Amanda Holden has said Simon Cowell “fought very hard” to ensure Britain’s Got Talent remained on air during the current crisis.
The radio presenter and singer appears on the judging panel of the ITV show alongside Cowell, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon.
The audition episodes of the talent series that are currently being broadcast were filmed before the coronavirus pandemic, and the live shows have been pushed back to later in the year.
Appearing via video call on Good Morning Britain, Holden said: “Simon fought very hard to keep it on during this time because obviously we didn’t know what the right tone was going to be.
“We didn’t know what people might want during this unprecedented time, but I think normality is actually what people crave so, on a Saturday at least you know you’ve kind of got that moment that you’ve always had at this time of year, where you can sit down with your family, either through Zoom or FaceTime or on the sofa if you’re lucky to be with them, and enjoy a bit of … the fact that us Brits get through difficult times by being stoic, being able to laugh at ourselves.”
At the end of last month, ITV’s head of entertainment, Katie Rawcliffe, said the live shows for BGT and other programmes including The Voice and The Masked Singer could go ahead without a live studio audience.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival online sessions in April, she also revealed that the audition episodes of Britain’s Got Talent almost did not go on air “due to other Covid-related things”.
She added: “The live shows we are hoping to do later this year, we are still in stages of planning and are talking to the teams at Thames and Syco about what might be possible.
“We are very much in pre-production, as are the rest of the shows for the rest of the year.”
Holden, who presents Heart Breakfast alongside Jamie Theakston, has also recently released her debut single, a version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, with money raised by the track going to NHS Charities Together.