Britain’s Got Talent 2020 will feature virtual audience when it returns

The series has had to make changes in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain's Got Talent presenters Ant and Dec, pictured with judges Amanda Holden, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell

Britain’s Got Talent will feature a virtual audience when it returns for its post-pandemic semi-finals, according to judge Alesha Dixon.

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The series filmed its action-packed auditions before the coronavirus became a public health crisis, allowing them to follow the usual format – complete with a huge crowd of spectators.

However, the delayed Britain’s Got Talent 2020 semi-finals are now finally due to go ahead this month, where the world looks very different and social distancing measures are essential.

There had previously been rumours that Britain’s Got Talent would completely scrap a studio audience for the first time in its history, but it now appears that a virtual substitute has been arranged.

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on ITV’s This Morning, BGT judge Alesha Dixon said: “We start filming the live shows at the end of the month, I can’t wait to get back with the gang and just do something light-hearted and fun.”

When pressed on whether the shows will have an audience, she added: “A virtual audience, I’m being told.”

It’s unclear exactly what format this virtual audience will take at this time, with possibilities ranging from a large selection of fans from across the country or a smaller group of Gogglebox-style commentators.

Dixon also spoke about her BGT colleague Simon Cowell, who recently suffered a serious bike crash that broke his back and required emergency surgery to treat.

He has since had to drop out of America’s Got Talent and it is currently uncertain whether he will be joining BGT via live link, as previously announced.

Dixon said: “I’ve not been able to stop thinking about them all, it’s absolutely horrific. We’re all devastated and worried about Simon, but the positive thing is that he’s in good spirits and [partner] Lauren says that slowly he’s on the mend.

“So I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that, come the live shows for Britain’s Got Talent, we can hopefully have Simon on a live link, because we love him.”

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Britain’s Got Talent returns to ITV later this year. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide