Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway to continue with full studio audience this weekend

Justin Harp
Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/ITV/Shutterstock

From Digital Spy

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway will air live this weekend as normal with a full studio audience, in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

While live comedy and variety formats in the US like The Tonight Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show have opted to tape without a studio audience or shut down entirely, ITV will stick to its traditional plans for Saturday's edition of Ant & Dec's series.

Variety reports that ITV made the decision to soldier on with its usual 200-seat studio audience for this weekend, in spite of an in-house memo asking producers to prepare to reformat studios for scenarios where there would be no members of the public present.

An ITV spokesperson has confirmed the plans for Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway to air as normal: "Our priority is the well-being and safety of all our people and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our business.

Photo credit: ITV

"We are in a developing and dynamic situation so we're complying with the guidance from Public Health England and the World Health Organization to make sure we keep everyone as safe and secure as possible.

"All of our audience-handling agencies are sharing the updated advice from the NHS site with audiences prior to attending our shows and we continue to work with them to update advice as and when it changes."

This decision from ITV is in contrast to another made by the BBC, which announced that it would cut the size of the audience attending tapings of QI earlier this week.

In addition to various chat shows altering their filming schedules in the US, scripted series Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, The Flash, Riverdale, Lucifer, Dynasty, The Good Fight, Bull, Grace and Frankie, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and New Amsterdam are among a string to shut down production this week.

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway airs on Saturday nights on ITV.

If you need support regarding coronavirus, you can read the World Health Organisation's guidelines for proactive protection. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advisories on public health can also be found here.

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