Coronavirus crisis grips TV | Daily Mail Online

The coronavirus pandemic has left the future of many TV shows hanging in the balance, with older actors banned from soaps, Love Island contestants forced to stop ‘slathering over each other’ and I’m A Celebrity unable to even get to the Australian jungle 

Following a candid Q&A with ITV boss Kevin Lygo on Thursday, as well as comments from Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host Zoe Ball, light has been shed on what UK TV could have in store after the pandemic.

A host of measures are being put in place by TV chiefs to help keep things running as normal once the pandemic is over, however a number of changes are being made, which will change the face of television.

In recent weeks, it has been revealed what will happen on some of TV’s most popular shows, including older soap stars being banned from set – such as Coronation Street icon Bill Roache, 88 – the cancellation of Love Island for fear of ‘sending the wrong message’ and no live audiences on the Strictly set. 

So what will become of TV’s biggest hits? 

Shocker: In recent weeks, it has been revealed what will happen on a host of TV’s most popular shows, including older soap stars being banned from set – such as Coronation Street icon Bill Roache, 88 (pictured in 2011)

CORONATION STREET AND EMMERDALE

On Thursday, ITV confirmed that both Coronation Street and Emmerdale are running out of episodes and have just weeks left on air. Channel boss Kevin Lygo confirmed that Emmerdale will remain on screens until the end of May, while Corrie will stay on air until the end of June.

Worries: On Thursday, ITV confirmed that both Coronation Street and Emmerdale are running out of episodes and have just weeks left on air

Last month both soaps cut down their weekly broadcast of episodes as they were forced to halt production due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking during an online Q and A at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Kevin revealed that are currently plans for Emmerdale to stay on air until the end of May.

The soap recently cut its weekly broadcasts from seven episodes to just three to try and ration episode the cast had already filmed. Meanwhile Coronation Street is set to finish its bank of filmed episodes at the end of June, meaning both soaps could go off-air by the summer.

Kevin confirmed that there are plans being put in place so they could resume filming of some capacity once lockdown restrictions are eased.

He added that it’s likely older cast members won’t return to set for sometime, saying; ‘I don’t want Ken Barlow to get sick.’

Future: Earlier this week, sources claimed Strictly may go ahead this autumn without its usual studio audience cheering on the performers (2019 winners Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher pictured)

STRICTLY COME DANCING

Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host Zoe Ball is convinced the competition series will air this year. Despite plans still being up in the air, the presenter, 49, has insisted producers will do whatever it takes to get the BBC favourite to return to screens in the coming months.

‘I spoke to some people and they will do anything and everything to make sure that show goes on’, the TV and radio star shared. The media personality told The Sun: ‘We are in tough times with the Coronavirus but where there is a will, there is away. I feel like they will come through.

‘Whatever happens, it’ll air somehow’: Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host Zoe Ball (pictured last year) is convinced the competition series will air this year

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‘Whatever happens with the situation I know that they are going to put that show on somehow. It might not have a studio audience, it might be slightly different.’

Earlier this week, sources claimed Strictly may go ahead this autumn without its usual studio audience cheering on the performers. Comparing the series to RuPaul’s Drag Race during a virtual production meeting, BBC’s director of content Charlotte Moore said: ‘People think if it is a shiny floor it needs an audience and I don’t think that’s necessarily true.’

The Strictly set-up has included a live audience since the show first aired back in 2004, when it was fronted by Tess Daly and Bruce Forsyth, who retired from the show and was replaced by Claudia Winkleman from 2014.

Bosses are reportedly offering doubled fees to celebrities as they continue to assess show contingency plans amid the global crisis. Sources claimed TV executives are keen for the series ‘to remain the jewel in the BBC’s crown’ and have already put forward contract proposals in a bid to attract a ‘stellar line-up’.

Taking a break: Kevin Lygo confirmed on Thursday ITV may abandon plans for a summer series this year, dismissing claims a new series could be filmed in the UK (the cast of the first winter series pictured in February)

LOVE ISLAND 

Love Island 2020 could be axed as it would send the wrong signal during the coronavirus lockdown, ITV bosses have revealed. Channel head Kevin confirmed they may abandon plans for a summer series this year as it would feel inappropriate to have its stars ‘slavering all over each other’ while the country adheres to social distancing .

It comes as Kevin also ruled out talks that a new series of Love Island could be filmed in the UK, despite reports the iconic villa could be moved to Cornwall. Kevin admitted they’re at a point when they have to decide whether to go ahead with Love Island this year.

Uh oh: The channel boss added that they wouldn’t want to send the wrong signal to viewers when the country is asked to stay and home and keep at least two metres apart. What signal might it be sending out if we’re doing a show where everyone is crammed together slavering over each other?’

During a virtual interview hosted by the Edinburgh TV Festival, he said: ‘We’re approaching the moment of is it feasible? Will Majorca open its doors?’ The channel boss added that they wouldn’t want to send the wrong signal to viewers when the country is asked to stay and home and keep at least two metres apart…

‘What signal might it be sending out if we’re doing a show where everyone is crammed together slavering over each other, and the rest of the world is told not to go near anyone in the park?’ he added.

