Coronavirus pandemic to be included in Coronation Street storylines when filming resumes

By Helen Johnson
Friday, 8th May 2020, 8:19 am
Updated Friday, 8th May 2020, 8:19 am
Popular soaps such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Eastenders are currently spacing out episodes as filming has temporarily ceased (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Popular soaps such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Eastenders are currently spacing out episodes as filming has temporarily ceased.

Up until now, episodes which have aired have featured no mention of the ongoing pandemic, that could be about to change.

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The producer of Coronation Street has said that when filming of the soap resumes, characters will be seen dealing with life during the coronavirus pandemic in storylines.

Coronavirus to feature on Corrie

Although the coronavirus pandemic will be included in storylines, producer Iain MacLeod has said that it will not "dominate every single story", but that it "has to exist in our world".

MacLeod didn’t shed any light on whether any of the characters would catch Covid-19, but it’s understood that the impact of the virus will be seen through restaurants and food outlets switching to takeaways, as well as hand-washing protocols being included in the show.

MacLeod said: "The Coronation Street that we love is the one that reflects modern Britain, albeit in a more heightened way sometimes.

"And it just felt that if there were to be no coronavirus in Coronation Street, it would stop being a reflection of modern Britain and would instead be a parallel fantasy land. So we took the view that it has to exist in our world.

However, MacLeod explains that Coronation Street viewers also tune into the show for a degree of “escapism”, so they will continue to run other storylines at the same time.

"It'll be there, it'll be handled with a light touch, but other than that our storytelling will be business as usual,” he adds.

Soaps hoping to resume filming

UK soaps have cut the number of episodes being broadcast in an attempt to avoid dropping off air, with ITV's director of television, Kevin Lygo, recently saying that the channel's soaps were hoping to resume filming - but with some restrictions remaining in place.

Meanwhile, Australian TV soap Neighbours recently returned to filming after also temporarily stopping.

However, physical distancing measures on set remain in place, and the studio is split into quadrants.There will be an operational hub, three distinct production teams and only three actors allowed to cross between the units.

There will be no kissing or holding hands, and the cast and crew will be isolated into three distinct groups. Camera trickery will also be used to make physically-distanced actors look closer together than they actually are.