It has been confirmed that EastEnders will resume filming next month.
Great news for soap fans, who are also expecting to see Corrie and Emmerdale back in production soon.
But Lee Salisbury, who has worked as a director on Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, thinks our soaps may look a little different to usual when they return.
“People need soaps in their lives, so the sooner they can get back the better,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “But they won’t be able to get back to normal yet – obviously a lot of soaps rely on that family community sprit, so it will be weird without the big pub scenes but I don’t think you can film those yet. And obviously there will be no kissing scenes which is bizarre. And everyone is going to be a stone heavier after lockdown!”
Nonetheless, Lee thinks everyone in soapland is up to the challenge. “The actors and writers are so good they will get through it,” he says. “This period has changed everyone’s philosophy – I think before lockdown, if you’d said to an actor they would be filming without hair and make-up services they would have said, ‘Absolutely no way!’ But now everyone is gagging to get back.
“Soaps have been a staple in people’s lockdown lives, they make us feel a bit normal, so I know everyone is really eager to get back, but they want to do it in the right way. I would think a lot of the soaps will cover the lockdown period as a storyline and have scenes with just one or two people in. It’s easier for soaps, which are about real life, but I’m really interested to see how dramas like Line of Duty cope with it when they come back.”
Lee is now the series producer of new C4 wildlife documentary series Work on the Wild Side, which follows British vets and volunteers, who have uprooted their lives to help animals in South Africa. He told us he was lucky to complete filming on the show just before lockdown began. “I’m so relieved, thank God for modern technology!”
Work on the Wild Side airs weekdays on Channel 4 at 4pm, starting Monday 18th May. To find out what else is on TV, check out our TV Guide.