Britain's Got Talent will not air in 2021 and will instead return in 2022. In a statement, ITV said: "Despite everyone at ITV, Thames and Syco doing their best to make it happen, and with our absolute priority of safeguarding the well-being and health of every person involved in the programme from judges, hosts and contestants to all of the crew and audience, the decision has been made to – unfortunately - move the record and broadcast of the 15th series of Britain’s Got Talent to 2022."
So, what might fill ITV's spring schedule? Here are some options...
Best Of Britain's Got Talent/ Compilation episode(s)
You might say that 'Best Of...' series are very 2020, but are ITV going to go a whole year without airing any Britain's Got Talent content of any kind? A compilation series appears to be the most likely option, but will the viewers be interested in watching repeats and previous auditions they've probably seen dozens of times on YouTube?
I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
Last year's series at Gwrych Castle in Wales proved a success, so would ITV be tempted to have a second series this Spring/ Summer to fill the BGT hole? Ant & Dec are available, and the Castle is more or less set up ready for the celebrities to move in... the question is, would be do any favours to the I'm A Celebrity brand, and would it affect the series in November?
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
Saturday Night Takeaway is confirmed to be returning this February, so it's likely to follow its usual schedule of seven weeks - meaning it won't actually fill the BGT schedule, but it will give the public its weekly dose of Ant & Dec.
The Voice Kids
The Voice Kids is returning to production next month, with the auditions due to begin filming on Saturday 13 February. Last series was aired over July and August, but it's not entirely impossible for ITV to bring the series forward to help fill the Spring schedule. However, I'm not sure airing the adult series and kids series back-to-back is the best idea.
Game Of Talents
A new upcoming ITV talent show in which each episode sees contestants’ team up with a celebrity favourite as the pairs work together to try and figure out the surprising and often bizarre hidden talents of eight mystery performers. Game of Talents merges the excitement of a talent show with all the fun of a gameshow where viewers can play along at home. More information can be found here.
The Real 2021 Games
Hosted by Holly Willoughby and Freddie Flintoff, The Real Games will also see former professional footballer and television presenter Alex Scott as trackside reporter and former professional football player and presenter Chris Kamara as commentator. Celebrities will go head to head in a range of sporting challenges. ITV say the current plan for the series is to be stripped over a week, meaning this could potentially fill the BGT semi-final gap. More information can be found here.
The Masked Singer or The Masked Dancer
The Masked Singer has proved a ratings success once again for ITV, so an additional series of The Masked Singer is not entirely out of the question, though it's probably one of the unlikeliest options. The Masked Dancer on the other hand, follows the same format as The Masked Singer, but with... dancing. The US version is currently airing, so worth looking on YouTube if you're intrigued.
ITV have got a numerous prime time game and quiz shows coming up later this year. The new series of In For A Penny with Stephen Mulhern is in the can - but with each episode only 30 minutes long, it's unlikely to fill any significant gap left by BGT.
Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow is returning, along with Rolling In It with Stephen Mulhern. Celebrity Catchphrase has been renewed for a bumper 13-episode commission. Plus, though it's reportedly planned for the Autumn, ITV are set to reboot Stars In Their Eyes (under the new name Starstruck).
Semi-Finals week will likely be filled by a stripped drama or another series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? or Beat The Chasers.