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‘Business as usual’ for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

The stars hope to bring viewers ‘a few smiles’ as the country continues to reel from the impact of Covid-19.


It is ‘business as usual’ for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Ian West/PA)

It is ‘business as usual’ for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Ian West/PA)

It is ‘business as usual’ for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Ian West/PA)

Ant and Dec have said it is “business as usual” for their TV programme Saturday Night Takeaway amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The ITV show is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and Declan Donnelly said that they will continue to broadcast the entertainment programme for as long as they are allowed.

Donnelly wrote on the presenting duo’s official Twitter account: “On our way in to prepare your #SaturdayNightTakeaway for tonight.

“We’re business as usual and will be for as long as we are able and allowed.

“We’ll do our best to bring you a few smiles. See you on the telly! D.”

The episode, which airs at 7pm, will see Joanna Lumley join the presenting team as the guest announcer, and recently reunited boy band JLS will perform at the end of the show.

While Saturday’s show is going ahead as planned, the series finale will no longer be broadcast from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as the theme park closed its doors.

Disney has announced it is closing its theme parks in California, Florida and Paris in response to the pandemic, shutting Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris Resort.

Ant and Dec were due to fly prize-winners out to the theme park for the last episode of the series next month.

An ITV spokesman said: “We will no longer be broadcasting the Saturday Night Takeaway finale from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

“Walt Disney World has made the decision to close, beginning on Monday March 16 until the end of the month.

“The well-being of all our prize winners, as well as our production team, is always our number one priority. All recipients of a ‘Place on the Plane’ prize will have their prizes honoured and flown by Virgin Holidays for a five-night stay at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida at a later date when it is practical for Virgin Holidays and Walt Disney World Resort to fulfil the prize.”

While the ITV show will continue to be filmed as normal, Channel 5 has announced that The Jeremy Vine Show will no longer be filmed in front of a live studio audience from Monday.

The channel said in a statement: “As a precautionary measure we have taken the decision not to have a live studio audience for The Jeremy Vine Show for the time being.

“We will continue to monitor and review official guidelines and advice.”

Jeremy Vine
Jeremy Vine’s daily Channel 5 show will be filmed without a studio audience from Monday (Lia Toby/PA)

Despite the move from Channel 5, the BBC and Channel 4 have not yet taken such measures.

A BBC spokesman said they are “keeping the situation with our audience-based programmes under review”, adding: “While the current Government advice doesn’t necessarily prevent such programmes taking place, this is a rapidly evolving situation and we take seriously our duty of care to audiences, panellists and our staff.”

Channel 4 will also continue to film its TV shows without alteration, with a spokeswoman adding: “We and our production partners are continuing to monitor the situation closely and are following the advice from Public Health England.”