Simon Cowell returns to BGT

Simon Cowell is to return to 'Britain's Got Talent', alongside Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon

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Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell is to return to 'Britain's Got Talent'.

The 52-year-old music mogul - who quit the audition process of the ITV1 talent show last year before returning to judge the live shows - will once again join the panel alongside show veteran Amanda Holden and newcomers David Walliams and Alesha Dixon.

As well as Simon returning, the winner's prize money has been increased to £500,000.

Simon said: "I miss Britain and I miss the British public and I miss judging them. I want to find the next generation of talent in 2012. Different and new acts, younger and better talent.

"You want someone who can be a star all over the world and by coming back in 2012, it's the year of the Olympics, it's a big year for Britain, we are going to be in the world's spotlight and I want this show to be back in the world spotlight.

"This year I really felt that I've got to put my money where my mouth is, so I'm personally putting up £250,000, so that's £500,000 cash to the winner, so that's a big incentive."

Elaine Bedell, ITV director of entertainment and comedy said: "We all really missed Simon during the BGT auditions last year, so I'm very pleased he's back this year for the whole run.There's no Head Judge quite like Simon Cowell.

"And I'm delighted David and Alesha will be joining Simon and Amanda on the panel. David is one of the country's top entertainers and a big fan of Variety, and Alesha's career in showbusiness has already taken in both pop music and TV entertainment.

"I expect all those acts waiting in the wings to audition in 2012, are as excited with this panel of judges as we are."

Alesha quit her judging role on 'Strictly Come Dancing' to take part in 'Britain's Got Talent' after Simon reportedly offered her a fee of £350,000.

Open auditions will start later this month.

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