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Monday 1st June 2020

EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City are 'not quite' ready to resume production

The three shows are all under the BBC

EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City are "not quite" ready to resume filming after stopping production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently the UK is still in lockdown due to the ongoing health crisis.

But Australian soap Neighbours is shooting new episodes using camera tricks and putting cast members into smaller groups.

BBC drama controller Piers Wenger noted the Channel 5 show's filming trickery. But he admitted the BBC serial drama trio are "not quite at that point yet".

Piers admitted the three shows are not ready to resume filming (Credit: BBC)

However, the BBC is making a new show, Talking Heads, at Elstree Studios. Piers admitted the corporation will "learn an awful lot" from how that is made amid the coronavirus pandemic.

What's more, he admitted the BBC may consider "[quarantining] actors and crew in order to allow actors to interact in the same space".

But he confessed it will be tough to make a drama "normally" until the social distancing rules are lifted.

Holby has now temporarily gone off air (Credit: BBC)

Read More: Lord Alan Sugar reveals he's 'concerned' about EastEnders' Tiffany Butcher-Baker

Speaking in a YouTube Q&A staged by the Edinburgh TV Festival, he added: "Until you can put two actors together on a set, it is going to be very hard to make drama normally."

EastEnders has cut its weekly production down from four to two episodes during the pandemic.

Coronation Street and Emmerdale

Piers' comments come after ITV's chief executive Carolyn McCall claimed the government are keen for Coronation Street and Emmerdale to resume filming as soon as it's safe to do so.

She said: "ITV's role is to inform people but also entertain and engage them - and that is vital at the moment.

"The government is very keen for us to bring back the soaps as soon as we can, while observing the social distancing measures."

Emmerdale and Coronation Street are also unable to film (Credit: ITV)

Read More: Former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson 'beaten up by jealous boyfriends'

Potential measures to ensure a return to set may include one-way only staircases, or Perspex screens surrounding editing stations.

It's said ITV are looking into a plan to allow production to resume, despite the current restrictions in place.

Both Emmerdale and Corrie are on breaks amid the ongoing health crisis. Episodes of each show rationed to three times a week.

Coronavirus in the UK

At the time of writing, there are 161,145 cases of coronavirus. There have been 21, 678 recorded deaths.

EastEnders next week airs Monday at 8pm and Tuesday at 7.30pm on BBC One. 

Holby City is currently off air.

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