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ITV postpones “Britain’s Got Talent” amid new UK travel restrictions

Filming for the 15th season of ITV competition format Britain’s Got Talent – produced by Thames and Syco — has been postponed due to COVID-19, the broadcaster confirmed today (Jan. 29). An ITV ...
January 29, 2021

Filming for the 15th season of ITV competition format Britain’s Got Talent – produced by Thames and Syco — has been postponed due to COVID-19, the broadcaster confirmed today (Jan. 29).

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. We will confirm revised dates in due course.”

While most productions have been able to continue filming with safety protocols in place, ITV stated hundreds of people are involved in the making of an audition show such as Britain’s Got Talent – for which producers host up to 20 auditions per day over 10 days.

Given that acts travel across the country and the world to audition, the broadcaster stated, “It isn’t viable to have all those people moving around and travelling to London to film.”

Additionally, ITV emphasized the acts would not be able to adequately rehearse and prepare safely. 

“Safety has to come first and the impact that this would have not only on the production of the show but also creatively meant that the recording of the audition shows can’t go ahead as planned,” ITV’s release stated.

The news comes just a few days after the UK government implemented stricter border controls in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the restrictions, those wishing to travel out of the UK must provide a “valid reason” for travel if they do not qualify for a travel exemption. The UK federal government is also increasing police enforcement at ports and airports.

Those arriving to the UK from other countries who cannot be refused entry will be required to isolate for 10 days in a hotel. Police will additionally carry out more physical checks at addresses to ensure people are self-isolating.

In response to the new rules, British Film Commission chief Adrian Wootton said in a statement Wednesday (Jan. 27): “The health and safety of our sector’s workforce, and the communities with whom they work, is paramount. The UK is one of the safest places in the world in which to film right now.

“For this reason, our sector has been able to continue to work safely throughout the UK’s national restrictions. We look forward to working with government on the details in the coming days, in order to allow our world class production sector to continue to operate safely, and to contribute to the UK’s economic health.”

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