Amanda Holden: 10 things you probably never knew about the Britain's Got Talent judge

From Blind Date to forgotten movie cameos, here are some surprising facts about the talent show judge and NHS Saved My Life contributor.

Britain's Got Talent is back on our screens for a 12th series and the show's one 'ever-present' judge, Amanda Holden, is back with it.

For over a decade of dancing dogs, Ofcom scandals and some VERY revealing dresses she has been a BGT constant, appearing on every single series - something not even Simon Cowell has managed.

[Read more: Amanda Holden reveals Britain's Got Talent secrets]

Throughout that time Holden has plugged away, shedding tears, making saucy innuendos and winding up her co-stars at every opportunity.

The presenter, West End star and reality TV judge has been on British TV for the last three decades – but how much do you really know about her?

Here are 10 surprising facts about Amanda Holden:

Amanda Holden

1. She was a contestant on Blind Date

Holden’s TV debut was an embarrassing one. The actress was a contestant on Cilla Black’s Blind Date in 1991.

She was not selected by the male picker and revealed that her ideal man was Jack Nicholson.

"I like experience and maturity [in a man]," she said. Ooh-er.

2. Amanda starred in EastEnders

Amanda Holden in EastEnders

A slightly less embarrassing 'Before They Were Famous' moment came for Holden in 1994, when she was cast in EastEnders, playing knicker-seller Carmen.

She was hired by Tricky Dicky (Ian Reddington) to work on Sanjay Kapoor’s stall (Deepak Verma), but sadly she only lasted five episodes. Time for a comeback?

3. Martine McCutcheon beat her to a much bigger EastEnders role

Amanda returned to Albert Square for a major audition in the 90s, but lost out on the role of Tiffany Raymond/Mitchell to Martine McCutcheon.

There were rumours of an altercation between the pair at a wedding in 2003, but whether it was over the casting of the brassy barmaid wasn’t confirmed.

Martine went on to the West End, Love Actually and yoghurt adverts. Amanda went on to Wild At Heart, BGT and getting naked for PETA campaigns.

4. She would love to appear in Coronation Street

Her short stint in EastEnders hasn’t put her off acting in soaps. In fact, she’s actively put herself forward to play a “Southern b***h” in Coronation Street.

“I love Corrie and it’s more iconic, I'd go for a bit of that," she said.

5. Amanda planned to start a record career?

Amanda Holden on Britain's Got Talent

Obviously inspired by sitting through all those Britain’s Got Talent auditions, Amanda was planning to release a country music album a few years back.

“I don't think Amanda Holden's Country Album would be a huge seller,” she admitted. “Maybe a bit more of a crossover like Shania Twain. I wouldn't mind covering Dolly Parton's 'Nine To Five'.”

We’re still waiting.

6. Amanda is open about her surgery

The talent show judge hasn’t tried to disguise the fact she’s gone under the knife to maintain her youthful looks, confessing that she doesn’t see anything wrong with a bit of Botox.

Speaking to Heat magazine, Amanda said she didn’t see any point in “growing old gracefully”.

“I have had Botox, which I'm happy to admit. It's running out now, though - I need to go again. I agree with Simon Cowell. It's like cleaning your teeth – maintenance,” she said.

"It's like getting your roots done. I think as long as you don't go stupidly over the top. I can move my face.”

7. Amanda's Got Talent

Simon Cowell is one of the biggest music producers on the planet, Alesha Dixon has smashed the pop charts and David Walliams is one of the country’s most successful comedians.

So does Amanda feel slightly inferior when judging talent on BGT?

She doesn’t need to because she’s actually a successful West End star and was even nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award in 2004 for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Amanda Holden at the London Palladium in 2017.

8. She dressed up as Paddington Bear for her husband

We're not sure if this is fun, kinky or just plain weird, but it is true - we heard it from the horse's (or bear's) mouth.

