EastEnders 'could be off air until SEPTEMBER'

EastEnders ‘could be off air until SEPTEMBER as episodes are set to run out in two weeks and cast and crew have still not returned to filming’

  • The much-loved soap will apparently be off air for between six to eight weeks 
  • Producers reportedly plan to film a backlog of episodes before the show returns
  • It was recently claimed that the soap will run out of episodes on June 16
  • Due to Covid-19 restrictions filming will now take longer than before 
  • Sources confirmed that there is no exact return date set yet 

EastEnders could reportedly be off the air until September.

The cast and crew at set to return at the end of the month to resume filming, but producers are apparently planning to build up a ‘block’ of episodes before it returns.

The much-loved soap will be off the air for between six to eight weeks while they record a backlog of episodes, sources told the Mirror.   

Oh no! EastEnders could reportedly be off the air until September

A show insider told the publication: ‘Under the current plans we have enough episodes to take us through until June 16 but after that there will not be new episodes for a few months.

‘We normally work 6-8 weeks ahead of what viewers see on screen, in terms of a block of storylines, and we would look to do the same thing again when we restart work.   

‘Filming with the new rules and regulations will take longer and so we could be back on screen at the end of August but that is being optimistic and it may take longer than that, which would mean the soap returning in September.’

The source confirmed that there is no exact return date set yet. 

Plans in place: The cast and crew at set to return at the end of the month to resume filming, but producers are apparently planning to build up a ‘block’ of episodes before it returns

This comes after it was reported the soap is set to go off air in two weeks as the cast have still not returned to work after the soap halted production in March.

While Emmerdale is back in production and the cast of Coronation Street are set to return on Tuesday June 9, EastEnders are yet to resume filming. 

An insider told The Sun Online: ‘It’s due to go off air on 16 June. Talks about when the cast are returning to set are ongoing.’ 

Running out: This comes after it was reported the soap is set to go off air in two weeks as the cast have still not returned to work after the soap halted production in March

When production was forced to shut down on the soap due to the pandemic, bosses quickly switched to airing just two episodes a week to keep the show on air for as long as possible.

It had previously been confirmed the series would run out of new episodes in June but the end date is likely closer than many fans had hoped.   

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said last month that EastEnders would be up and running again within weeks.

Writing in The Telegraph, she said: ‘We’ve been looking carefully at how we can safely put some of our shows back into production, and I’m pleased to announce that we plan to begin filming again on both EastEnders and Top Gear by the end of June.

‘We’re also exploring ways to restart shooting on dramas and other major BBC shows. Of course, we will work within Government guidelines. Crews will be strictly limited. 

‘Cast members will do their own hair and make-up. Social distancing will be in place.’

Meanwhile, actor Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning on the soap, admitted last month he was still waiting to hear when production would resume. 

Speaking on The One Show, he said: ‘I think something came out today or yesterday regarding they are advising we can go back.

A source said: ‘It’s due to go off air on 16 June. Talks about when the cast are returning to set are ongoing’

‘So I imagine it will be on that frontline of the first ones to go back. I’m waiting to hear, really.’

Emmerdale became the first soap to resume filming in late May when the crew recorded six new episodes with a paired back team at their studio in Leeds.

Off air: It had previously been confirmed the show would run out of new episodes in June but the end date is likely closer than many fans had hoped

The rural outdoor set for Emmerdale has been dramatically revamped so that actors can be filmed from above now that social distanced filming has begun.

It was revealed by a fan that scaffolding platforms have been put up around houses in the village where the show is filmed so that cameramen could shoot the cast from up high.

The soap has begun a phased return in order to minimise risk of infection at the studio, with Nicola Wheeler and Eden Taylor Draper also among the first to return. 

New safety measures have been put in place at ITV studios including medical screening, safe-distance queuing and ambulances on set amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The area around the studio appeared to be well-signposted and notices advised the cast and crew to keep a safe distance as well as informing them about medical screenings.

Return: Emmerdale became the first soap to resume filming in late May when the crew recorded six new episodes with a paired back team at their studio in Leeds 

The channel’s Health and Safety team and medical advisers have been working closely with the government to consult on social distancing guidelines to ensure the team are working in accordance with return-to-production protocols.

