Britain’s Got Talent 2012: Simon Cowell is NOT impressed by Anthony Barnatt aka Maximus Decimus Meridius

Britain’s Got Talent will kick off in style tonight but as usual as all the jaw dropping and awe inspiring performers, the ITV show will feature more than it’s fair share of the more strange acts over the course of an hour.

First up on this evening’s premiere, is a man who would feel more at home in ancient Rome, than on a stage in modern Manchester. Anthony Barnatt turned up to try out for BGT earlier this year, in full Centurion dress compete with shields, helmet and body armour.

Ant and Dec were at least amused by his getup and made plenty of jokes about ‘when in Rome,’ but not surprisingly, Simon Cowell didn’t seem so impressed.

His face dropped even further when he realised that the 57 year old grandfather, who used to make a career out of driving HGV lorries, planned to deliver a monologue in the style of Maximus Decimus Meridius, as made famous by the hit 2000 movie, Gladiator.

In the film, Russell Crowe portrayed the Roman General, who is betrayed when the Emperor’s ambitious son, Commodus, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his Emperor.

Impressive though the film was, poor Tony was not so great on his delivery and after he delivered a few lines of his speech, Cowell asked:

‘Is that it?’

He added:

‘It’s a bit….’

To which Barnatt gamely concluded:


Anthony may not have been a big hit with the music mogul, but he won’t be giving up his Roman obsession any time soon. In an interview with the Northern Echo he admitted that after being inspired by the Hollywood movie, his whole life has changed.

He explained:

“It all started when I saw the film Gladiator. Then I read the book Hannibal, about him crossing the Alps. It was the first time in my life I’d read a book.

“Then I started going to the library and reading about Roman history. Then I started going to the Roman forts and collecting antiquities.”

Tune in tonight to see whether or not Tony makes it through to the live shows. Do you think he can pull it off? Leave your comments below…

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!