The 2021 series of Britain’s Got Talent has been cancelled this due the coronavirus pandemic, ITV announced today. The decision comes amid new lockdown restrictions posed by the U.K. government.
The news comes just hours after judge Alesha Dixon spoke to Metro and admitted she had no idea what was going on but would understand if the show could not continue this year.
“I still don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m waiting to find out,” she said. “Obviously, I’ll be devastated if it doesn’t happen but at the same time, I’ll understand why and I’ll have to make peace with that. It’s just another wake up call to how devastating this virus is and how it’s affecting everybody’s lives and livelihoods.”
BGT is one of biggest primetime shows, airing from April to June most years. The 2020 series was interrupted due to COVID-19 and was aired in two parts. The pre-taped auditions were shown in April but the live rounds had to wait until October to be filmed.
Judge and producer Simon Cowell also missed the show after breaking his back in a fall at his home in Los Angeles. Former contestant Ashley Banjo filled in for the music mogul to finish the series as well as the one off Christmas special.
Filming for the 2021 series was shutdown after the new government restrictions and later proved to be impossible to film given the series tapes in front of a packed audience for the audition rounds as well as live shows.
“Despite everyone at ITV, Thames and Syco doing their best to make it happen, and with our absolute priority of safeguarding the well-being and health of every person involved in the program, 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,” ITV said in a statement.
The broadcaster hinted at the impossible challenge to try and get acts to the arena to film, in some cases from around the globe. That is just not possible given the current state of things around the world due to the pandemic.
“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,” said the spokesperson. “Safety has to come first and, as a result, the recording of the show can’t currently go ahead as planned.”
Britain’s Got Talent returns in 2022.