But even Saturday Night Takeaway couldn’t quell all viewers’ fears.
Some were dismayed to see that the was a full audience in the studio, despite warnings about containing the deadly virus, which has now claimed 21 lives in the UK.
One posted their concern on Twitter, saying: “Well, this is a bit silly. Live studio audience, full of people sat next to each other. Would’ve been better to probably cancel this?”
Well, this is a bit silly. Live studio audience, full of people sat next to eachother. I dunno, man. Would’ve been better to probably cancel this? #SaturdayNightTakeaway
— Jd (@J_87d) March 14, 2020
Another pointed out: “Oh God. How many people are there? Please think about the virus.”
— Abigail Kay 🇾🇪 (@ItsAbiKay) March 14, 2020
Others worried it was a breeding ground for COVID-19…
Wonder how many people in that audience have the coronavirus
Surprised to see not one seat empty from the looks of it #SaturdayNightTakeaway
— Kev (@Kev_The_Pirate) March 14, 2020
— Anthony Shannon (@AnthonyShannon2) March 14, 2020
I’m gonna be honest, I really want to see this show without an audience. American late night was absolutely bizarre without an audience and I reckon this show would have gone the same insane way. #SaturdayNightTakeaway
— Sarrah (@MissSarrah) March 14, 2020
Others expressed concern for 73-year-old Joanna Lumley, who is this week’s voiceover artist.
— Kez – Gaga is delivering LG6! (@Kezarus1) March 14, 2020
Ant and Dec confirmed this morning that tonight’s show would be going ahead as normal, despite the nation being in panic mode.
We’re business as usual and will be for as long as we are able and allowed.
They also stated they would continue to do so for as long as they are permitted.
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!
— antanddec (@antanddec) March 14, 2020
A tweet signed off by Dec read: “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!”
ITV announced that the series final at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida had been canned, however.
Some 300 fans were due to fly to America’s east coast on April 4 after winning seats through Place on the Plane.
The broadcaster said in a statement: “The wellbeing of all our prize winners, as well as our production team, is always our number-one priority.
One fan responded to their tweet: “You always bring us smiles and we all thank you for that, let’s just enjoy it while we’ve got it and whatever happens happens.”
Someone else replied: “Thank goodness! We could all do with a bit of a laugh in the current situation.”
“Ant and Dec, can’t wait to see you tonight. The whole country needs a lift and you’re always the best people for the job,” a third person remarked.
Referring to panic-buying that has been stimulated by the crisis, another person joked: “Is the toilet roll in Win the Ads now the star prize?”
Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway continues next Saturday on ITV at 7pm.
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