"My husband confessed to me years ago that he wanted to meet Paddington Bear," she says. "This was before the movies. "So on his birthday I hired a Paddington Bear costume, went out the house and came back in it. I burst through the door and danced to YMCA. He had no idea who I was! That was the most surreal thing I have ever done."

No kidding....

9. She's been a movie star

Okay, movie star would be pushing it, but she did have a brief stint on the big screen with two cameos.

She played Pamela in Intimate Relations in 1996 and starred as a Shoe Shop Assistant in 1999’s Virtual Sexuality. We wouldn’t go hunting them down on Netflix if we were you.

10. She's sick of all the stick about that affair

Amanda Holden on Britain's Got Talent

Everybody knows about what happened between Amanda, ex-husband Les Dennis and Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey.
Holden has taken jokes about her affair with a smile down the years, but it does grate her that the criticism is very one-sided.

“I stand by my statement that women don’t have affairs for sex. You are not happy in your marriage if you seek affirmation somewhere else,” she said.

“The thing that angers me is that, if I was a man, it [the bad image] would have all ended years ago. If I was Lenny Henry or Angus Deayton or any of the others, but it’s only ever me. I’m not like this slapper, I haven’t put it about. I was engaged twice. I was a relationship girl.”

She also insists that she still feels warmly for Les, confessing: “We were together for 10 years. When I saw him do really well on MasterChef, I was thrilled, and I’m thrilled for him that he’s happily married with two gorgeous children.

“He’s with people who cherish him and who are right for him. We were just not right for each other.”

What Amanda Holden said about series 12 of Britain's Got Talent

How does it feel to be the only judge to have done every series of Britain’s Got Talent?

I’m always pleased to be back and extremely grateful. When you get a phone call to tie you into a show like this you think five years is good, so to be here with my zimmer frame 12 years later is an amazing feeling for me.

Would you say you always have fun with Stephen Mulhern, Ant and Dec and the other judges backstage?

Yes, there’s a genuine, natural, rapport and chemistry between us. We’ve all got a really good sense of humour. We take the mick out of each other, nothing’s taken seriously, if anyone’s in a mood we cheer them up. When it comes to Simon, we’re the court jesters and he’s the king.

How insufferable is David now he’s a two time ‘Best TV Judge’ winner at the NTAs?

I think Simon’s taken it well, considering and David is banging on about it constantly as you would expect. He’s brought them to auditions and uses them as weights most days. I have to say, I’m thrilled for David. He is brilliant and he has changed the show, he’s added more humour to it. I sat next to Simon the other week and he was wrapped in toilet paper and I just thought, ‘This would never have happened 10 years ago with me and Piers Morgan!’. I took so many pictures of him, I couldn’t get over it - toilet paper man, Andrex man, you can think of loads of hashtags for it. I’ve known Simon for such a long time and he has a really naughty, brilliant, mischievous sense of humour, very witty. I think having David on the end has brought it out of him because he’s had some competition.

Can you predict a winner?

I’d never have predicted Tokio. He was so cool and so diverse that I wouldn’t have thought he was typical for our audience. So I just don’t think you can predict what the mood of the public is.

We’ve had quite a few choirs this year and one that really made you emotional was called B-Positive, what was it about them that upset you?

It was very dramatic for me; the National Health Service has had a massive impact on my family. I champion them all the time. I did hemorrhage so blood donors saved my life. So when this choir came on wanting to raise awareness, specifically there to talk about getting more Afro-Caribbean people to donate their blood, I found it really emotional and thought what an amazing way it was to raise awareness of sickle cell and donating blood in general.

What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?

I couldn’t possibly tell you that! One of the weirdest things I’ve ever done was when my husband confessed to me years ago that he wanted to meet Paddington Bear. This was before the movies. So on his birthday I hired a Paddington Bear costume, went out the house and came back in it. I burst through the door and danced to YMCA. He had no idea who I was! That was the most surreal thing I have ever done.

Britain’s Got Talent's live semi-finals air all week on ITV and the live final airs on Sunday, June 3rd at 7.30pm.

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