EastEnders stars party just days before filming of soap was suspended

EastEnders stars Max Bowden, Lorraine Stanley and Shona McGarty party for St Patrick’s Day just days before filming of soap was suspended due to coronavirus pandemic

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The EastEnders cast went out partying over the weekend just days before the soap was thrown into crisis by the coronavirus.

Max Bowden, Lorraine Stanley and Shona McGarty all celebrated St Patrick’s Day early on Saturday as they went to the pub for a few pints.

They clearly got into the spirit of the Irish festive holiday as Max donned a large leprechaun hat as he cut loose with his co-stars.

Fun: EastEnders’ Max Bowden, Lorraine Stanley and Shona McGarty all celebrated St Patrick’s Day on Saturday ahead of the show being thrown into crisis due to the coronavirus 

The actor, 25, took to Instagram and shared a snap of himself with his girlfriend Danielle, whose leg was held in the air by Lorraine.

Max, who plays Ben Mitchell on the soap, captioned the photo: ‘Amongst all the madness, happy St Patrick’s day!’

Lorraine, who plays Karen Taylor, also shared a few snaps to her social media as the pair pulled silly poses in their hats. 

The actress, 43, wrote: ‘Sat night giggles for Paddy’s day with my good friends.’

Party: They clearly got into the spirit of the Irish festive holiday as Max donned a large leprechaun hat as he cut loose with his co-stars 

The group’s night on the town came soon before EastEnders announced Wednesday that filming has been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The BBC soap will cut it’s weekly number of episodes to just two in a bid to ‘ration’ their filmed content.

ITV’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale meanwhile are continuing to film scenes but will reduce the number of episodes per week from March 30 while also reportedly stopping filming for members of cast over the age of 70. 

In a statement shared Wednesday 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.

Festive: Lorraine, who plays Karen Taylor, also shared a few snaps to her social media as the pair pulled silly poses in their hats 

‘The decision was made after the latest Government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.

‘We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two, so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy EastEnders in their homes for as long as possible.’

In reference to their scripted programmes Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and River City, the corporation said: ‘In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice.

‘The decision was made after the latest Government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and public health organisations.’

It is thought that EastEnders’ films up to six weeks in advance, meaning they would have around 24 episodes worth of content already filmed.

Cut short: EastEnders has announced that filming has been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the UK’s soaps thrown into crisis

Under the new broadcast measures, this would mean that EastEnders would be able to spread out their filmed episodes for up to 12 weeks.

A spokesperson for the soap has told MailOnline that while filming has been suspended, scriptwriters and other members of production are working remotely where possible.

Following this news, it was revealed that the BBC Studios in Elstree have been completely closed.

A sign outside the deserted studio warns staff members to stay away if they suffer from any symptoms.

Meanwhile, Coronation Street will reduce its number of weekly episodes from six to three and Emmerdale will move from six to five. 

Warning: A sign outside Elstree studios warned staff members to stay at home if they have any symptoms

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