'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' will go ahead this weekend, but without a studio audience for the first time.

Ant and Dec

Ant and Dec

The programme - which first aired in 2002 - went ahead last weekend, despite coronavirus concerns, and while the series will continue on Saturday (21.03.20), there will not be an audience.

ITV said in a statement: "'Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' will go ahead this weekend without a studio audience.

"Our priority is safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved.

"The show will be made with a reduced production crew and in accordance with the latest guidance from Public Health England.

"The team are looking forward to bringing our viewers a brilliant show on Saturday evening."

'Saturday Night Takeaway' is still scheduled to air on the following Saturday (28.03.20), but will be scaled down to an hour, rather than the usual 90 minutes.

The show went ahead as planned over the weekend with fans packed into its studio.

A spokesperson for the show explained: "Our priority is the well-being and safety of all our people and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our business.

"We are in a developing and dynamic situation so we're complying with the guidance from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation to make sure we keep everyone as safe and secure as possible.

"All of our audience-handling agencies are sharing the updated advice from the NHS site with audiences prior to attending our shows and we continue to work with them to update advice as and when it changes."

But since then, more people have died from coronavirus, which has killed over 8,000 people worldwide.

Some programmes have been postponed, but others have continued without a studio audience.

'Loose Women' filmed without a studio audience for the first time on Monday (16.03.20).

Show anchor Andrea McLean said on the episode: "Our live studio audience are not here. It's a precautionary measure in light of coronavirus.

"Best rest assured, we are still here.

"It does feel very strange."

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