EXCLUSIVE: Celebrity Race Across The World is the latest international format to have been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Production has been postponed on the BBC One series, which was set to start filming next month. The show is produced by All3Media-backed Undercover Boss producer Studio Lambert.
The six-part global travel format is a celebrity spin-off of Studio Lambert’s Race Across The World. The original show returned for its second season on BBC Two earlier this month as production had already finished before the virus hit.
Celebrity Race Across The World follows four celebrities who race with a family member or friend around the globe without the use of planes or any trappings of modern-day life. They are stripped of all mod-cons, including smartphones, the internet or credit cards, and have to rely on their own skills in order to succeed. The only thing they do have is the cash equivalent of a one-way airfare to their final destination.
The series was ordered last October by David Brindley, the BBC’s former Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, who left the broadcaster to run ITV-backed production company Twofour, and BBC director of content Charlotte Moore.
The postponement, telegraphed by Deadline last week, is not a surprise given it is the most high-profile British television project that involves cast moving around a world hit by COVID-19. There are now over 100,000 worldwide cases of the virus with over 4,000 confirmed deaths.
Deadline revealed last week that British broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 had put together a list of at-risk shows and were making decisions whether to go ahead with projects.
“Celebrity Race Across the World involves contestants travelling across a number of different countries, and given that official advice in relation to specific countries is continually changing in line with the spread of Covid-19, Studio Lambert has decided to delay production on this series in consultation with and supported by the BBC. We will continue to review all productions on a case by case basis following the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation and Public Health England,” a BBC spokeswoman told Deadline.
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