Coronavirus: 'EastEnders' suspends filming and drops to two broadcasts a week

EastEnders has suspended filming until further notice due to the coronavirus.

The BBC soap – which is filmed at Elstree Studios in north London – will also reduce the number of episodes broadcast per week from four to two.

Undated file handout photo issued by BBC of the EastEnders logo. They will be celebrating in the Queen Vic after EastEnders bosses said they enjoyed a "record year" on BBC iPlayer.
'EastEnders' is suspending filming until further notice. (BBC/PA)

A spokesperson for EastEnders said in a statement: “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.

“The decision was made after the latest government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organization and Public Health England.

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“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.”

Danny Dyer stars as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter in EastEnders. (BBC)
Danny Dyer as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter in EastEnders. (BBC)

The show has currently been airing on Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays, but will now only be broadcast on Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 7:30pm with immediate effect.

The BBC’s long-running medical dramas Holby, Casualty and Doctors have also been put on hiatus, while its dramas Line Of Duty and Peaky Blinders have already suspended filming.

Line of Duty – starring Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar and Kelly Macdonald – tweeted a statement: “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, @worldprods are suspending filming of #LineofDuty S6 with the support of the BBC.”

Meanwhile, the period crime drama Peaky Blinders, which stars Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory, announced: "After much consideration and in light of the developing situation concerning Covid-19, the start of production of Peaky Blinders series 6 has been postponed."

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The BBC has cancelled all audiences for TV and radio shows, including political panel show Question Time.

A spokesman for the BBC said: “In line with government guidance, at this current time we will no longer host audiences for recordings of any BBC programmes. We are recommending that independent producers also follow government advice and adopt a similar approach.”