ITV soaps to carry on filming amid rumours of reduced episodes

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A generic photo of the Rovers Return, the pub in <em>Coronation Street</em>. (ITV)
A generic photo of the Rovers Return, the pub in Coronation Street. (ITV)

There’s some potentially bad news hitting headlines this morning if you happen to be a fan of Coronation Street or Emmerdale.

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The Daily Mail is reporting that production on the ITV soaps could be pared down to just two episodes a week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the publication, ITV bosses are having crisis talks about how to keep the soaps running if any members of cast of crew are struck down with the illness. If this happened, it would force the sets to close down completely.

But ITV tells Yahoo that it plans to carry on shooting as usual for the time being.

“Our priority is the well being and safety of all our colleagues and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our production,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

“Clearly, along with everyone across the country, we are in a developing and dynamic situation with respect to the coronavirus, so we’re taking the appropriate steps. We’ve looked at our procedures and our established contingency plans and we’re confident that we’re able to continue with our filming schedule. 

“In terms of our colleagues, our aim is to do everything we can to support anyone affected.  We’re keeping a close eye on the situation and putting our people first.”

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Currently, there are six episodes of both shows per week, so this would be quite a drastic drop. They’re both also filmed several weeks in advance so the discussions are reportedly centred around rationing the episodes which are already filmed until the crisis has ended.

When Yasmeen Metcalfe [SHELLEY KING] reveals that they're moving to Cyprus, Alya's horrified and tells Yasmeen that it's clear Geoff is abusing her and trying to separate her from the people who care about her. Determined to rescue her Gran from the clutches of Geoff, Alya grabs some of Yasmeen's clothes and starts stuffing them into a bag, (ITV Plc)
When Yasmeen Metcalfe [SHELLEY KING] reveals that they're moving to Cyprus, Alya's horrified and tells Yasmeen that it's clear Geoff is abusing her and trying to separate her from the people who care about her. Determined to rescue her Gran from the clutches of Geoff, Alya grabs some of Yasmeen's clothes and starts stuffing them into a bag, (ITV Plc)

An ITV insider revealed to The Mirror: “The rationing of episodes is a sensible bet.

“But the bigger problems would come if they can't get people behind or in front of the camera to make new ones.

Read more: EastEnders fans wonder when coronavirus will hit Walford

“If that was the case for an extended period they'd simply run out of episodes. 

“That is an eventuality no one wants but is something that could happen.”

The news comes after streaming giants, Netflix, called an end to production on all its shows for at least the next fortnight.

The title card for ITV soap Emmerdale. (ITV)
The title card for ITV soap Emmerdale. (ITV)

This includes the eagerly awaited season four of Stranger Things.

Corrie has already had a coronavirus scare with one member of cast self-isolating after experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Read more: Coronation Street spoilers for the coming week

It’s not known which actor made the decision, but ITV bosses revealed there had been little disruption to filming.

Coronation Street and Emmerdale both continue tonight on ITV.


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