Soap scenes filmed in pubs may have to be ditched for the foreseeable future, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although it is thought that the well-loved British programmes may be able to start filming again soon, things are likely to be very different, with social distancing measures imperative on set.
According to new government documents, production must take place behind closed doors and no ‘large scale social contact’ will be allowed.
Naturally, this means busy scenes set in the iconic Queen Vic, Woolpack or Rovers Return will be no more, with intimate romance scenes certainly off the cards as well.
A Department for Culture spokesman said: “The Government is working closely with the screen sector to understand how different types of productions can comply with social distancing guidelines, and give confidence to people in the TV and film industries that there are safe ways in which they can return to work.”
With the telly world halted, many soaps are relying on a quickly dwindling backlog of episodes, shown on a spread apart schedule, in order to keep them on our screens for as long as possible.
ITV have confirmed that if filming doesn’t continue, Coronation Street episodes will run out by June, while May will see the end of backed up Emmerdale instalments.
Speaking on the iconic shows’ return, ITV boss Kevin Lygo said, “They are working really hard now as to how, when, if and when restrictions are lifted a bit, how we can make the soaps in a safe way.
“Some people who are in a dangerous one for age or health reasons – they won’t be there, I’m sure, for a time.
“They are being inventive and creative about rejigging storylines, I think we have got to accept there will be no more than two people talking in a room and looking at ways of shooting where people don’t appear to be six feet apart.”