The 2021 series of Britain's Got Talent has been officially cancelled due to health and safety concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ITV have confirmed.
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The broadcaster released a statement explaining that the ongoing restrictions surrounding current lockdown measures make the show "not possible" to film safely and adequately. The auditions for the talent competition were due to begin filming this month.
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A spokesperson told HELLO!: "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 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."
The statement concluded: "Safety has to come first and, as a result, the recording of the show can't currently go ahead as planned."
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The auditions were due to begin filming this month
Earlier this month, bosses at the ITV programme, fronted by beloved presenting duo Ant and Dec, confirmed that the annual talent competition had been temporarily cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and were hoping to film later in the year. However, due to the ongoing restrictions and nature of filming - this is no longer feasible.
Just this week Amanda Holden, who is a regular judge on the panel alongside Simon Cowell, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon revealed that ITV bosses were still trying to work out whether it was feasible for the show to go ahead in the current circumstances.
She said on her Heart Radio show: "I personally think that we shouldn't do it without the fifth judge which is you guys," she said. "We need the people behind us, it's the one show where it does kind of suffer."
Last year, the auditions for the 14th series went ahead as normal as they took place before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK. For the live shows, which usually take place in May, the studio audience were replaced by a wall of screens watching in from home.
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