ITV suspends filming of Emmerdale and Coronation Street as coronavirus pandemic grips Britain

22 March 2020, 18:26

Coronation Street and Emmerdale shut down amid Coronavirus pandemic.
Coronation Street and Emmerdale shut down amid Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: ITV / Twitter

Telly bosses announced both soaps will stop filming from Monday due to coronavirus concerns – but will still air three times a week.

ITV has suspended the production of Coronation Street and Emmerdale as coronavirus continues to grip the UK.

Telly execs announced the decision to stop filming both popular soaps from tomorrow as the channel joins the fight to reduce the spread of the killer bug.

Despite efforts to continue working until summer, it was confirmed earlier today that cast and crew members were not to come into work from Monday as Britain battles to beat Covid-19.

Read more: Will Coronation Street and Emmerdale be cancelled due to Coronavirus? ITV reveal scheduling changes

A spokesperson for ITV said in a statement this afternoon: "ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday 23 March.

"We’ve been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines, to ensure we’ve episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.

"However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming.

"We’d like to thank our viewers for their support and hope they continue to enjoy both soaps in the coming months."

Read more: Boris Johnson sends sweet letter to little girl who cancelled 7th birthday over coronavirus

Corrie and Emmerdale will continue to air next week and will follow their usual schedules, with only Friday being affected by the filming ban.

However, from the 30th March onwards, the soaps will be broadcast just three times a week.

Telly addicts were saddened to hear the news but applauded ITV for making the "smart" decision during the deadly pandemic.

"Saddest news, but the smart thing to do. Guess I’ll be rationing my Corrie just like my food...," said one disheartened fan.

A second said: "Absolutely the right decision. Thank you for prioritising the safety of your cast and crew. Stay safe everyone."

While a third added: "Absolutely gutted, but totally understandable. Hope the actors and production team are all safe and well and will be able to spend some quality time with their families. Will miss you Emmerdale."

Click here for the NHS' latest advice about coronavirus

ITV aren't the only channel to scale back and even cancel the production of many of their regular shows.

The BBC announced it was suspending filming "until further notice" of EastEnders, Casualty, Doctors, Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and River City amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Hit BBC One soap Eastenders has been cut to just two episodes a week, while many live shows are being filmed without an audience or taken off air altogether.

The news comes after the number of people who have died from Covid-19 surged to 244 today after 11 more lost their lives to the virus.