Britain's Got Talent is reportedly set to film "without an audience" for the first time in the show's history - and Simon Cowell isn't impressed.
ITV bosses are said to be doing all they can to ensure the finale of the hit competition show still goes ahead.
A source told The Sun: "ITV bosses are having to plan for every eventuality and as it stands, the BGT live shows won’t be filmed with an audience.
"If guidelines change and they can get in a crowd using social distancing, they’ll consider it.
"BGT bosses know they can keep production values sky high and that while the audience have some role to play, most of the reaction comes from the judges."
It's believed the only people in the studio will be a "small crew," plus judges Simon, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams."
The insider said BGT "smashed the ratings when the pre-recorded auditions aired earlier this spring".
They added that the team behind the show think they can "more than replicate that with the lives, even if the only applause you’ll hear is from a recording".
Entertainment Daily have approached BGT for comment.
However, Simon has hinted he doesn't want to film without an audience following his America's Got Talent experience.
The judge, 60, was previously forced to shoot AGT without a live audience due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "I wouldn't want to do that again in the future.
"The expression, 'The show must go on,' to a point, we did as much as we could. And then after two days, we realised we had to finish."
The music mogul believes it is "much harder" for the contestants to perform on the programme without a crowd.
He told PEOPLE magazine: "It was surreal, but interestingly, we developed this really close bond with the contestants during that whole period.
"When you don't have an audience, you feel for them because it's much harder to audition without a crowd. So, they're coming on to total silence."
Last month, BGT aired the pre-recorded audition stages of the show, but the live finals were put on hold.
And while it has recently been speculated that the show could air without a live audience, judge Amanda previously insisted that would "never" happen.
Speaking in May, she told the HuffPost UK: "All of the main judges have been given a date to hold in early autumn to see if it works live.
"But we would never do it without an audience because we've always said the British public is the fifth judge.
"So we can't do it without them - it would be no fun without them! We'll see what happens, but we are planning to do it this year."
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