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BBC suspends filming on EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City due to coronavirus


Story by Jack Foley

FILMING on dramas such as EastEnders, Casualty, Doctors and Holby City has been suspended ‘until further notice’ amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the BBC said: “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.”

The number of EastEnders episodes screened will also be cut from four to two per week, the broadcaster said, so as to allow it to make the existing recorded episodes last for “as long as possible.

ITV said Coronation Street would keep filming on a reduced schedule and would go down to three episodes a week, while Emmerdale will continue to air five episodes a week.

That means that Coronation Street will air only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with one episode each night.

An ITV spokesman commented: “The continued transmission of both soaps is a priority to all of us at ITV and to our audiences who enjoy the shows. Whilst carefully adhering to the latest health advice from the government and Public Health England, our production teams are continuing to film episodes in Manchester and Leeds.”

The BBC said the decision to suspend filming on its continuing dramas was made after the latest government update.

Elsewhere, Australian TV soap Neighbours has announced it will not film this week as a precaution, after reports suggested a person working on the show had come into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.

The show’s parent companies, Network Ten and Fremantle, have opted to take a break until Monday in order to adapt their filming schedules to minimise the impact of the outbreak.