David Walliams praised Declan Donnelly for hosting Britain’s Got Talent alone, as comedian Lost Voice Guy and singers The D-Day Darlings made it through to the final of the show.
The presenter fronted the ITV entertainment show by himself for the first time on Monday night, as his comedy partner Ant McPartlin has stepped back from his work commitments after being charged with drink-driving this year.
Speaking during the results show, Walliams told Donnelly he had done “a magnificent job”.
Donnelly opened the first live semi-final by descending onto the stage from the ceiling sitting in a hoop.
He told the audience and viewers that nothing had changed, with the same judges and format, then quipped: “And the presenters… well, probably best not to dwell on that.”
However, things quickly went downhill when technical problems caused by the weather disrupted the broadcast from the Hammersmith Apollo for several minutes.
Despite the glitch, Donnelly’s calm attitude under pressure won him praise from fans, who tweeted that he was “smashing it”.
The BGT team were also impressed with the way Donnelly hosted without Ant, who was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000.
Judge Walliams joked that Dec looked “a little tense” and offered him a massage.
During the results show he told the presenter: “I wanted to say that you did a magnificent job tonight.”
“You are a super cool guy,” he added, as fellow panellists Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell smiled and clapped.
The episode saw the first crop of hopefuls trying to win a place in the final.
Comedian Lost Voice Guy won the round, being voted through to the final by the public.
Singers The D-Day Darlings and magician Maddox Dixon landed the next highest number of votes and the judges had to pick which one would go through.
They chose The D-Day Darlings, who will now join Lost Voice Guy in the final.
Dance group Cali Swing, singer Lifford Shillingford, dancer Shameer Rayes, magic act Ellie and Jeki and escapologist Matt Johnson were sent home.