AMANDA Holden has been made head judge on Britain’s Got Talent after Simon Cowell was forced to miss filming because of his broken back.
Former winner Ashley Banjo, part of dance troupe Diversity, had already been announced as a replacement judge.
But producers decided Amanda, 49, was the obvious choice to take the top job and she will now have a deciding vote if Ashley, 31, David Walliams, 49, and Alesha Dixon, 41, are split over an act.
A source said: “It makes total sense for Amanda to be head judge with a deciding vote in a deadlock situation.
“She’s the only one, other than Simon, who has been there since Day One and has seen it all.
“She cannot wait for the responsibility boost and is certainly going to take it in her stride.”
Amanda and Simon were the show’s original judges, alongside Piers Morgan, when it first aired in 2007. That series was won by opera singer Paul Potts.
Alesha and David joined the ITV show in 2012, replacing David Hasselhoff, 68, and Michael McIntyre, 44, who had served on the panel for one series.
Simon, 60, is missing the pre-recorded semi-finals, which start Saturday night, after he broke his back in three places last month.
He had a metal rod inserted into his back after falling off a powerful electric bike at his home in Malibu, California.
He hopes to return for the show’s live final, which will air on ITV in October.
US pop star Kelly Clarkson took his place on America’s Got Talent when they filmed the show’s finals last month.
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