Olivier Awards 2014 to be televised by ITV for the second year.

BBC Radio 2 drops live coverage of the awards to run a highlights programme.

No full, live coverage of the awards in 2014.

Olivier AwardsLondon theatre’s annual celebration, the Olivier Awards, will return to UK television screens this year in a deal between the award’s organisers, The Soiciety of London Theatre, and ITV.

Highlights of the  2014 Olivier Awards will be screened in a special programme by ITV, on the night of the awards on 13 April 2014. This year’s ceremony will once again be held at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

The broadcaster ran a highlights package of the awards last year for the first time, after the awards moved from the BBC to ITV.

ITV will also sponsor and cover events on a stage in Covent Garden where West End shows will perform for the crowds.

BBC Radio 2 will continue to cover the awards, although have dropped their live broadcast of the full awards. Instead they will feature a two-hour highlights programme of the awards a week later, at 6pm on 19 April 2014. The radio show will be presented by Claudia Winkleman and will include backstage interviews, studio guests and performances and speeches from the ceremony.

New for 2014, the Oliver Awards is partnering with theatrical charity Acting For Others, which provides emotional and financial assistance and support to entertainment professionals who have fallen on hard times.

Nominees for the 2014 Olivier Awards will be announced on 10 March 2014 at the Rosewood Hotel in London, and covered live by BBC Radio 2.

The ITV show will be executive produced by Julian Bird for the Society of London Theatre, and Lee Connolly and Fiona Clark for ITV Studios.

ITV’s 2013 Olivier Awards programme attracted 1.3 million viewers, 300,000 more than watched the BBC’s red button live coverage and highlights package on the digital service in 2012.

Last year’s coverage by ITV marked the first time the awards had been on terrestrial UK television since BBC Two ended its broadcast of the awards in 2003.

SOLT originally wanted the BBC to move the awards from their red button digital service to a mainstream channel, and Julian Bird told The Stage newspaper in 2012 that, following the strong red button ratings, he hoped that: “In the future the BBC might consider putting it on one of its mainstream channels.”

BBC Radio 2’s decision to cut their live broadcast of the awards and feature a highlights package a week later will be widely seen as the BBC withdrawing their support for the awards following its move to ITV.

LINKS

Olivier Awards microsite on WestEndTheatre.com

VOTE for the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award

Olivier Awards official website

Olivier Awards – past winners