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Kevin added that they did consider moving filming for this year’s series to the UK from its usual spot in Mallorca. He went onto dismiss reports the new series could be filmed in Cornwall saying it ‘wouldn’t be the same.’

Kevin also said that they are hoping to reach a decision on the new series of Love Island ‘very soon,’ and there would be a ‘big commercial impact’ if the series failed to go ahead.

Tricky: EastEnders bosses have reportedly held crisis talks about how they’ll tackle coronavirus filming issues when production recommences

EASTENDERS 

EastEnders bosses have reportedly held crisis talks about how they’ll tackle coronavirus filming issues when production recommences. In March filming on the BBC soap was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the social adhering to the government’s social distancing guidelines.

But with reports the cast are set to return to work in June, show bosses have been trying to figure out how filming will take place while still abiding by the restrictions.

A source told The Sun: ‘Filming will have to resume at some point and bosses say June is the benchmark. With strict social distancing and extra precautions on set they think EastEnders could make the transition. 

‘But they appreciate the health and safety of the cast and crew is paramount and should the lockdown restrictions be tightened, filming will, of course, not take place.’ The insider added that the soap’s bosses have said that if filming can ‘resume safely’, then it will ‘go ahead’.

In March it was revealed that filming for EastEnders had been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic and it planned to cut it’s weekly number of episodes to just two in a bid to ‘ration’ their filmed content. 

All systems go? I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is reportedly set to still go ahead later this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic (hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, pictured in December)

I’M A CELEBRITY… GET ME OUT OF HERE 

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is reportedly set to still go ahead later this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 lockdown has seen many movies and TV shows forced to halt production and postpone filming dates, but new reports suggest ITV are already preparing for I’m A Celeb’s 2020 series.

Sources tell The Sun that show bosses are ‘holding virtual talks’ to plan for the show’s return, as they anticipate a huge response from viewers following the pandemic.

A TV source told the paper: ‘ITV are certain lockdown will be well over by the time I’m A Celeb normally starts which is in November. Every year it’s a ratings smash and this year will more than likely be even bigger as the public will be desperate for some fresh and uplifting TV.’

Insiders added that ITV have already started ‘hiring and advertising for crew’ in Australia, where I’m A Celebrity is filmed each year, and meetings are being held virtually to discuss potential celebrity campmates. 

Following the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest amid the pandemic, the BBC have revealed they are planning a mass of Eurovision content across TV, Radio and Online.

EUROVISION 

Following the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest amid the pandemic, the BBC have revealed they are planning a mass of Eurovision content across TV, Radio and Online. 

Happy days: Eurovision faces including Graham Norton, Ken Bruce and Rylan Clark-Neal (pictured) will help bring Eurovision joy

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The content will include a night of special programmes celebrating this year’s contest, a look back at classic moments and a host of specially themed programmes and treats from the archives to enjoy on BBC Radio 2. 

Eurovision faces including Graham Norton, Ken Bruce and Rylan Clark-Neal will help bring Eurovision joy, uniting and entertaining viewers with plenty of Eurovision programmes and specials in store.

Graham Norton said: ‘Eurovision offers a real escapism for people, which is something we need more than ever throughout these times. This year people at home can celebrate the amazing spirit of the event and hopefully get the chance to take their mind off the current situation for a few hours.’

Ken Bruce added: ‘It’s Virtual Eurovision! On Radio 2, I’ll be playing tracks from Eurovision 2020 featuring some of the best of this year’s entries which sadly won’t get to take part in the final. And I’ll also be hearing from previous years’ stars – past winners reminiscing about their memories of the Greatest MusicFest in the world!’

Rylan Clark-Neal says: ‘It’s so sad that Eurovision 2020 had to be cancelled, but it’s understandable and it doesn’t mean we can’t still escape to the Eurovision bubble…

‘We’re so excited to be bringing Eurovision content to Saturday 16th May to keep up the tradition of many years of this amazing event. I’m thrilled to be fronting The A-Z of Eurovision and Eurovision Kings and Queens of Pop and looking forward to leaving the current situation behind for a night of pure Eurovision gold!’

BBC 

Last month, BBC bosses announced the network would focus more on coronavirus – with a host of shows about fitness, education, cookery and religion offered to those at home.  

BBC director general Tony Hall said: ‘We all know these are challenging times for each and every one of us. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a special role to play at this time of national need.

‘We need to pull together to get through this. That’s why the BBC will be using all of its resources – channels, stations and output – to help keep the nation informed, educated and entertained.’

 NETFLIX

Netflix bosses have assured fans that they will not be affected by the pandemic, as most of their shows are shot – unlike many of Hollywood’s other powerhouses. The addition of not being affected by closed cinemas is a bonus for the streaming service and its studios. 

Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, told analysts during the company’s quarterly earnings call on Thursday: ‘ ‘Our 2020 slate of series and films are largely shot and are in post-production stages in locations all over the world. And we’re actually pretty deep into our 2021 slate…

‘We don’t anticipate moving the schedule around much, and certainly not in 2020.’ Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told investors: ‘The internet is growing, it’s a bigger part of people’s lives — thankfully.’  

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