‘Safety has to come first’: Britain’s Got Talent 2021 has been CANCELLED as ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc
- Bosses of the ITV show have revealed that it will not return to screens until 2022
- With worsening infection rates, BGT had already been postponed due to safety concerns and the restrictions brought about by tier systems and lockdowns
- The show, which features judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and David Walliams, has already faced its fair share of issues over the past year
- Head judge Cowell was forced to bow out of the show in the late summer after breaking his back in an electronic bike accident at his home in Malibu, California
- Past BGT winner Ashley Banjo was drafted in at the 11th hour to serve as his replacement on the show last year when it aired several months later than usual
Britain’s Got Talent 2021 has been cancelled as the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc.
The hit ITV talent show had already been postponed due to safety concerns and the restrictions brought about by tier systems and lockdowns.
But after several weeks of speculation, it has now been confirmed that the show will now not return to screens until 2022.
Cancelled: Britain’s Got Talent 2021 has been cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured are judges (L-R) David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden
Bosses of the show said that despite the efforts of the teams at ITV, Thames and head judge Simon Cowell’s Syco, they were forced to call plans off.
They said: ‘With our absolute priority of safeguarding the well-being and health of every person involved in the programme from judges, hosts and contestants to all of the crew and audience, the decision has been made to – unfortunately – move the record and broadcast of the 15th series of Britain’s Got Talent to 2022.
‘BGT is known for its diversity of talent with big dance groups, wonderful choirs and lavish orchestras at its heart, and it has become clear that not only is it not possible to film auditions with these types of acts in a secure way but also that they are not able to adequately rehearse and prepare safely.
‘Safety has to come first and, as a result, the recording of the show can’t currently go ahead as planned.’
Concerns: The ITV talent show had already been postponed due to safety concerns and the restrictions brought about by tier systems and lockdowns. Pictured are hosts Ant and Dec
The show, which features judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and David Walliams, has already faced its fair share of issues over the past year as, in addition to the pandemic, Cowell was forced to bow out after breaking his back.
Past BGT winner Ashley Banjo was drafted in at the 11th hour to serve as his replacement on the show last year when it aired several months later than usual.
Banjo and his dance troupe Diversity sparked an avalanche of complaints to Ofcom last series, when their performance included moments inspired by police brutality and the Black Lives Matter protests that were dominating the news cycle.
England was placed in a third COVID-19 lockdown earlier this month, with residents ordered to stay at home unless for essential reasons.
However most television and film production is allowed to continue as long as COVID-19 regulations, such as the use of masks and regular testing, are followed
Safety: Alesha recently said of the show being halted, ‘It’s obviously not an ideal situation, but the most important thing is the well-being of everyone who works on the show, and the public’
Days before the cancellation of the 2021 series was confirmed, Holden addressed the rumours as she spoke on her Heart Radio breakfast show on Tuesday.
Amanda told co-host Ashley Roberts that bosses were still having discussions to see if it was feasible for the show to go ahead, or if it would have to be pushed to 2022.
Ashley asked Amanda: ‘So, there are rumours BGT may be cancelled due to COVID. Amanda, you had said the live audience is everything, right? Is that the reason?’
To which the judge replied: ‘Yeah, well I personally think that we shouldn’t do it without the fifth judge which is you guys.
‘We need the people behind us, it’s the one show where it does kind of suffer and I’ll be honest, we’ve been told it’s on hold, but then we’ve been told something different so I think it’s fluid.
Controversy: Diversity’s performance on the most recent series of Britain’s Got Talent received 24,500 Ofcom complaints, making it the most complained about TV moment of the year
‘I think there are still discussions going on because it’s a big old show and there are a lot of people who are employed behind the scenes so it’s one that needs to be discussed a bit more in length.’
Co-host Jamie Theakston added: ‘It’s impossible to make a decision in an evolving situation, because we don’t know what the world is going to look like in six months.’
Amanda said: ‘Exactly and I think the producers are very keen not to let anyone down, so I think it’s still under discussion let’s say that.’
It came following reports Thames TV and Cowell’s company Syco had come to the conclusion that it would not be possible to make the programme safely in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The variety show had been due to hold auditions to hold auditions over the summer, with the highly-anticipated live shows to air in the autumn.
Not yet! This series was also set to mark the return of Simon to the judging panel, as he was forced to miss last year’s live shows after breaking his back in a bike accident
‘While many people will have been vaccinated by the summer it remains unclear what the restrictions on mass mingling and on travel will be, so there are absolutely no guarantees production can go ahead.
‘The chances of it airing this year range from extremely slim to non-existent – and it’s almost certain to be the latter. No one’s happy about it – but that’s the way it is.’
However, it’s said that chances of the show being made this year were ‘extremely slim to non-existent’, and may well be pushed back to 2022.
A source told MailOnline: ‘The nature of Britain’s Got Talent means we have all sorts of contestants from all sorts of places – home and abroad – taking part.
It’s now been said that ITV bosses are drawing up TV schedules for the next year and they don’t include Britain’s Got Talent – ITV’s biggest show only second to I’m A Celebrity, attracting 10 millions viewers.
No longer on hold: Earlier this month, it was announced the show had been postponed until the autumn as COVID-19 lockdown scuppered plans for nationwide auditions
A major issue with keeping safe during filming is the need for a live audience, with the crowd’s live reaction to a performance being a key part of the entertainment.
The 2021 series was set to mark the return of Simon Cowell, 61, to the judging panel, as he was forced to miss last year’s live shows after breaking his back in a bike accident.
With the series now not going ahead until 2022, it means Cowell will have been absent from UK screens for two years before his return.
The 2020 live finals were postponed from the spring to the autumn following the start of the pandemic and were pre-recorded with a virtual audience used to get behind the acts competing to win.
Comedian Jon Courtenay was voted the winner, taking home a £250,000 prize and a place on the bill at the Royal Variety performance.
Pushed back: In a statement, ITV said they were hopeful the show would return later this year, but had delayed plans to start auditions later this month (2020 winner Jon Courtenay pictured)
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