TV production hit
EastEnders, Glastonbury and Eurovision hit by virus
Doors closed: EastEnders filming suspended (pic: BBC)
Filming of EastEnders and River City has been suspended and weekly episodes cut as television production becomes the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
Casualty, Doctors and Holby City are among other dramas affected.
There was no word on the production of radio dramas such as The Archers.
ITV will also broadcast news specials and the live semi-final and final of The Voice UK have been postponed until later in the year. The knockouts, which are pre-recorded, will continue to be broadcast this weekend as planned.
The Britain’s Got Talent audition shows are still due to be broadcast in the next few weeks as planned, and ITV said it was looking at logistical options for the live finals.
ITV has already confirmed its soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street will continue, but with reduced filming schedules and only three episodes of Corrie per week.
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead this weekend, but without a live audience for the first time.
In a statement the BBC said: “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice.
We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two– BBC statement
“The decision was made after the latest Government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.
“We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two, so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy EastEnders in their homes for as long as possible.”
“In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice.
“The decision was made after the latest Government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and public health organisations.”
There has been no word from STV about its productions.
The Glastonbury music festival has been cancelled amid growing fears over the coronavirus crisis.
Organisers have pulled the plug on the event this June, where Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar were due to headline.
Edinburgh Film Festival
The 74th Edinburgh International Film Festival, due to take place in June, has been postponed.
Organisers are are looking at which elements of the Festival can be delivered later in the year.
Filmhouse in Edinburgh and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen are also closing from today until further notice.
The Eurovision Song Contest will not take place at Rotterdam’s 16,000 capacity Ahoy Arena on 16 May.
“We, like the millions of you around the world, are extremely saddened that it can not take place in May,” said the organisers in a statement.
The Dutch government had already banned large public gatherings in an attempt to prevent the virus spreading.
It is not known whether this year’s contestants, including British entrant James Newman, will be invited back.
Royal Highland Show
The organisers of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh have been forced to cancel this year’s event.
The decision was taken by RHASS Directors who met ‘virtually’ and is in line with the Scottish and UK Government’s policy and guidance on gatherings and social distancing.
RHASS chief executive, Alan Laidlaw, added: “It would be naïve to underestimate the massive impact the cancellation will have on the charity, but with the industry’s support, I have little doubt that we can, and we will, get through this.
“I am saddened that despite our best intentions, we are not able to stage this year’s event as we had some exciting developments planned.
“But in these unprecedented times we must focus on the wider issue, support the vulnerable in our communities and ensure that Scottish Agriculture plays its essential part in achieving this.”