EastEnders to resume filming next month after pandemic shut down production

EastEnders and Top Gear will end their filming hiatus by the end of June

Jean Shirley Whitney Gray EastEnders

The BBC has announced EastEnders will resume filming in June.

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Production on the BBC One soap was halted in March after the government-imposed coronavirus lockdown came into place.

Writing in The Telegraph, BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore announced that the channel plans to re-start filming on EastEnders and Top Gear “by the end of next month”, albeit with “strictly limited” crews to stick to new government guidelines.

“Cast members will do their own hair and make-up. Social distancing measures will be in place,” she added.

“We want to serve our audience and help TV production get back on its feet, but the number one priority will remain the safety and well-being of production teams and those who work with them,” she said.

A spokesperson for EastEnders has added however: “Makeup artists will be on hand – both socially-distanced on set and via video link – to check the cast’s handiwork and will offer tutorials on how to do their looks and any special effects makeup like cuts and bruises.”

The BBC’s announcement follows news from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Tuesday, confirming that TV and film shoots are allowed to restart providing they adhere to social distancing guidelines. This involves keeping all crew and cast at least two-metres apart.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC halved the number of EastEnders episodes airing each week, reducing its broadcasts from four to two. Prior to this announcement, the soap had just four weeks of new episodes left, we believe.

Moore also announced that the BBC is “exploring” ways to resume filming on its dramas and other major shows “as soon as possible”, while the new production of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues is currently underway.

“The BBC’s coverage of VE Day and this week’s Hospital specials from the coronavirus front line are examples of how well we can rise to the creative and technical challenge,” Moore continued.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the BBC donated £700,000 to support The Film and TV Charity, which “helps freelancer affected by the hiatus in filming and production” and introduced measures to invest in emerging British producers.

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Other programmes which have begun filming once again involve Australian soaps Home and Away and Neighbours, which restarts production within the next few days.

Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.