Amidst rising rates of Covid-19, filming of the live auditions stages for series fifteen of the ITV reality competition show Britain’s Got Talent has been postponed.
This follows the news that three members of the production team testing positive for coronavirus in October 2020, which raised concerns about the safety of the show’s filming, and halted the production of its 2020 Christmas special.
Filming was meant to start in late January, but with the implementation of the latest lockdown, as cases rose to 60,000 for the first time in the UK, ITV has decided to prioritise “the well-being” of their staff and delay filming of the show.
So far, the new filming dates are unconfirmed, but ITV has said they will release them in “due course”.
Typically, the filming of the show’s live auditions involves the gathering en masse of myriad different people and acts, with ITV’s statement bringing attention to the “big dance groups, wonderful choirs and lavish orchestras” which form the heart of the show, but will no longer be feasible due to coronavirus restrictions.
The fourteenth series of the show, which aired last year, also had to grapple with restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The series was split into two halves, with the first comprising of audition episodes which had already been filmed, and the second consisting of episodes filmed after discussions regarding safety measures had taken place, leading to the implementation of a virtual audience, as well as social distancing measures amongst judges, hosts, participants and production staff.
A condensed version of the full statement was posted to the official Britain’s Got Talent Twitter page (@BGT). In the comments, many admired the decision to postpone the series, as well as lauding ITV’s commitment to safeguarding the wellbeing of their staff. Others were disappointed, saying that ITV had left it until the last minute to make the announcement. A few commenters even suggested that ITV just cancel this series altogether, and wait until the Covid pandemic is completely over before trying to resume filming.
In their full statement, ITV thanked fans for their “continued love & support of the show”.
Words by Maebh Howell
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