BRITAIN’s Got Talent bosses fear they will be forced to axe the hit show this year.
Producers have privately said it may not be possible to press ahead due to Covid-induced setbacks.
A senior TV source told The Sun: “Nothing can be ruled out just yet, but it’s not looking good. It’s almost certain to be binned.”
Judge Amanda Holden said earlier this month she was glad BGT was postponed amid the pandemic – because the show needed a live audience cheering on the acts.
Executives had planned to record the 15th series later this month before announcing it would be pushed back. Now there are real concerns it would be “unsafe” to shoe-horn filming in over the summer.
Amanda said: “We need you guys… we call them the fifth judge and it just makes no sense not to have them behind us.”
Sources told The Sun there is a slight hope that BGT auditions could be held in May, when the live shows had been due to screen.
But finding slots for the live shows to go ahead later in the year is a “logistical nightmare”.
The insider added: “We are looking at the schedule and even in a best case scenario it is difficult to make it work.
“There are so many people involved in the show, who all have multiple commitments, that just pushing it back is not a simple task. From hosts Ant and Dec, to judges Simon Cowell and David Walliams, everyone is very busy.
“Despite the best efforts last year, not having an audience to react to the acts left it feeling rather flat.
“And that is assuming coronavirus allows us to return to some sort of normality.
“We have to discuss the possibility that we won’t see the show again until 2022. There will be millions of viewers gutted.
“But the safety of the contestants, crew, talent and audience has to take priority.
“Is everyone going to be vaccinated and can the show feasibly work in the timeframe available. Can mass gatherings go ahead. It’s tight to say the least, and looking rather bleak.
“We’re still looking at the schedule and no-one really knows where we are with Covid. The chances are BGT will be axed completely this year.”
Amanda Holden said of the initial show postponement: “I’ll miss Simon. It will be nearly two years since I’ve actually touched him!”
Fans mourned the delay to the ITV1 ‘jewel in the crown’ and said on-screen entertainment was needed to cheer the nation through lockdown.
Anthony Bonney posted: “It’s a TV show I love to watch every year. Hope they can put on some highlights of the best auditions and acts from its start.”
The series aired a Christmas special during the festive period with judges Amanda, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Ashley Banjo joining former stars to perform.
Ashley replaced head judge Simon Cowell, who was missing from the show since he broke his back.
The Syco boss was trying out an electric bike at his Malibu home and was unable to star in the climax of last year’s series.
DOI fans beg Jason Gardiner to return to save ‘boring’ judging panel
GOT THE GIGGLES
Dancing on Ice’s Billie Faiers son Arthur steals the show with appearance
what a gem
Dancing on Ice viewers thrilled to see ‘legend’ Gemma Collins in giant ring
Dancing on Ice shock as Myleene Klass is first contestant eliminated from show
Dancing on Ice’s Holly Willoughby stuns fans by wearing a ‘wedding dress’
HOO’S THAT GIRL?
MAFS Australia’s Martha looks very different as she hoovers in bikini
The 2020 finals were pre-recorded and bosses ditched the live studio audience in a bid to protect staff and acts from the spread of Covid-19.
Comedian Jon Courtenay scooped the latest BGT title – picking up a £250,000 prize and a place on the bill at the Royal Variety performance.
Jon – who was Ant and Dec’s golden buzzer pick during auditions – fought off competition from nine other acts in the final. Although all ten acts were pre-recorded for safety reasons – the winner was announced live.