ITV has cancelled two of its most popular talk shows due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The network has confirmed that it will be taking both panel programme Loose Women and breakfast talk show Lorraine off the air in order to try and minimise the number of staff working in the ITV studios together.
An ITV spokesperson said in a statement, ‘ITV Daytime has taken the decision to stop broadcasting Lorraine and Loose Women live from Monday 23rd March’.
Explaining the network’s shock move, the spokesperson went on, ‘This decision has been made to minimise the number of staff travelling in and out of our studios and working together on shift at any one time’.
However, the channel revealed that they will still be airing morning news show Good Morning Britain (GMB) and popular talk show This Morning in an effort to keep viewers informed.
‘We’re focusing our efforts on providing to viewers the latest news on the rapidly changing situation which aims to offer some stability and continuity in all our lives whilst so many of us are at home right now,’ the spokesperson continued.
‘That’s why we have taken this tough decision to protect our GMB News programme in the morning and keep This Morning on air for as long as possible’.
Explaining how the daytime timetable will work from now on, they continued, ‘From Monday we will be running an extended version of Good Morning Britain from 0600 u4ntil 10am.
‘At 9am Lorraine Kelly will join Piers in the GMB studio for the last hour and then hand straight over to the This Morning studio with Phillip and Holly as usual running from 10am until 1230pm.
‘We will then run some of our most favourite repeat episodes of Loose Women from 12.30pm to 1.30pm to give viewers something to smile about each day at lunchtime’.
‘We have been reducing our crew numbers over the last week,’ explained the spokesperson, ‘and these changes will enable us to reduce them further and help us build further resilience with the aim of Daytime content continuing to air for as long as possible.
‘Safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved with our programmes is our priority and in this dynamically developing situation we will obviously continue to review these new arrangements on a day by day basis and follow at all times the latest PHE and WHO guidelines’.