This is the new soap schedule amid COVID-19 health crisis

Katy Brent
·4-min read
The big four UK soaps. (BBC/C4/ITV)
The big four UK soaps. (BBC/C4/ITV)

Our beloved soaps have all taken a hit due to the spread of the coronavirus with production halted - or about to be halted - on some of the nation’s favourite shows.

To keep the great British public watching soaps for as long as possible, the episodes have also been dramatically reduced.

Here’s what the new soap schedule will look like when all the changes kick in.

EastEnders

Phil Mitchell (STEVE MCFADDEN), Sharon Mitchell (LETITIA DEAN) - (BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)
Phil Mitchell (STEVE MCFADDEN), Sharon Mitchell (LETITIA DEAN) - (BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

EastEnders was the first of the soaps to announce it was stopping filming due to the virus. In a statement last week, the soap announced: “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 Organisation 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.”

EastEnders currently airs 8pm Monday and 7.30pm Tuesday only on BBC One.

Emmerdale

Leanna Cavanagh’s [MIMI SLINGER] suspicions about Liam Cavanagh [JONNY McPHERSON] and Leyla Harding [ROXY HARDING] are confirmed when she clocks Leyla flirting with him at the cafe.  (ITV Plc)
Leanna Cavanagh’s [MIMI SLINGER] suspicions about Liam Cavanagh [JONNY McPHERSON] and Leyla Harding [ROXY HARDING] are confirmed when she clocks Leyla flirting with him at the cafe. (ITV Plc)

It was announced on Sunday (March 22) that both Emmerdale and Coronation Street would be stopping filming with immediate effect.

In a statement, ITV said: “ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday 23 March.

“We've been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the government's latest health guidelines, to ensure we've episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.

"However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming.”

Later, it was revealed that Emmerdale would drop from six episodes a week, down to three, starting from Monday 30 March. Bosses assured viewers that there enough episodes filmed to take them through to early summer.

In another statement, ITV announced: “Following yesterday’s announcement that filming of Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be suspended, ITV has taken the decision to reduce Emmerdale's transmission pattern to three episodes per week from Monday 30 March.

"The Yorkshire based soap will air on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Coronation Street airing at 7.30pm on the same nights."

Emmerdale’s new schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm.

Coronation Street

In the Rovers, David Platt [JACK P SHEPHERD] and Seb Franklin [HARRY VISINONI] row. When David accuses him of being jealous over Alina  Seb sees red and punches David.  (ITV Plc)
In the Rovers, David Platt [JACK P SHEPHERD] and Seb Franklin [HARRY VISINONI] row. When David accuses him of being jealous over Alina Seb sees red and punches David. (ITV Plc)

Like its ITV cousin, Corrie has stopped filming with immediate effect from today (March 23).

It will also drop from six episodes a week down to three. Unlike Emmerdale, Corrie made the decision to reduce episodes during the pandemic, last week.

Coronation Street will air Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7.30pm from Monday 30 March.

Hollyoaks

Mercedes McQueen (C4)
Mercedes McQueen (C4)

The guys over at Hollyoaks have also said they’re planning on stopping filming while we ride out the pandemic.

They announced that production would stop on Monday 30 March.

A statement from ‘Oaks said: “Dear Hollyoaks viewers.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to pause filming of Hollyoaks.

“From Monday 30th March, we will be reducing the number of our weekly new episodes from five down to three, which will air Monday to Wednesday.

“To make sure we stay on-air every weeknight, fans can look forward to extra-special episodes every Thursday and Friday on E4, as we begin a brand new series of 'Hollyoaks Favourites'.”

Hollyoaks will screen new episodes at 6.30pm Monday - Wednesday on C4, with First Look eps over on E4 at 7pm on the same days.

The new series of ‘Hollyoaks Favourites’ - which will look back at episodes from the last 25 years of the soap - will air in place of regular episodes on Thursday and Friday.

Hollyoaks’ new schedule will kick off next Monday (March 30).

The new soap schedule from Monday 30 March

Monday

Hollyoaks, 6.30pm, C4

Emmerdale, 7pm, ITV

Coronation Street, 7.30pm, ITV

EastEnders, 8pm, BBC One

Tuesday

Hollyoaks, 6.30pm C4

EastEnders, 7pm, BBC One

Wednesday

Hollyoaks, 6.30pm, C4

Emmerdale, 7pm, ITV

Coronation Street, 7.30pm, ITV

Thursday

Hollyoaks Favourites, 6.30pm, C4

Friday

Hollyoaks Favourites, 6.30pm, C4

Emmerdale, 7pm, ITV

Coronation Street, 7.30pm, ITV