The UK TV Shows Impacted By Coronavirus
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our everyday lives, Prime Minster Boris Johnson has introduced stringent measures that aim to reduce the spread of COVID-19. During an address to the nation on March 23, Johnson put in place a countrywide lockdown. The new restrictions have meant many professional sectors are facing months of uncertainty, and the entertainment industry is not exempt from the ongoing crisis, with films, concerts, and festivals being canceled and postponed. They are also a number of UK TV shows impacted by the new coronavirus.
In the past few weeks, some of the most highly-anticipated events and releases of the 2020 UK entertainment calendar, including Glastonbury's 50th anniversary festival, the BAFTA TV awards, and the cinematic release of No Time to Die, have been delayed or canceled. Unfortunately, this trend also infiltrated the world of television, with many popular UK reality shows, dramas, and soap operas already being put on hold or scrapped all together. And, sadly, as the pandemic continues to wage war on our TV landscape, more and more productions are likely to announce significant changes to their usual schedules.
If you're curious to know whether any of your telly faves have been affected, keep reading.
'Britain's Got Talent'
Although filming on ITV's Britain's Got Talent has already begun, the later stages of the reality competition series will air a lot later than previously scheduled. As the Independent reports, the long-running talent show is expected to get underway in the coming weeks. However, an ITV spokesperson recently confirmed that "in light of the latest government health guidelines," production on the live stages of the series will not go ahead until "later in the year."
Another ITV favorite affected by the COVID-19 outbreak is the Yorkshire-based soap opera Emmerdale. As the BBC reports, production on the long-running series has been suspended until further notice, and fans of the hit soap can now look forward to a brand new transmission schedule — which includes three episodes per week until "at least the early summer."
The annual Eurovision Song Contest is a TV highlight for many, and although previously scheduled to take place in Rotterdam on Saturday, May 16, this year's competition has now been canceled. Speaking of the cancellation, a spokesperson expressed their regret surrounding the current situation. However, providing a glimmer of hope for many disappointed fans, organizers went on to promise that next year's Eurovision "will come back strong than ever."
In a shake up to the broadcaster's regular schedule, ITV recently announced that daytime staple Loose Women has been taken off the air until further notice. As the Metro reports, an ITV spokesperson explained the decision was made in order to "minimize the number of staff travelling in and out of our studios and working together on shift at any one time."
The news comes after ITV announced plans to incorporate Lorraine into the final hour of Good Morning Britain — which continues to air on weekdays in an extended morning slot.
'British Academy Television Awards'
Another major blow to this year's entertainment calendar was announced when BAFTA confirmed that two of its most prestigious ceremonies will be postponed. In a statement, it revealed that both the BAFTA Television Craft Awards and Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards are no longer going ahead as planned, and new dates will hopefully be announced sometime during "the coming weeks."
ITV's Coronation Street is yet another legendary soap to announce significant schedule changes. As iNews reports, the hit drama is reducing the number of weekly episodes from five to three, and addressing fans in a recent statement, a Corrie spokesperson said they "hope the audience will understand the reasons for this and continue to enjoy the shows."
After decades on the air, Eastenders continues to attract millions of loyal viewers every week. However, in light of current circumstances, BBC has suspended all filming of the iconic soap.
The long-running drama will continue to air, however, episodes have been reduced from four episodes to just two per week. Addressing the changes, the BBC explained that cutting the number of weekly episodes will allow Eastenders to last for "as long as possible" until filming hopefully resumes.
'RuPaul's Drag Race UK'
RuPaul's Drag Race UK was one of the most talked-about TV moments of 2019, and the announcement of a second series was met with open arms by fans around the country. Sadly, however, production has now been halted, and the show's future is, for the moment, fairly uncertain.
"In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, production on RuPaul's Drag Race UK will be temporarily pausing filming both in consultation with and supported by the BBC," a BBC representative told Digital Spy. "We will continue to review all productions on a case by case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation, and Public Health England."
‘Gentleman Jack’ S2
Filming of the hotly anticipated second season of hit show Gentleman Jack has been suspended until further notice. On their official Twitter account, the production company who make Gentleman Jack, Lookout Point, wrote: "Reluctantly we have decided to delay the start of production of Gentleman Jack series 2 due to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency." The team thanked all of their cast, crew, and fans for their understanding and sent a “bit of Anne Lister” strength. They also quoted the real Lister from her famous diaries saying, “Anne did not like dirty hands on anyone.”
‘Peaky Blinders’ S6
Production of season 6 of Peaky Blinders has also been postponed. The production team shared a post on their Twitter which read “After much consideration, and in light of the developing situation concerning Covid-19, the start of production of Peaky Blinders Series 6 has been postponed.” Luckily for fans, however, seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix and season 5 will be available on the streaming service from April 22. Phewf.
‘Line Of Duty’ S6
It looks like bent coppers are going to be getting away with flipping murder you guys. Via their Twitter account, the production team behind the UK’s beloved police drama Line Of Duty said, “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, @worldprods are suspending filming of #LineOfDuty S6 with the support of the BBC.”
'The Great British Bake Off' S11
The eleventh instalment of The Great British Bake Off has been postponed indefinitely, so it may be a little while longer before we get our annual dose of baking innuendos. Channel 4’s hit competition was due to return to the tent for filming in April and May, before being broadcast from August to November. The upcoming series was set to debut its new presenter Matt Lucas, who replaces Sandi Toksvig. Luckily, fans can still enjoy the current edition of Celebrity British Bake Off: Stand Up To Cancer. The fourth episode with James Blunt, Alison Hammond, Joe Sugg, and Alex Jones airs on March 31 (apparently, there’s injuries and all sorts).
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