All The UK TV Shows Cancelled Or Postponed Due To Coronavirus

by Bustle UK
Originally Published: 

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our everyday lives, Prime Minster Boris Johnson has introduced stringent measures that aim to reduce the spread of the virus. 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. There 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 favourite affected by the COVID-19 outbreak is the Yorkshire-based soap opera Emmerdale. Back in March, production on the long-running series was suspended until and a brand new transmission schedule was introduced, which included three episodes per week until "at least the early summer."

On May 12, it was announced that the government had given UK soaps the greenlight to return to filming so long as they observed social distancing guidelines. We are yet to hear how this will play out on the Emmerdale set.


Nigel Treblin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

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 cancelled.

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."

Instead, a new show is being produced that will air in place of the Grand Final on May 16. Titled Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, all 41 songs due to feature in this year’s competition will be aired in a “non-competitive format”.

'Loose Women'


In late March, ITV announced that daytime staple Loose Women had been taken off the air until further notice. As the Metro reports, an ITV spokesperson explained the decision was made in order to "minimise the number of staff travelling in and out of our studios and working together on shift at any one time."

The news came 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'

James Veysey/BAFTA/Shutterstock

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."

The BAFTA Games Awards, however, is still going ahead as planned. Instead of taking place at a venue with a live audience, the ceremony has been pre-recorded and will be available to stream on April 2 at 7.30 p.m.

'Coronation Street'


ITV's Coronation Street was yet another legendary soap to announce significant schedule changes in late March. As iNews reported at the time, the hit drama reduced the number of weekly episodes from five to three.

There is no word yet on how the Corrie team plan to transition back to regular scheduling in late of the government's May 12 announcement.

On May 6 it was announced that Corrie would be introducing coronavirus into its storyline. Speaking about this decision, producer Iain MacLeod said that his team were aware viewers enjoy the soap because it "reflects modern Britain," meaning they couldn't ignore the pandemic and create "a parallel fantasy land." However, MacLeod went on to point out that the show is a form of "escapism" for some people and therefore the subject will not dominate all stories lines. "It will be there. It will be handled with a light touch. Other than that, our storytelling will be business as usual," he said.



After decades on the air, Eastenders continues to attract millions of loyal viewers every week. However, in light of current circumstances, BBC suspended all filming of the iconic soap.

The long-running drama continues to air, but episodes were 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. There's no word yet on when that will be, despite the government's May 12 announcement.

'RuPaul's Drag Race UK'

BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy

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 was halted in March.

"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 at the time. "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

Lookout Point/BBC

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 was also 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.” According to Metro on April 32, on an Instagram live, Cillian Murphy who plays the broody Thomas Shelby reassured fans saying: “We will be back as soon as we can, I promise, causing chaos and knocking heads as usual. 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

BBC/World Productions

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.” Now, Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio says filming most likely won’t able to take star back up again until next year. Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show, Mercurio said it was due to testing he added “I want to get back as soon as we can, but that’s got to be when it’s safe and we’re not a show that is similar to the soaps where there’s a possibility of bringing the actual subject of corona into the storyline.”

'The Great British Bake Off' S11

'The Great British Bake Off' / Channel 4

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.

'Little Mix The Search'

Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty Images

Due to begin airing later this month, BBC’s series Little Mix The Search has been “postponed until further notice,” a BBC rep said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and public health organisations.”

'Britannia' S3

Sky UK

Despite the third series being confirmed in January, filming of Britannia has been postponed until further notice. “We are in discussions with the producers and the production team to discuss the next steps,” a Sky spokesperson told Deadline. “We are reviewing all shows that are currently in production to assess the safety of casts and crews.”

If you or someone you’ve been in close contact with appears to have shown or be showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, visit the NHS website in the UK to find out the next steps you should take or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.

This post is updated regularly to reflect the latest updates around the new coronavirus.

Contributions from Aoife Hanna, L'Oréal Blackett, Sam Ramsden, Sophie McEvoy, and Niellah Arboine.

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