This means that filming units are staying together while working in designated studios, and the crew are using their own equipment which has been sanitised in advance while office staff continue to work from home.

ITV also revealed that they would not have any shoots on location, while scripts have been adapted to include fewer scenes and a small number of actors so that the cameras don’t need to be moved on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, Coronation Street bosses recently confirmed the show would begin filming against next week.

Cast will return to set on Tuesday June 9 to produce new episodes, with a plan to make enough shows to continue airing three episodes a week to ensure the soap remains on-screen in July.

ITV bosses also confirmed that older cast members will be kept at home during the first few weeks of filming, with star Andy Whyment revealing on Monday that kissing scenes will be banned in accordance with new social distancing measures.

Coronation Street bosses confirmed that the soap’s production team began a health and safety induction to familiarise themselves with the new protocols that are now in place throughout the studios and on the Coronation Street set.

The new safety measures are in accordance with the recently issued TV production guidelines which will be observed whilst filming the top ITV soap. 

Back in action: Coronation Street bosses recently confirmed the show would begin filming against next week

WHEN ARE THE SOAPS RESUMING FILMING?

EastEnders

EastEnders are reportedly set to go off air on June 16, having aired all their episodes before production shut down.

An insider said talks about when the cast and crew will return are still ‘ongoing’.

Charlotte Moore, the broadcaster’s director of content, said last month that EastEnders would be up and running again within weeks.

Writing in The Telegraph, she said: ‘We’ve been looking carefully at how we can safely put some of our shows back into production, and I’m pleased to announce that we plan to begin filming again on both EastEnders and Top Gear by the end of June.’

Actor Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning on the soap, admitted in May that he was still waiting to hear when production would resume.

Builders were pictured getting to work on the new £87million set in Elstree Studios, London last week.

Filming again: EastEnders are set to go off air on June 16, having aired all their episodes before production shut down and will resume filming next month (Steve McFadden pictured)

Emmerdale 

Emmerdale has already started filming again, with a small cast and crew returning to production in late May.

The soap has begun a phased return in order to minimise risk of infection at the studio while the outdoor set has been revamped.

New safety measures have been put in place at ITV studios including medical screening, safe-distance queuing and ambulances on set amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The channel’s Health and Safety team and medical advisers have been working closely with the government to consult on social distancing guidelines to ensure the team are working in accordance with return-to-production protocols. 

ITV also revealed that they would not have any shoots on location, while scripts have been adapted to include fewer scenes and a small number of actors so that the cameras don’t need to be moved on a regular basis. 

First ones back: Emmerdale has already started filming again, with a small cast and crew returning to production in late May 

Coronation Street 

Cast will return to set on Tuesday June 9 to produce new episodes, with a plan to make enough shows to continue airing three episodes a week to ensure the soap remains on-screen in July.

ITV bosses also confirmed that older cast members will be kept at home during the first few weeks of filming, with star Andy Whyment revealing that kissing scenes will be banned in accordance with new social distancing measures.

Coronation Street bosses confirmed that the soap’s production team began a health and safety induction to familiarise themselves with the new protocols that are now in place throughout the studios and on set. 

Crew have also begun preparations to ensure filming will resume as scheduled at the studios in Manchester. 

Return: Coronation Street stars will return to set on Tuesday June 9 to produce new episodes after the shutdown (Ian Bartholomew and Shelley King pictured)

Hollyoaks

There’s no news on when production for the Channel 4 soap will return as of yet, but the series is said to have enough episodes to last until the end of July and has scaled back its weekly shows from five to just two.

Director of programming for Channel 4, Ian Katz, said: ‘The coronavirus outbreak is an enormous creative challenge for all broadcasters and though it is having a profound impact on getting some of our productions onto screen, when public service broadcasters like Channel 4 can step up and help people navigate through the extraordinary challenges we all now face.’

While a soap representative added: ‘Dear Hollyoaks viewers. It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to pause filming of Hollyoaks. From Monday 30th March, we will be reducing the number of our weekly new episodes from five down to three, which will air Monday to Wednesday.

Up in the air: There’s no news on when production for Hollyoaks will return as of yet, but the series is said to have enough episodes to last until the end of July

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