Holby City stars reveal secrets of how to kiss on set in COVID times

Programme Name: Holby City - TX: 19/01/2021 - Episode: Holby City S22 - Ep34 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Jac Naylor (ROSIE MARCEL) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Screengrab
Holby City's Rosie Marcel managed to film a kiss scene (BBC)

When Holby City aired a recent scene showing a long-anticipated kiss between characters Jac and Kian, fans were left wondering how the medical drama had managed to film it under COVID restrictions.

Now, the BBC show has shared a behind-the-scenes video that lifts the lid on the complex process of filming a kiss - including getting Rosie Marcel’s Kian-a-like husband in as a body double.

Ramin Karimloo, who plays Kian, explained that the scene was shot with a spotless perspex screen between himself and Marcel, after filming an empty couch with no screen on it.

He said: “They can use that to layer the rest of the scene on top of that. And from then on in nothing can move, nothing can be touched, because it has to look exactly the same.”

The perspex was then cut to the exact size of the couch and cast and crew were under strict instructions not to touch it.

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Karimloo said: “It was quite a tight squeeze on the day, there wasn't much room for error.”

He added: “One of the trickiest shots was was the actual shot through the perspex, which you'll see when we lean in for the kiss, because we had to make sure there were no reflections for the camera or the crew.

Programme Name: Holby City - TX: 05/01/2021 - Episode: Holby City S22 - Ep32 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Kian Madani (RAMIN KARIMLOO) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Screengrab
Ramin Karimloo explained the filming process (BBC)

“So we had to drape the camera, black out any sort of reflection and make sure the perspex was completely spotless.

“So there was definitely at that point no touching the perspex - and a good thing that I did not touch the perspex.”

A clip from the day of filming showed Marcel and Karimloo joking about who had left a make-up mark on the screen.

Programme Name: Holby City - TX: 12/01/2021 - Episode: Holby City S22 - Ep33 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Jac Naylor (ROSIE MARCEL) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Screengrab
Rosie Marcel's husband joined her on set (BBC)

Viewers will have seen what appeared to be Marcel and Karimloo actually kissing, but in fact it was down to a lucky coincidence that Jac actor Marcel’s husband looks like Kian from a certain angle.

She said: “We needed to do a kiss and it's very difficult with the perspex and things like that. So my lovely husband came in to do a little kiss with me, which is really nice, and really weird.

“Lucky me, I got a free snog today. I like that.”

Her husband said it had been strange watching her do her job, and was dressed in matching scrubs for the day’s filming.

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