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Coronavirus: 'Britain's Got Talent' rescheduled for later this year – ITV to air auditions now

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Anthony McPartlin, David Walliams Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Declan Donnelly attend the Britain's Got Talent Auditions Photocall at the London Palladium (PA)

Britain’s Got Talent 2020 finals have been postponed until “later this year” due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The winner of the ITV talent show – hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly and judged by Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams – is decided in a series of shows held at Wembley Arena in front of a live audience and voted for by the viewing public.

Due to the government lockdown, banning non-essential meetings of more than two people in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, they cannot go ahead as planned.

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However the auditions for this year’s show were already filmed across the country in January and February and the judges have chosen their favourite acts to go through to the public vote.

Read more: Amanda Holden reveals what the judges ACTUALLY use their audition notebooks for

ITV said in a statement: "The Britain’s Got Talent audition shows are due to be broadcast in the next few weeks as planned.

The BGT live shows are filmed in front of an audience at Wembley Arena. (Syco/Thames TV)

"We have been working with the brilliant production teams at Thames and Syco to find a way of making the live finals work, which were due to be broadcast at the end of May. 

“However, in light of the latest government health guidelines and in line with our priority of safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved in our programmes, production of the live shows cannot go ahead as planned.

“The live finals will therefore be broadcast later in the year."

Last year saw 90-year-old Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery crowned the winner of BGT 2019 with his rendition of Michael Ball’s Love Changes Everything.

BGT continued to top Saturday night viewing figures with an average of  8.1 million tuning in to watch the 13th series last year, a 44% share of the audience.

Read more: Simon Cowell bursts into tears reunited with BGT star whose surgery he paid for

ITV also aired spin-off show Britain's Got Talent: The Champions last September, which was won by 2010 runners-up, dance act Twist and Pulse.

The show was pre-recorded, voted for by the audience and the winner was leaked on social media before the series aired.

Colin Thackery won 'Britain's Got Talent' 2019 along with the nation's hearts. (Getty Images)

Last year, it was also revealed that sister show Britain’s Got More Talent was being taken off air.

Stephen Mulhern had fronted the show, which had aired on ITV2 since 2007, taking viewers behind-the-scenes for interviews with the judges and showcasing the hopefuls whose auditions didn’t make it on to the main show.

It was reported the show may be moving online.