Filming commenced yesterday (Wednesday 20th May) on the episodes which will explore how characters are coping with lockdown.
From 30th March, only three episodes a week of Emmerdale have aired, ensuring that the soap stays on our screens for as long as possible.
With EastEnders and Coronation Street both announcing a return to filming in June, Emmerdale have commenced a phased return to filming by recording six new episodes featuring characters during the lockdown.
The new episodes will ensure Emmerdale stays on air in June bringing the audience topical stories from much loved characters. Inevitably, with time on their hands the characters will begin to think about what’s important in life.
Filming is underway at Emmerdale’s studios in Leeds involving a pared back crew to ensure health and safety protocols and social distancing measures are strictly adhered to by the team on set, and will be recorded over a two-week filming period.
New ways of working to protect the crew and cast have been introduced by ITV Studios in accordance with pan-industry return-to-production protocols for TV drama which ITV’s Health and Safety team and medical advisers have been working on in consultation with the Government. The guidelines underpin everything ITV Studios are putting in place for the cast, crew and production team to adhere to whilst filming.
The measures will include social distancing, filming units staying together to work in designated studios with crew using their own sanitised equipment, office staff continuing to work from home to ensure fewer people on the ground, no location filming, scripts featuring a smaller number of actors and fewer scenes to avoid camera moves. The crew have also attended a meeting with the company’s medical adviser and participated in a health and safety induction which saw the new working environment procedures explained in detail.
We’ll see resentments and past feuds resurface, old wounds further exposed, relationships scrutinised, with doubts and insecurities laid bare. Some seize the opportunity lockdown presents to heal divisions, whilst others get some sizzle back into their lives! With the backdrop of the pandemic, the characters also reflect the nation’s immense gratitude and thanks for the NHS with the weekly clap for carers and the people working on the frontline keeping our country safe.
The six new episodes will be directed by Ian Bevitt and will focus on Cain and Aaron, Chas and Paddy, Sam and Lydia, Marlon, Al and Ellis, Mandy and Vinny and Jimmy and Nicola.
The writers are Adam Sales, Jo Maris, Paul Roundell, Karin Young, Samantha Doland De Vaux, and Chris Gill. The episodes are produced by Laura Shaw and Kate Brooks with Executive Producer, Jane Hudson.
Emmerdale's Executive Producer Jane Hudson said “Lockdown has created an opportunity for us to focus on what is important in our lives. When we first discussed commissioning these episodes back in March the writers instantly rose to the challenge. Seven weeks into lockdown and the scripts have an added poignancy and meaning. The response from everyone at Emmerdale to filming these episodes has been fantastic and we’re really grateful for their support.”
Whilst John Whiston, Managing Director of Continuing Drama for ITV Studios and Head of ITV in the North, who has been overseeing the soaps plans to return to filming said "It's brilliant that Jane and the team at Emmerdale have risen to the challenge of getting these episodes shot using the new protocols for filming drama while observing the Government's social distancing guidelines. Also, it will be great to see what the likes of Chas and Paddy and Jimmy and Nicola have got up to while they've been going through lockdown the same as the rest of us!”
Emmerdale continues Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7pm on ITV