ITV has confirmed the Emmerdale will stay on air during the Covid-19 pandemic with a new schedule that will bridge the gap of episodes as production of the Yorkshire soap resumes.
Emmerdale has confirmed it will remain on air as the soap’s returns to filming its special lockdown episodes before resuming normal service, ITV has confirmed.
Now filming with a much smaller cast and crew, new episodes are being filmed in line with recently published health and safety guidelines issued to TV productions to help them resume filming safely.
Emmerdale’s schedule will change from Monday 8th June, with its transmission pattern temporarily changing to two episodes per week for three weeks.
Those three weeks will see the lockdown episodes, which are two or three-hander focusing on particular pairings or character groups, with thirteen cast members featuring in total.
The episodes will take a look at how lockdown is going for the villagers and how the pandemic has affected their lives including Cain and Aaron Dingle (Jeff Hordley and Danny Miller), Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk (Lucy Pargeter and Dominic Brunt) and Jimmy and Nicola King (Nick Miles and Nicola Wheeler).
Episodes will air on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm on ITV, before the soap resumes its current three episode per week pattern of Monday, Wednesday and Friday episodes.
How long it will be until Emmerdale resumes its normal transmission schedule is not yet been revealed.
The soap has put special measures in place to ensure that scenes are blocked so that everyone can stay two metres apart and that only a small number of actors are needed on set at any one time.
Emmerdale is the first UK soap to return to filming following the outbreak of the pandemic but as well as social distancing, there will no kissing scenes, which may force storylines such as affairs or blessing new relationships to be changed.
Actress Katharine Dow Blyton, who plays vicar Harriet Finch, told the Mirror her upcoming romance plot with Mark Womack, who plays DI Mark Malone, had to have scenes changed.
She said: “We were supposed to have a big snog but we had to keep a distance and leave everything to the audience’s imagination. I think this will be the norm when we go back. This even spells the end of holding hands.”
Emmerdale’s lockdown episodes start on Monday 8th June.