Britain’s Got Talent may not go ahead in 2021 - everything we know so far

(Photo: TOM DYMOND/SYCO/THAMES)

It's been reported that the 2021 edition of Britain’s Got Talent may have been axed over fears about coronavirus.

Earlier this month, filming of the show’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.”

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.

Here is everything we know.

What have ITV said?

ITV have so far declined to comment on the reports, though 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.”

Will it be cancelled?

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

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.

It would be surprising if the series was cancelled outright, being as it is such a ratings hit for the channel, but a scaled back version – or a show postponed until later in the year when restrictions may be more lenient – seems almost inevitable.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Yorkshire Evening Post