The BBC has pledged to “keep the country entertained during these testing times” with a raft of programming including replacements for Glastonbury Festival and the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Somerset music festival had been due to mark its 50th anniversary in June, with Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar all headlining the Pyramid Stage, but it was axed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, the BBC will broadcast Glastonbury Experience, which aims to “celebrate the spirit of this unique event.”
In place of coverage of the festival, the broadcaster has said it will “bring the nation together and create a weekend of the best in music across radio, television and online with amazing performances for you to enjoy in the comfort of your home.”
Eurovision, which was due to take place in May, will be replaced with Eurovision: Come Together, hosted by Graham Norton on May 16.
It will feature classic Eurovision performances, a look at what would have been in 2020 and interviews, including this year’s UK entry James Newman.
Meanwhile, in the absence of live sport and the Euros, Peter Crouch will be joined by presenter Maya Jama and comedian Alex Horne for live entertainment show Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer, which is “intent on giving the ensconced British public a little bit of all the big summer events that have been taken away”.
The show will bring audiences “live music, replacement sports action, exclusive comedy, celebrity guests, interactive audience fun and VT adventures from all over the country – and beyond”.
BBC One staples Have I Got News for You and The Graham Norton Show will both also return to screens, with the satirical panel show returning on April 3.
Paul Merton and Ian Hislop “will be sitting in their usual seats, come what may (although we can’t quite be sure where those seats will be)”.
Steph McGovern will be hosting the first show with guests Miles Jupp and Helen Lewis.
Norton’s chat show will be on Friday nights from April 10.
The BBC said it will be “not quite as usual, but still featuring the biggest stars and the best stories, including the famous Red Chair – now relocated to the comfort of your own armchair at home”.
Tony Hall, the director-general of the corporation, said: “The BBC is determined to do all it can to raise a smile and keep the country entertained during these testing times.
“We have lots of great shows already recorded, but we have also found ways to keep many other shows going so that the familiar faces people love will still be in their living rooms in the weeks and months ahead. I think that is incredibly important.
“The BBC will also deliver a range of virtual events to replace some of those that have now had to be cancelled.
“We can all still have a Eurovision moment, even if it is different from the past.
“Our pledge is to offer the best escapism, fun and distraction we can, alongside the news and information everyone needs.”
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, added: “Bringing the nation together to be entertained is a vital public service.
“Throughout this crisis, we will respond to the mood of the nation and provide programmes to help us escape and laugh; and create memorable events which we can all enjoy from home to replace those we’re going to be missing this summer.”
The Mash Report will also return to BBC Two, with Nish Kumar and correspondents including Rachel Parris, Geoff Norcott, Ellie Taylor, Steve N Allen, Catherine Bohart, Desiree Burch, and Ahir Shah all filming themselves at home, while The Choir: Britain In Lockdown will follow choirmaster Gareth Malone as he brings all those who are staying in their homes, but who want to sing, to form The Great British Home Chorus.