MasterChef resumes filming, Live at the Apollo delayed until 2021

The BBC has reportedly restarted production on MasterChef: The Professionals, while Live at the Apollo is facing delays.

Tom Allen on Live at the Apollo

The BBC is delaying comedy hit Live at the Apollo amid social-distancing restrictions, as the broadcaster resumes filming on Masterchef: The Professionals.

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BBC Two’s long-running stand-up series, which has featured an array of top comedy talent since 2004, is reportedly being pushed back to 2021.

A spokesperson told Broadcast the decision had been made “in light of the current social distancing measures affecting theatres in the UK”, with the sixteenth series returning next year instead of its original late-2020 air date.

“Whilst this news will be disappointing for viewers, the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in the show is our number one priority,” she added.

The last series of Live at the Apollo, which aired last year, saw comedians such as Tom Allen, Too Hot To Handle‘s Desiree Burch, Sara Pascoe and Rhys James perform.

In other BBC news, the broadcaster continued production on MasterChef: The Professionals last week, with Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace returning to the shows in a socially-distanced capacity.

According to Deadline, a spokeswoman for the series said: “We are ensuring that all COVID-19 filming protocols are being adhered to as set out in industry-wide filming guidelines published last week.​”

MasterChef is currently airing its Celebrity MasterChef series, which was filmed before the pandemic struck, on BBC One, with footballer John Barnes, drag queen Baga Chipz and presenter Gethin Jones among those competing.

Earlier this month, various UK broadcasters, including the BBC, announced they would begin filming on various shows without adhering to a two-metre separation, instead making assessing on a case-by-case basis and increasing coronavirus testing on set.

The new guidance recommends that cast and crew members who break the two-metre social distancing rules should be tested at least once a week for COVID-19 as well as daily symptom checks.

A variety of series have restarted filming despite the ongoing pandemic, including ITV’s Catchphrase, while the channel is planning to film a new series of The Cube in August.

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RadioTimes.com has reached out to the BBC for comment.

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