‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Filming Postponed Amid U.K. Coronavirus Lockdown

Naman Ramachandran
·2-min read

U.K. broadcaster ITV has decided to postpone filming on the next season of popular talent competition “Britain’s Got Talent” while the U.K. is under coronavirus lockdown.

“The filming for the 15th series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ has been postponed from its proposed record dates in late January,” an ITV spokesperson said. “With the announcement of the latest government health guidelines and with our priority of safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved in our programs we, together with the production teams at Thames and Syco, have taken the decision to move the record and broadcast of the forthcoming series.”

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“We will confirm revised dates in due course,” the spokesperson added.

The U.K. is under its third coronavirus-imposed lockdown currently. While film and television productions are allowed to continue under stringent COVID-safe protocols, “Britain’s Got Talent” presents unique logistics challenges as hundreds of people are involved in the making of the audition shows, which last for 10 days with up to 20 auditions a day. Acts travel from all over the country and sometimes internationally. The transport of so many personnel to London studios could constitute a potential health hazard.

Further, the show is known for large groups of dancers, choirs and orchestras who perform in close proximity, and safety requirements would mean severe curtailing of these, thus impacting the spectacle creatively as well.

Meanwhile, 52,618 new cases COVID-19 have been reported in the U.K., with a further 1,162 people dead, the highest daily death toll since April 2020.

The show’s most recent iteration was the “Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular” hosted by Ant & Dec and featuring judges Alesha Dixon, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Ashley Banjo.

Britain’s Got Talent” is part of the global “Got Talent” franchise created by Simon Cowell. Jon Courtenay won the 2020 edition for his humorous stylings on the piano. He claimed a £250,000 ($325,000) prize and a place at the next Royal Variety Performance.

Banjo replaced Simon Cowell after he broke his back last year. The show ran into controversy when a Black Lives Matter routine inspired thousands of complaints to U.K. media regulator Ofcom.

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