Britain's Got Talent axed: the 2021 edition of BGT has been cancelled due to Covid - here's what ITV have said

The flagship talent show is now unlikely to return to TV screens before spring 2022

Friday, 29th January 2021, 2:30 pm

Earlier this month, filming of Britain’s Got Talent’s 15th series was previously delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic and the introduction of England’s third national lockdown.

ITV said at the time: “With the announcement of the latest Government health guidelines and with our priority of safeguarding the well being of everyone involved in our programmes we, together with the production teams at Thames and Syco, have taken the decision to move the record and broadcast of the forthcoming series.”

The channel has now confirmed Britain’s Got Talent will not take place in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic; the recording and broadcast will not take place until 2022.

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ITV said the show was pulled from the schedules in order to safeguard “the wellbeing and health of every person involved in the programme”.

Here is everything we know.

What have ITV said?

Hundreds of people are involved in the making of the Britain’s Got Talent audition shows, and difficulties in filming amid the pandemic are compounded because acts travel from all over the UK and sometimes abroad to take part in the programme hosted by Ant and Dec.

Amanda Holden at the Britain's Got Talent photocall in 2020 (Photo: Peter Byrne/ITV)

The series features big dance groups, choirs and orchestras and the pandemic is understood to have made filming the auditions and rehearsing for the show unviable.

A spokesperson for Britain’s Got Talent said: “Despite everyone at ITV, Thames and Syco doing their best to make it happen, and with our absolute priority of safeguarding the wellbeing 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.”

What had Amanda Holden said?

Judge Amanda Holden has said she has been told the programme is “on hold” for this year.

Speaking on her Heart Breakfast show, Holden said there are “still discussions going on” as to whether the show will be filmed this year.

“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,” she said. “I think the producers are very keen not to let anyone down, so I think it’s still under discussion, let’s say.”

The presenter said she doesn’t think the ITV show should go ahead without a live audience, which she labelled the “fifth judge”.

“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.”

When production of the series production was postponed earlier in January, Holden told listeners she was “delighted” by the news, as “I would rather wait and make it the best it can be and put it on in the autumn.”

Despite Holden’s insistence that the audience be there, BGT and other ITV shows have gone ahead without them in the past.

ITV celebrity skating competition Dancing On Ice is currently going ahead without a live audience, while the last series of Britain’s Got Talent featured episodes filmed in front of a virtual crowd watching via video link.