A comedian has won over judge Simon Cowell with his sharp wit on Britain’s Got Talent and secured his coveted golden buzzer.
Reality TV supremo Cowell told Axel Blake, a 33-year-old property maintenance manager from west London, that the country “needed acts like him” after the difficult couple of years everyone has been through due to the pandemic.
When asked by Cowell if he had ever lost confidence in his act, Blake admitted he had, but that he was inspired by his family and wanted to teach his 12-year-old son, who was in the audience, to believe in himself.
During his stand-up routine, Blake brought humour to everything from naming his newborn Pfizer, nicknamed Pfiesha, as she was a pandemic baby, and the funny bickering arguments he gets into with his fiancee.
He also joked about bizarre happenings on the London Underground, saying: “Couple of weeks ago I saw a woman and she was doing her whole make-up, a couple of stops later she looked like a whole new person.
“I was so impressed I clapped it and she looked down on me like ‘ew’. I thought ‘You may be a nine out of 10 now but you were a minus two at King’s Cross’.”
Comedian and judge David Walliams described the sketch as “brilliantly funny and original”.
He added: “A comedy superstar is born tonight. You made it all seem so effortless and you’ve got a wonderful, so likeable personality.”
Cowell said Blake was “super confident” and the first person to ever make a joke about Covid-19 which was actually funny.
He added: “I know it’s a bit of a cliche but after what everybody’s gone through over the last couple of years, boy we needed this show back on air, we needed acts like you.”
Ahead of his audition, Blake had joked with Cowell that he would give him a good deal on a new kitchen if he pressed the golden buzzer, so when the moment arrived Cowell carried on the gag.
He said: “One thing I have to tell you though, I kind of like a granite top, I like a waste disposal unit, I want 25% off and you get this,” as he pressed the buzzer.
Blake looked ecstatic as Cowell took to the stage to hug and congratulate him.
Sunday’s episode also saw 13-year-old Dante Marvin bring humour to the stage, as he performed a comedy song about his brittle bone disease, which has caused him to break 97 bones.
Walliams also delivered the first “golden moment” of the series, a new segment where each judge surprises an unsuspecting act, nominated without their knowledge, and invites them to audition at the London Palladium.
Aneeshwar Kunchala, seven, was the first contestant to be surprised as Walliams turned up dressed as a panda at his school in Warrington, Cheshire to ask him on to the show.
The young boy impressed the judges by reciting his own poem about his passion for wildlife conservation and saving the planet, as his friends joined him on the stage dressed in animal and nature costumes.
Dogs and their human companions also featured as doctor Louise Geller attempted to sing opera with her dog Jasper, but he refused to get involved, causing them to be axed.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Amber and her canine sidekick Nymeria, aged two, from the Netherlands, performed an agile routine of tricks which wowed the audience and judges.
Cowell, a self-confessed fan of dog acts, described their audition as in a “different league” and that it was the best one since Ashleigh and Pudsey, who won the talent show in 2012.
Saturday’s launch episode saw 32-year-old Loren Allred, the original singer of the track Never Enough from the 2018 musical film The Greatest Showman, was also awarded Amanda Holden’s golden buzzer after performing the song.
The ITV talent show returned to screens on Saturday for the first time after it was cancelled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Britain’s Got Talent continues on ITV.