Coronation Street cameras will start rolling again next week, meaning the ITV soap will not fall off air, despite an 11-week interruption to filming.
Bosses have said filming will resume on 9 June, and crew have already returned to the Manchester set to prepare.
Social distancing and other safety measures will be in place.
But no actors with underlying health conditions or aged over 70 will be allowed back yet – ruling out the likes of William Roache and Maureen Lipman.
After filming was halted in March, ITV went down to airing three episodes per week. The new filming pattern will allow the same broadcast schedule to continue, ITV said.
‘The time is right’
Cast and crew will have their temperatures checked on a daily basis, and actors will put on their own make-up and costumes.
Actors over 70 or those with underlying conditions “won’t be on set in the initial period of filming”, a statement said.
Other measures will include crew members being assigned only to certain parts of the set and having designated equipment.
Actor Andrew Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain With Lorraine Kelly: “I think everybody is ready to get back to work now. It’s going to be different, but I think we’re all ready to get back now, get back to shooting the show again.”
John Whiston, ITV managing director of continuing drama, said: “With the peak past, all indications are that the time is right for a return to filming. And with the extensive protocols we have put in place, we have made our workplace as safe as possible.
“I’m sure our audience will appreciate having the show they love continue on air. For many who have written in it is a vital escape from all the fears and stresses this virus brings in its wake.”
In remarks reported by Broadcast magazine last week, Whiston said there were some challenges to making life on the cobbles look like it is picking up from where it left off.
“For some reason during lockdown, all the men have shaved their heads, while the women have dyed their hair,” he said. “That is proving quite a headache – particularly as we can’t go near them to do anything with it.”
Emmerdale has already returned to filming, by recording new episodes showing characters dealing with lockdown. EastEnders is also expected to resume this month.
It follows the publication in May of guidelines for the TV industry to get back to work.
Meanwhile on Monday, further safety guidelines were published for the return of film and “high-end”, bigger-budget TV drama.
They include measures such as social distancing, and they also say:
- Cast members should try to avoid performing face-to-face
- Social distancing may be impractical due to the intimate work required and proximity between cast and crew
- In which case, people should form small “fixed teams” that do not mix with other teams
- Stars and crew members flying in from abroad must follow government quarantine rules
- Crowd scenes should be avoided where the government’s social distancing rules can’t be observed
- Cast and extras should be asked to do their own hair and make-up
- Daily symptom checks should be carried out
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