Versatile Warwick's Star continues to rise
When Paul O’Grady hosted the pilot for Britain’s Got Talent, UK TV bosses weren’t impressed.
However, Simon Cowell knows a good format when he sees it, so he sold the Opportunity Knocks-style show to US TV bosses.
ITV took a renewed interest, and suddenly Britain’s Got Talent became one of Blighty’s best loved programmes. Then the rest of the world seemed to follow suit with their own versions of the glitzy talent strand.
Now, narrator Warwick Davis and a team have compiled a ‘best of’ strand to bring you Planet’s GotTalent (Saturday, ITV, 6.30pm).
“We celebrate not only the odd, the unusual and the funny, but also the brilliant and the aweinspiring,” explains Warwick.
With 69 countries now broadcasting their own ‘Got Talent’ offerings, the narrator noticed they all share one thing in common.
“Everywhere there are people that love to show off their talent; they’re not really great talents. People just love to get involved, get up on stage and show them off.”
The first episode features a dog that can do back flips on America’s Got Talent; amazing Russian acrobats; an applehating Korean woman, and (Warwick’s favourite) a man in India who can stuff 200 straws into his mouth at once.
“I don’t know what he was thinking when he thought that was a good idea to go on a talent show with it, and how do you discover you can do that? I thought that was slightly odd and unusual.”
Surrey-born Davis, 44, has had one of the most extraordinary careers of any British actor. You may already know the story of his grandma helping him land the part of Wicket, the lead Ewok in Return of the Jedi; low-budget horror Leprechaun comedies, and Harry Potter saga.
Then Ricky Gervais saw his comedic potential with a bit part in Extras, and created his own sitcom, Life’s Too Short as well as sending him off with Karl Pilkington for An Idiot Abroad.
ITV gave him assorted highprofile jobs such as Weekend Escapes and Celebrity Squares.
Landing the part of quiz show host was especially poignant for the multi-talented frontman.
“I grew up watching that because my nan was a massive fan of game shows,” he explains. “She’d have been so proud that I was doing a game show now. We used to watch Brucie [Forsyth] and Bob [Monkhouse] and all those classic game shows.”
The best and the worst Warwick Davis narrates.