TV snogging is off the menu for now…
Emmerdale’s executive producer Jane Hudson has spoken about how social distancing measures will impact on the show’s future love scenes and fights.
Cast and crew recently returned to filming, having been forced to take a break when the country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the two metre distance rule means that snogging and scrapping – usually common occurrences in soapland – are off the agenda. Instead, making out and lashing out will be implied, rather than shown.
Explains Hudson: “We have lots of looks of intent, edging towards stairs and arriving back with shirts tucked in. And fights are replaced with menace. Things are picked up in a menacing ways.”
She adds: “We’re finding ways to do it. With some stories, we might hold back a little but, we have got a storyline coming up and we’re too far in to change it. It’s going to challenge how we make it work, but it’s our job to make it work.”
Staying apart isn’t the only thing actors have to remember. Hudson has revealed that, as part of strict health and safety guidelines, the show’s stars will have responsibility for their own props.
“The actors are in charge of their own props, which have been sanitised, cleaned and wiped down,” she says. “No-one else is allowed to touch them, and the actors have full responsibility for bringing them on and off.
“In one episode, Lydia is reading a letter and Sam picks it up, but we stopped the take inbetween and it was a different letter. Karen (Blick, who plays Lydia) had to take hers away and James (Hooton, who plays Sam) had to put his down before we got going again. It’s very smoke and mirrors.”
This Friday’s episode will be the last of the full, pre-lockdown episodes, and will see Tracy Meltcalfe reveal to Jamie Tate that his wife Andrea has disappeared with daughter Millie in the wake of his affair with Belle Dingle, and, in a worrying twist, hasn’t taken her car, purse or any credit cards.
Two episodes per week will then air for the following three weeks, filmed under lockdown restrictions and showing characters in isolation, before this week’s storylines are picked up again at the end of the month.
Newlyweds Sam and Lydia will feature in next Monday’s episode, in a story that sees Sam become over anxious about his wife leaving the house.
Next Wednesday’s instalment, meanwhile, will focus on Aaron and Cain, who clash when Cain hides a letter to his nephew from ex husband Robert, who is currently in prison for murdering sister Victoria’s rapist, Lee Posner.