As we all know, 2020 has been a funny old year with a global pandemic changing our way of life almost the whole world over. That is no different in soapland with lockdown forcing production breaks, and social distancing meaning new ways of filming.
But while Neighbours has opted to avoid any mention of the outbreak, the UK soaps, including Coronation Street, plan to include it and we are very close to seeing that on-screen on the cobbles.
Up until now, we have seen Coronation Street episodes that have featured the new filming measures, but they have been mixed in with scenes filmed before the cast and crew went into lockdown. This has, of course, led to some amusing continuity issues given that some actors don’t look exactly the same as they did three-months prior. As of July 24th though, we are in a COVID world which will feature a time jump of sorts – or as showrunner Iain McLeod put it ” a flip of a switch” between the old world and the new.
Recently released pictures show The Kabin all set up for social distancing with the all too familiar arrows in place to advise customers of where to walk upon entry. Although if they want this to be true to life, we expect to see people not following them and getting glared at by those that are trying to. Gary Windass (Mikey North) and Brian Packham (Peter Gunn) are also seen keeping their distance while signs are in place to remind people not to get close.
Coincidentally, July 24th is the first day that face masks will be mandatory in shops – something that will take a while to be reflected on screen given the gap between filming and transmission.
Obviously, it will not just be The Kabin that will be subject to change, expect all businesses in Weatherfield to be affected with Imran Habeeb’s (Charlie De Melo) law office displaying a sign that advises people of the new measures they have put in place.
We will also get to look at how COVID has affected some of our favourite characters like NHS worker Aggie Bailey for example. What we have not seen yet is any indication of what The Rovers will be like now. Given that pubs have only just recently reopened in the real world, it may be a couple of extra weeks before residents are gathered in their favourite boozer again.
But fear not as while COVID will be mentioned, it will not be a dominant force in the storytelling with the plan being it for it to be there in the background but seldom taking centre stage.
Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.