“Obviously it’s very different” Jason Manford reveals COVID-secure changes to The Oliviers ahead of 2020 ceremony

Everything you need to know about this year's awards, for which the likes of Toby Jones, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and James McAvoy are nominated.

Jason Manford

The Laurence Olivier Awards – the UK’s celebration of all things theatre – air on Sunday night, with comedian Jason Manford due to host the musical extravaganza.


It’s been a long wait for theatre fans, who originally expected the grand ceremony to take place in April – but like many events this year, COVID-19 got in the way and The Oliviers were postponed.

The show must go on however, which is what is happening this weekend, with the likes of James McAvoy, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Andrew Scott, Juliet Stevenson, Hayley Atwell and Toby Jones up for a gong this year, while hit musicals & Juliet, Amélie, Dear Evan Hansen and Waitress have been nominated.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Laurence Olivier Awards.

When are The Oliviers?

The 2020 Laurence Olivier Awards will take place on Sunday 25th October.

They were originally scheduled to take place on 5th April, however the ceremony was cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to watch The Oliviers

You’ll be able to watch The Olivier Awards on ITV at 10.20pm on Sunday 25th October. 

If you’re interested in The Oliviers’ pre-show coverage, head over to Official London Theatre‘s YouTube page at 9.30pm.

How The Oliviers are different this year?

However with theatres shut across Britain due to the pandemic, The Masked Singer runner-up has revealed that this year’s ceremony will look “very different” due to COVID-19.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Manford explained: “There’s no audience, there’s no big jamboree, there’s no cutting to the audience and seeing Tom Hiddleston and Gillian Anderson and whatever, so it’s very very different in that respect.”

“But at the same time, it is a brilliant showcase for theatre and what we’re missing with it not being open, so it’s still a brilliant show,” He added. “There’s some great performances, again even without a big orchestra, seeing some of the stuff done acoustically or just paired down a little bit, it’s just like a different way of doing it but it’s no less a spectacle.”

In terms of performances during the awards, Manford revealed that casts of West End shows will be bringing musical numbers to the Palladium.

“They’re happening at the Palladium, using different areas of the Palladium. So rather than just using the one stage, we’re all in different parts of the building, doing the show from there. So it’s very different.”

Who is performing at The Oliviers?

Performing at this year’s ceremony will be Dear Evan Hansen’s Sam Tutty (nominated for Best Actor in a Musical) and & Juliet’s Miriam- Teak Lee (nominated for Best Actress in a Musical), according to Manford.

“[Death of a Salesman nominee] Sharon D Clark is doing a special number so loads and loads of talented people, that’ll be great,” he added.

Manford also revealed that he’ll be conducted various interview chats throughout the night with Sir Ian McKellen, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black.


The Olivier Awards 2020 air on Sunday 25th October at 10.20pm on ITV. While you’re waiting visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.