'The Voice' live finals are expected to go ahead - but without a studio audience.

The Voice coach Olly Murs

The Voice coach Olly Murs

ITV confirmed in March the show's semi-finals and final had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is now thought the finals could take place later this year, following the success of 'The Voice Kids' final in Germany, which used canned applause and cheering instead of a live crowd.

A source said: "The audition and knockout stages of The Voice had all been pre-recorded but now it's planned that the semi-final and final will be filmed live without an audience.

"There had been some debate about the format but the German kids' version of the show went down a storm and lost nothing by having no audience."

If the show does return amid the pandemic, the coaches - Olly Murs, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am and Sir Tom Jones - will have to socially distance two metres apart while sitting in their spinning red chairs.

The source added to The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column: "The idea is that coaches Olly Murs, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am and Sir Tom Jones will be live in the studio and will sit in the red chairs two metres apart from each other.

"The hopefuls will perform as normal and applause or other audience noises will be played through speakers.

"Of course, if the guidelines around TV production change then so will the plans."

However, a concrete decision about the show's finals is yet to have been made.

An ITV spokeswoman said: "No decision has been taken regarding the return of filming for 'The Voice UK'.

"We will be following all government guidelines, with the safety of the talent and public being at the forefront of any decisions."