ITV has announced that the cast and crew of Coronation Street have returned to work today ahead of filming restarting next week.
The soap's set is being reworked to make sure it is safe for production to continue in the light of the ongoing risks posed by coronavirus, with a reduced crew on set working at safe distances and daily temperature checks being taken for all cast and crew members.
As expected, cast and crew aged over 70 or with underlying health conditions will not immediately return to work, meaning that there will be no new scenes featuring 88-year-old Bill Roache (Ken Barlow), 86-year-old Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan), 76-year-old Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts), 71-year-old David Neilson (Roy Cropper), 74-year-old Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer) and 80-year-old part-timer Malcolm Hebden (Norris Cole).
ITV already has enough episodes of Corrie to last until July 3 and the return to filming now guarantees that there will be no need for a break to be taken next month. Production will resume at a pace of three episodes per week with the ambition of ramping up over time.
"The whole team at Coronation Street has pulled together to generate an ingenious, intricate set of protocols, to allow filming to restart as safely as humanly possible," said showrunner Iain MacLeod.
"We are really pleased to be able to resume making the nation's favourite soap at a time when people need the reassurance of their regular Corrie fix more than ever.
"Safety remains our number one priority and we are under no illusions about the challenges still facing us and the nation as a whole. However, I can assure viewers that Corrie's ever-present humour and brilliant storytelling will be there in abundance in the episodes due to begin filming next week and beyond."
Corrie's return to filming will come around three weeks after fellow ITV soap Emmerdale began producing new episodes, the first of which will air next week. body check tags ::