Britain’s Got Talent axed for spring as Covid changes Simon Cowell’s plans

Britain's Got Talent has been scrapped for this spring, with ITV bosses now praying it can instead be made over the summer, to hit screens in the autumn.

According to The Mirror, Simon Cowell and ITV bosses has hoped to kick off filming of the auditions normally as normal later this month – with the series airing across weekends from April.

The live final week was pencilled in for the end of May.

But the new national lockdown has meant that the auditions, normally held around the UK, have had to be postponed indefinitely.

Acts had been due to perform in front of a socially distanced audience at London's Coliseum theatre from January 17.

One insider told the publication: “Safety has to be our priority and it's simply not feasible or sensible to ask members of the public to travel in order to audition at this time. While we'd love to make the series and bring some much-needed cheer to the nation in the coming months, it's just not going to be possible.

“But it's not all bad news. If the vaccination process goes to plan and we are all closer to normal in the summer, we are very hopeful that we could make the series then. It would be brilliant to have Britain's Got Talent for the autumn schedule.”

The report cites issues with the need for a live audience to help participate by reacting to the huge variety of acts on stage.

The source added: “Having that live audience is so vital to the show’s success – no one wants to continue without it. It's better to delay the series until we can make it properly.”

The decision is set to cause a huge headache for bosses, who will now need to find a replacement for the ratings juggernaut.

The show was supposed to be the big comeback for Simon Cowell, not seen on British TV since the pre-recorded episodes last spring. He broke his back in an accident falling off a high-powered electric bike in the summer and missed the live shows, which were postponed from the spring to the autumn.

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Now Cowell, 61, will have more time to recover fully from his surgery before returning to British TV. He has recently been seen looking back to full health as he relaxed with his family in the Caribbean over Christmas.

Fellow judge Amanda Holden, who moved up to become head of the panel while he was away, has said he intended to return to join her and fellow judges David Walliams, 49, and Alesha Dixon, 42.

Speaking last month Holden, 49, said of Cowell's return: "I spoke to him on the phone a few weeks ago and he feels on top of the world and apparently he looks fantastic as well. So he'll be back for the new season which we're filming in January. I can't wait for it.”

ITV is expected to announce the delays later this week.

A rep for Syco has been contacted by Daily Star Online for comment.

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