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9 June 2020, 12:54
How were the Emmerdale lockdown episodes filmed? And which cast members will star in the lockdown special?
A string of extra special lockdown episodes of Emmerdale have begun airing this week.
So as viewers find out how their favourite characters are spending lockdown, here's a few facts you might not know about filming...
There are going to be six new episodes of Emmerdale, which each focus on the stories of different characters during the coronavirus lockdown.
Episodes were recorded over a two-week period and filming started on Wednesday, 20 May.
The following characters are featured in the lockdown specials:
Cain and Aaron (Jeff Hordley and Danny Miller)
Chas and Paddy (Lucy Pargeter and Dominic Brunt)
Sam and Lydia (James Hooton and Karen Blick)
Marlon, Al and Ellis (Mark Charnock, Michael Wildman, Aaron Anthony)
Mandy and Vinny (Lisa Riley and Bradley Johnson)
Jimmy and Nicola (Nick Miles and Nicola Wheeler)
In order to comply with health regulations, strict new rules have been put in place, including a two metre retractable pole to keep the cast and crew at a safe distance.
Executive Producer Jane Hudson recently told Metro.co.uk: ‘The biggest difference is the social distancing. We have our famous 2 metre pole and we physically bring it out on the set and hold it between actors and the crew.
“We have two metre distanced dots across every set and you stand on your dot – it’s like a big game of Twister.”
Emmerdale's Tony Audenshaw recently revealed a few behind-the-scenes secrets after he returned to filming.
Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning, the Bob Hope actor, 55, revealed stars are divided up into colour coded groups and given their own boxes for their props.
He said: "Well we've had an induction and the set has been broken in to different areas, I'm in the red cohort now, I'm got a red lanyard on it makes me feel very important!
"We've got paired down crews, paired down number of casts.
"One of the things that we're dong is we have our own prop boxes. So when I've finished a scene we stop filming. I'll put my drink in a box. Another character will take their own drink from their box. They've thought of hopefully everything."
Jane Hudson added: “Everyone who walks onto set to adjust a light, they have masks. The actors are in charge of their own props, which have been sanitised, cleaned and wiped down – no-one is allowed to touch them, the actors have full responsibility in bringing them on and off.”
Aaron Dingle actor Danny Miller explained he and co-star Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle) only had one day’s rehearsal in the studio before filming.
He said: “That was with the director and the producer so we could through and bring up any queries or issues. Then Jeff and I spent an hour FaceTiming each other to run through the episode a little bit more so we were fully prepared – then we were straight onto the shooting day.
“That shows how quickly Emmerdale and ITV can turn round a gritty piece of continuing drama. Making it was a different process as health and safety was prioritised among all the usual bits to remember, like lines, our position and cues. Quite rightly.”
Despite so much work going into social distancing measures on set, producer Jane has said viewers shouldn’t notice the changes too much.
She told Metro.co.uk: “I hope you will be amazed how little you notice that they are two metres apart. There are some clever camera tricks involved.
“There’s a lot of choreography on the set so the actors all work around each other. There will be little moments where you might expect a hug and they don’t but I’ve been on set the whole time and the end result amazed me.
“The director is just a genius – I am not quite sure how he did it.”
Emmerdale lockdown episodes will air Mondays and Wednesdays on ITV at 7pm.