BGT's Ashley Banjo says he's self-isolating as a 'precaution'

‘Hopefully everything is okay’: Ashley Banjo says he’s self-isolating as a ‘precaution’ after BGT crew tested positive for Covid-19… as Alesha Dixon and David Walliams also quarantine

  • Bosses postponed production for the festive BGT special as ‘a number of crew members’ were ordered to self-isolate in accordance with guidelines
  • Judges Alesha Dixon, Ashley Banjo and David Walliams are all also self-isolating  
  • Ashley updated fans on his quarantine at home during The One Show on Friday
  • He told the show he was ‘keeping myself to myself’ during the isolation period 
  • The dancer, 32, added that ‘it is always just safer to make sure you are OK’ 

Ashley Banjo appeared to be in good spirits as he told fans he was self-isolating as a precaution after crew on the BGT Christmas special tested positive for Covid-19.  

The Diversity star, 32, who is standing in for Simon Cowell as a judge on the ITV show, appeared on Friday’s The One Show via video call from his home.

Asked how he was faring by host Alex Jones, he said: ‘I am indoors. Keeping myself to myself. I have just been taking the precaution since early in the week.

Positive: Ashley Banjo appeared to be in good spirits as he gave fans an update from isolation while appearing on The One Show on Friday

‘If you realise there are a few positive tests around it is always just safer to make sure you are OK. Hopefully everything is okay.’

At least three crew members tested positive before the first day of filming, meaning Ashley and fellow judges Alesha Dixon and David Walliams went into self-isolation.

It is thought they had come into direct contact with one of the crew members, while Amanda Holden is said to not have.

A Britain’s Got Talent spokeswoman said at the time: ‘As a result of a positive Covid-19 result received yesterday we have implemented our protocols and a number of crew members are self-isolating at home.

Precaution: The dancer, as well as fellow judges David Walliams and Alesha Dixon, had to quarantine as a ‘precaution’ after coming into contact with some of the crew members

‘As a result, we are unable to continue filming our BGT Christmas Special today and have taken the decision to postpone.

‘The safety of all those involved in the show is our number one priority and we follow extensive Covid-19 related procedures to adhere to all Government guidelines.’

The Christmas special had not been formally announced but it had previously been reported that the show will feature some of the show’s most successful acts.

Instead of simply competing alone, acts will compete together to impress the audience.

Update: Ashley told The One Show ‘it is always just safer to make sure you are OK’ during his appearance 

Staying safe: It is thought that the dancer had come into contact with one of the crew members who tested postive 

Fellow Diversity stars Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely also appeared on the show to discuss their Connected tour starting in March 2021.

Jordan said it would be challenging to tour while coronavirus was still prevalent given the size of their dance troupe.

He said: ‘It’s a lot. There’s a lot of logistics. It’s like Ash said, if he is around someone – there are so many of us, it only takes one of us to be around someone who could potentially be positive and then that has a huge knock on effect.

‘If you have time to rechoreograph something, you will. If you don’t, how do you do it?

‘There is loads and loads of stuff to think about but fingers crossed by the time the tour rolls around, come March time, just in general we are in a lot better place.’    

She’s fine: Fourth judge, Amanda Holden, was said to also be at home, but it’s understood she did not come into contact with the crew member like the others

News of the positive tests first broke on Tuesday, with it being revealed that three of the judges were going into self-isolation. 

A source told The Sun: ‘[The judges] will have to take a test before they can stop quarantining. The likelihood is they’ll come back negative, but they are taking no chances and can’t be too safe right now.

‘It’s the last thing BGT bosses would have wanted on the first day of the new production.’  

It had been reported that the Christmas Special was due to begin filming on Tuesday ahead of its broadcast over the festive period.

On hold: Britain’s Got Talent have been forced to halt filming for its Christmas Special after a COVID-19 outbreak on set (judges pictured during semi-final filming in August)

A source told The Sun: ‘It’s the last thing Britain’s Got Talent bosses would have wanted on day one of the new production.

‘Everything was ready to go so they’re gutted it’s immediately ground to a halt. Everyone was told to stay away and those involved now must self-isolate.

‘They can take no chances, particularly with some of the returning winners potentially vulnerable.’ 

Spotted heading into the studio on Monday was former BGT contestant Susan Boyle, 59, who was not wearing a mask. People with autism are exempt from wearing masks and Susan has Asperger’s. 

Festive fun: It’s hoped that the show could bring in higher TV ratings for ITV, as the BBC usually dominates over the festive period 

BGT were set to produce a non-competitive festive special featuring an array of acts from years past, with Ashley Banjo once again standing in for Simon Cowell as he continues to recover from a broken back. 

It’s hoped that the show could bring in higher TV ratings for ITV, as the BBC usually dominates over the festive period. 

It was reported last month that bosses were hoping to line up BGT stars Susan Boyle and Paul Potts for the special, along with Ashley’s troupe Diversity, who sparked controversy with their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance in August.

The current series of BGT concluded on Saturday after being delayed by the COVID-19 crisis, with comedic singer Jon Courtenay being crowned champion with his inspiring song about the recent crisis. 

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