The talent show was due to begin filming for its 15th series in late January but ITV has announced that the new UK lockdown measures put in place by the UK government earlier this week have forced the show to delay the new series.
An ITV spokesperson said: “The filming for the 15th series of Britain’s Got Talent has been postponed from its proposed record dates in late January.
“With the announcement of the latest Government health guidelines and with our priority of safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved in our programmes 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 professional TV and film productions are permitted to continue filming during the lockdown, provided that they have appropriate health and safety measures in place, the huge scale of the BGT production would make filming difficult under the current circumstances.
With acts often travelling across the country – and sometimes internationally – to audition in front of the judges, and with many acts featuring a lot of people or requiring additional health and safety measures, it would have been a challenge for the show to continue production under current restrictions.
It has not yet been confirmed when production will be able to commence or when the new series might make it to our screens.
The 2020 series of the show, which was eventually won by comic pianist Jon Courtenay, was also disrupted by the pandemic, airing its audition episodes in the spring as usual and then taking a break before returning with its semi-final shows in August.
When the 15th series does arrive, we can expect to see the return of judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams, while Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will host once again.
Holden recently exclusively told Digital Spy that she is expecting to see more talent than ever in the new series, as she believes that people across the UK have discovered and developed their talents while staying at home during lockdowns.
“I think with the country forced into lockdown this year, people have had the time to develop new skills and perfect old ones,” she said. “So I have high hopes.”