With the coronavirus pandemic leading to as many people as possible being asked to work from home, filming has now been temporarily shut down on all of the UK’s most beloved soaps. Last week, the BBC announced that EastEnders was halting filming until further notice and ITV and Channel 4 have now taken the same precautions.
A spokesperson announced: ‘ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday 23 March. We’ve been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines, to ensure we’ve episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.’
They continued: ‘However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming. We’d like to thank our viewers for their support and hope they continue to enjoy both soaps in the coming months.’
Emmerdale and Corrie will now air only three nights a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – as opposed to their usual six episodes a week. Meanwhile, Channel 4’s Hollyoaks will now air on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with classic episodes being rerun in the soap’s usual slot on Thursdays and Fridays.
ITV has also axed live episodes of Loose Women and will instead be showing repeats, whilst Good Morning Britain and This Morning are set to continue airing as normal for the moment. ITV said: ‘We're focusing our efforts on providing to viewers the latest news on the rapidly changing situation which aims to offer some stability and continuity in all our lives whilst so many of us are at home right now.’