The U.K.’s Royal Television Society (RTS) Program Awards is to live stream its annual awards — one of the most important domestic television events of the calendar year — after escalating concerns around the spread of coronavirus in the U.K.
The organization revealed Tuesday that it has been “monitoring the current climate closely,” and in line with official guidance against large gatherings of people, has decided to “streamline” the format of this year’s awards, which were set to take place March 17 at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.
“In order to host the event responsibly, as well as continuing to celebrate the nominees’ achievements, a slimmed down, intimate presentation of the awards be live streamed,” said organizers in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
“Nominees and RTS representatives will now be invited to the event with the broader industry able to watch via a live link.”
Theresa Wise, CEO of the Royal Television Society, said: “While adapting as necessary to the current situation, we aim to continue celebrating the past year of television and excellence in our industry in the best way possible – by honouring nominees and winners through a streamlined event. We look forward to offering everyone the opportunity to join us via live stream as we host the RTS Programme Awards.”
“Fleabag” and “Chernobyl” lead the nominations for this year’s Program Awards 2020, each with three nods.
The RTS’ decision to live stream the awards comes amid a growing number of coronavirus cases in the U.K. As of today, there have been 373 confirmed cases and six deaths.
Until now, however, few major TV and film industry events have been cancelled in the U.K. Disney took the decision to cancel the European press launch for its Disney Plus platform, which was due to be held last week in London.
The London Book Fair, due to be taking place March 10-12, was also cancelled last week.