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‘Disastrous’ Eurovision needs talent, says Cowell

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Britain’s Got Talent creator and judge Simon Cowell has called for the Eurovision Song Contest to be replaced by a variety talent show, branding this year’s singing competition a “disaster” that needed to be overhauled.

Speaking at the British Academy Television Awards, where he received a BAFTA Special Award for his services to television entertainment, Cowell revealed that he was working on a global extension of his Got Talent brand, which currently has franchised series running in more than 60 countries.

Cowell said: “After the Eurovision disaster, we’ve got to do something about that… If you think how rubbish some of the Eurovision acts have been over the years, I think it’s a natural extension that we now make it a talent show. Because there is some incredible talent around the world at the moment.”

Plans for Cowell’s global competition, provisionally entitled The World’s Got Talent, will not involve a panel of studio judges, after a similar contest in 2003 based on the Pop Idol franchise attempted to have a judge from each participating country. Describing that format as “stupid”, Cowell added: “I could be, perhaps with Piers [Morgan] and Amanda [Holden], the commentary for the UK feed, and we’d make our own remarks about what we think about people.”

Unofficial overnight ratings for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent final last Saturday suggest an estimated audience of 12.3 million viewers saw gymnastic troupe Spelbound win the contest. The previous Saturday, BBC1’s Eurovision Song Contest final attracted just more than 5.5 million viewers, a drop of 2 million from 2009.

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