ITV commissions series of coronavirus self-isolation dramas from writer Jeff Pope

The four short dramas will be filmed by the actors and their families at home

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Filming on much-awaited dramas such as Line of Duty and Stranger Things may have ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, but ITV has just commissioned a series to be shot in lockdown.

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Called Isolation Stories, the four short dramas from Oscar-nominated writer Jeff Pope (Philomena) will be made while observing lockdown rules: actors and their families will film the scenes themselves, and directors will watch remotely.

Casting for the series hasn’t been announced, but ITV has said each 15-minute episode will be inspired by true stories and will “reflect life in lockdown across the country”.

Pope, Gaby Chiappe (The Level), Neil McKay (The Moorside, Appropriate Adult) and William Ivory (Torvill & Dean, Burton and Taylor) have each written one episode.

“Like everybody else, I have been isolating at home, and in my case watching my wife suffering badly with the virus. I wanted to do something to catch the mood,” Pope said.

“I knew it would be very difficult to try and shoot dramas in these circumstances, but I felt the public would understand if things were a little rough and ready, if we at least had a go.”

“It’s amazing that Jeff has managed to make these short films so quickly, to reflect the times we are living in. These are moving and funny tales of isolation with an incredibly talented team on and off-screen,” said ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill.

“They are stories told from isolation to an audience in isolation. It’s not often drama can be made this quickly so huge thanks to everyone involved in making this happen and I hope they bring some joy to the audience, in what we know are difficult times.”

ITV say Isolation Stories will air “in the next few weeks”.

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