Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway fans gutted as ITV confirm Disney World Florida finale won't happen
16 March 2020, 11:58
The popular competition show's finale is traditionally always broadcasted from a different location to the ITV studios.
Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway fans are concerned for the season's finale, as its set location, Walt Disney World Florida has been shut as a precaution to prevent the spreading of coronavirus.
Every year, the ITV show traditionally broadcasts from a unique location overseas for the final episode, with viewers of the show winning a place on the plane to the destination in the finale.
However, Ant McPartlin and Dec Donelly's finale episode won't be filming in the US park this year.
An ITV spokesman said in a statement to the Mirror on Friday night: ‘We will no longer be broadcasting the Saturday Night Takeaway finale from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
"Walt Disney World has made the decision to close, beginning on Monday 16 March until the end of the month.
"The wellbeing of all our prize winners, as well as our production team, is always our number one priority. "
They also addressed what would happen to the winners of the competition, saying: "All recipients of a ‘Place on the Plane’ prize will have their prizes honoured and flown by Virgin Holidays for a 5-night stay at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida at such later date when it is practical for Virgin Holidays and Walt Disney World Resort to fulfil the prize."
The very sensible move comes after show had previously planned to fly 300 families along with the comedy duo and show staff to the park in Florida for the finale on April 4th.
ITV stated to Metro.co.uk last week that they'll be monitoring the COVID-19 situation "very carefully", which come after the network confirmed they would be filming Saturday night’s episode with a live studio audience despite the outbreak, with hundreds in the UK diagnosed so far."
On that episode, which aired on March 14th, the presenters concerned fans over the future of the show entirely, as they made a jokey comment on-air.
Shortly before the credits rolled, Dec told the camera: "We will hopefully be here next week."
And of course, eagle-eyed viewers were quick to pick up on his wording and took it as a hint the live series would not return next Saturday.
One fan wrote on Twitter: "Ant & Dec saying at the end of tonight's @itvtakeaway that they would be “hopefully” back next week is perhaps a bad sign that ITV may be set to pull the plug on live TV shows within the next few days..."
Another suggested: "Hopefully you are on next week! Could you do it without an audience?"