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| 2 minutes read

Britain's got Claimants... the value of lost opportunity

A disgruntled Britain’s Got Talent applicant, whose audition was cancelled in 2020, is trying to sue the programme makers Freemantle Media Ltd for £85m, arguing that his inability to audition caused him to lose a lucrative music and marketing contract.

Robert Aslanyan was hoping to perform a tribute to Queen Elizabeth in his BGT audition in 2020.  However, on arriving at the audition venue in Cardiff, Mr Aslanyan was told that the event had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is reported that Mr Aslanyan is attempting to claim financial losses from the program makers, including the costs from his wasted trip as well as “basic damages for moral pain and suffering, hurt feelings and loss of confidence”. Mr Aslanyan also claims that he lost the opportunity to win BGT’s top prize and that BGT’s failure to give a definite decision about a fresh audition cost him potential earnings of around £85m.

Mr Aslanyan’s potential claim certainly raises some interesting legal issues but also highlights the question – what can a claimant recover by way of damages in relation to lost opportunities?

In contract claims, the principles around loss are fairly well-established. A claimant can recover damages for loss suffered as a result of a breach provided that it is not too remote. Lawyers will be familiar with the principles of remoteness from the case of Hadley v Baxendale which provides that losses are only recoverable if the loss flows naturally from the breach and was in contemplation of the parties at the time the contract was made as a probable result of the breach. Where losses arises in the context of lost opportunities or “loss of chance”, the position is not always as straightforward, particularly in cases where the outcome of the potential opportunities is uncertain. The exact legal basis for the claims pursued by Mr Aslanyan is not clear but it seems, as a starting point, that Mr Aslanyan will need to show that had his audition took place and he had performed his tribute song, he would have earned the significant sums now claimed. As usual, it is likely that much will turn on the available evidence and the factual matrix. However given Fremantle Media Ltd has said that Mr Aslanyan has previously attended three other auditions for the show and Mr Aslanyan’s claim at best, appears to be based on lost opportunity, it will be interesting to see how the case develops. 


dispute resolution