Britain’s Got Talent could be scrapped in 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis, Sky News understands.
It is understood no decision has yet been made and conversations are still ongoing, but the large scale of the talent competition, in which hundreds of people from all over the world try out, makes it extremely difficult to run while adhering to coronavirus safety rules.
Spokespeople for ITV and producers Thames declined to comment when contacted by Sky News.
Speaking on her Heart radio breakfast show, Holden addressed the issue, saying: “I think there are still discussions going on because 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.
“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 does not think the show should go ahead without a live audience, which she described as the “fifth judge”.
She continued: “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.”
When London auditions were postponed earlier this month, an ITV spokesperson said the decision had been taken following the “latest government health guidelines and with our priority of safeguarding the wellbeing of everyone involved in our programmes”.
Revised dates would be confirmed in due course, the spokesperson said.
It comes after an already turbulent 12 months for Britain’s Got Talent, with last year’s live shows also postponed due to the pandemic.
In October, production was halted on a Christmas special after crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
Filming across the UK was halted on-and-off during 2020. While production on many shows and films had been able to resume, sets are now facing further delays due to the latest restrictions.
Last week, it was announced that ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale were being paused once again.
This series of Britain’s Got Talent would have been a return for Cowell, who was forced to drop out last year after breaking his back in an electric bike accident.
Diversity dancer Ashley Banjo stepped in temporarily and later became caught in a row over a Black Lives Matter-inspired performance on the show, which attracted around 24,500 complaints.
Ofcom dismissed the complaints, saying in a report that “the performance contained no content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme”.