Published Wednesday, 09 April 2014
Britain's Got Talent hosts Ant & Dec. (© ITV)
Auditions were ready to get underway in London in February when Cowell received news that his girlfriend Lauren Silverman had gone into labour.
And while the Geordie duo can usually be seen backstage offering some calming words to the nervous hopefuls, they were asked to fill in for Cowell in his absence.
"It was hard," admitted Ant. "It's not nice being nasty.
"Obviously Dec and I can never believe it when the judges buzz, but now having sat in the chair, I can understand the pain they're in sometimes. I did end up buzzing one comedian as he just rambled on."
Dec added: "It was really hard because we'd been talking to all the acts backstage and we were on their side, so to go and sit at the judges' desk and then to hit the buzzer was tough.
"You end up immediately apologising to the act and saying, "I'm really sorry." We've got a new found respect for the judges. I don't think we'll be rushing back to be judges any time soon!"
The pair return to television screens this Saturday on UTV.
And as the show is celebrating its eighth series, Ant thinks a certain type of act deserves to win this year.
"We'd love to see a magician or a comedian or a variety act win," he said.
"We're big fans of variety acts, especially ones that have an updated style or a modern take on variety, so it would be great to have one of these win."
Britain's Got Talent returns to UTV on Saturday 12 April at 7.15pm.
© UTV News