppa.


"I honestly wasn’t expecting the fiasco that unfolded on Thursday night. Just want to tell events from my perspective...when I was invited to enter BGT series 13, I was under no illusion that curve balls potentially would be coming my way, having had previous experience of this with bgt.

"BGT series 13 journey started during the last couple of months of 2018. I was contacted by several researchers encouraging me to apply to audition for the series.

"I submitted several ideas involving a puppet and a couple of audience members. This was approved of, so I subsequently commissioned the puppet to be made.

"Two days before the audition in February 2019, curve ball number one came, where I was asked was there a possibility instead of using the puppet to prepare a routine with 2 masks.

Looking at it now, I wonder what the producers were thinking.

And he's off (Credit: ITV)

"At midday on the day of the audition it was confirmed that I was going to be doing a mask routine and was going to be able to use David and Amanda, which as you know was a great success and got me 4 yeses and some great "feedback and comments from the judges.

"2 weeks later came the elimination day recording. All contestants, approximately 160 acts, who received 3 or 4 yeses are invited to come up to the palladium for the day and find out if they have been selected to go through to the semi finals.

"This means 35 acts are chosen plus there are the 5 golden buzzer acts who automatically have a semi final place.

"After it had been confirmed that I had been put through to the semi finals, I was asked to start preparing and submitting ideas for my semi final performance.

"My first routine, including another puppet and a judge with a mask, was well received by the producers but had to be discussed in the States with the executive producers.

"This came back with a definite no - curve ball number 2. It was also made clear that they didn’t want me to be portrayed as a traditional ventriloquist and told me they didn’t want to see puppets, curve ball number 3, and I would need to be using masks for the semi final and potential final routine.

"I was told that my options for wearing masks would be from the 6 main characters (4 judges and 2 presenters, who were all up for participation unlike previous years ) and no masks would be used on audience members.

"So from this point onwards I knew I could not use any of my well established puppet routines, and no masks on audience members, only the 6 main characters in the show.

"Anything I did from this point onwards would need approval and scripts submitted.

"I proposed an idea of Simon with mask on, just standing still and assuming the role of a ventriloquist and David as the dummy, but both with my masks on to make it really funny. They liked the idea and my script was approved.

"After a meeting a few weeks later with BGT’s own brilliant comedy scriptwriter, he suggested making Simon the dummy and David the ventriloquist, and putting in a Cancan dance.

"I loved what we wrote together, although I thought at the time, I’d be surprised if it got approval, but he knew the producers and it was indeed approved.

From this point onwards to the semi final, all the producers and top executives knew and approved what I was going to do. They even SOURCED the Cancan music to use on the show.

"On Thursday, the day of my show, I asked the producers if the judges would be attending the dress rehearsal and was told that they wouldn’t.

"I then asked if Simon Cowell knew he was going to be used in my participation act and have a mask put on his face, again they said no, he didn’t know, but he had told them, and the criteria they worked on, was that he, "liked surprises".

"This threw me a bit, as he is the top executive producer, and surely would have asked the question, 'Who is Jimmy going to be using today?'

"I, maybe naively, had assumed he’d been consulted on this. By now, the day was in full swing, and I was caught up in the pressure all the acts have, of going on live television in front of a highly cranked up audience.

"I concentrated on my lines which were NOT ROAD TESTED, and contrived to be used once and once only. I had to trust my immediate producers, in that he’d go along with it.

"You could see on TV that Simon was coerced up onstage by David and was reluctant to sit on the stool and have a mask put on his face.

"Looking at it now, I wonder what the producers were thinking. Was I, in effect being THROWN UNDER THE BUS? He clearly wasn’t willing to go along with any of this, and in his after comments he indicated that the producers would indeed be murdered...( his words ).

"In the media since then (and there has been a lot of it ),the bgt line was that he’d said he couldn’t do the dance because of a old skiing injury. Surely if this was the case, the producers would have known by series 13 that he was unable to dance in any way and I would have been informed weeks prior to this and scripts would have been amended at the time of presenting them.

"Immediately after my performance, I was completely gobsmacked and traumatised by what had just happened to me on LIVE television.

"My 5 children and my partner Rachel were in the audience, and had just seen what had happened to me. I really felt for them, as I just wanted to do a good spot and for them to feel proud of me. At this point I was absolutely gutted, my 4 minutes on TV were ruined.

Read more: The REAL reason Simon Cowell stormed off stage

"Yes my professionalism kicked in and I finished the spot, but I’d rather have completed it as planned by them and me, and been voted off. I wasn’t under any illusion that I was anywhere near the top on the list of performers that night, and was prepared for anything...except what happened.

"In the next 30 minutes after my performance, I was livid at the producers, and told them in no uncertain terms I wanted to leave, and would not go on for the results bit, despite people voting for me. They were very sympathetic saying, Simon was an idiot and that I’d come good from all this.

"They even brought along their psychologist to check I was ok. In the end I asked Rachel and my 5 kids what to do, and that I was ready to go home.

"They all agreed I should smile and go on which I did. I knew I’d be voted off but I went through the vote off part of the show. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t.

"The next 24 hours were very busy and crazy on social media, newspapers, This Morning on ITV and Twitter etc etc. All having various opinions for me.

In conclusion to this piece ( if you're still awake dear reader 🤪 ), I could never in my wildest dreams in the previous weeks leading up to this, have foreseen what happened to me.

"I’m by nature a positive guy and see the good in people, rather than being cynical at the world. Although it may look like I’m bitter in the above piece, I’m just putting it straight from my view to get it off my chest and get on with my life outside the bgt bubble.

"This is water off a ducks back to Britain’s Got Talent producers, as it’s generated a lot of publicity like they’ve had before and will continue this way, if they treat performers, who are not used to television and media, this way.

"I’m of the opinion now, that any other panel of experts on TV shows now have vast experience in the field they are judging, be it singing , dancing and cooking etc.

"But this show has someone at the helm, who can’t simply raise a foot off the ground let alone a smile, and is ready to give an opinion on any performer who’s put in thousands of hours in pursuit of their chosen craft.

"The people I met on the show and worked with, particularly the researchers, VT crew etc, were wonderful people and very helpful and creative, I have nothing but praise for them and loved working with them all.

"I have broad shoulders, so I can take any comments you may have. But I’m not looking for lots of that at all. I just hope to feel better after offloading my experience here.

"To all my fellow ventriloquists out there I have nothing but admiration for you all, even though there are not many of us. I’d pay good money to watch any of you. I have in the past and I will in future. I love being a part of our weird community. Looking forward to Steve Hewlett’s book out later this year or next, 'VentriloQuest'..

"Please feel free to share. Thank you for reading this .. ❤️ Jimmy.." [SIC]

Ent Daily has contacted The BGT press office for comment on Jimmy's post.

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