Jeremy Vine has said his studio audience was not present for his live show to help people minimise contact with each other.
The broadcaster’s self-titled Channel 5 show was the first in the UK to go ahead without a live audience amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
Introducing his panel of Caprice Bourret, Owen Jones and Angela Epstein at the start of the show, he said: “Why, you may be wondering, was there no cheering for our brilliant panel in the studio?
“Well, this is answer, have a look. Our studio audience is not here today because we understand that where possible we do need to keep contact between all of us as minimal as we can.”
As the show came to its conclusion, he said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in the show. Oh, we miss our audience in the studio, don’t we? Great to have you on board though.”
Vine followed the lead of US talk shows including The Late Late Show with James Corden and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
After the broadcast, he said in a statement to the PA news agency: “I think we delivered a strong show today – particularly our section on coronavirus with Dr Sarah Jarvis – and whilst we missed having the immediate audience interaction, we were still able to include a couple of our regular audience members in the discussion via Skype.
“It’s important now that shows like ours provide calmness, comfort and company to our audience, wherever they are. We will continue to provide great conversation every day.”
ITV’s Loose Women also went ahead without a studio audience on Monday.
Host Andrea McClean told viewers: “Before we carry on, you might have noticed things not only look but they sound very different today.
“That is because our live studio audience are not here. I don’t know if you can see but we are on our own.
“It is, of course, a precautionary measure in light of coronavirus, but rest assured we are still here and we are going to be bringing you some light relief this lunchtime.”
The BBC has said it is keeping the situation with its audience-based programmes “under review”.
A statement from the corporation said: “While the current government advice doesn’t necessarily prevent such programmes taking place, this is a rapidly evolving situation and we take seriously our duty of care to audiences, panellists and our staff.”
Channel 4 said it is monitoring the situation closely alongside production partners and will follow advice from Public Health England, adding: “We will respond as necessary if advice changes.”