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Coronation Street has Christmas "contingency" plan

Coronation Street has Christmas
Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod reveals plans to film the Christmas Day episode of the soap regardless of what happens with coronavirus in the weeks ahead.

Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has confirmed that he has a back-up plan to get a Christmas Day episode of the soap on the air come what may.

Along with fellow ITV soap Emmerdale, Corrie avoided going off the air this year despite more than two months of coronavirus-enforced shutdown due to a mix of clever scheduling and restarting filming as speedily as possible.

Episodes due to air in October and November are now being filmed but production could be forced into halting again if the UK encounters a second spike of the disease.

Speaking to reporters this week, MacLeod said that he has plans in place to switch to filming the traditional Christmas Day episode as a standalone project should the prospect of a second shutdown start to look likely.

"It is an idea that's still there as a contingency measure should we need it," he revealed.

"At the moment, and I don't want to jinx things too much because we all know the situation internationally and nationally can change quickly, but at the moment we are on course to hit the 60th [birthday] and hit Christmas, and therefore Christmas will be a narrative episode, part of the ongoing stories.

"Assuming everything remains as it currently is, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, then we should have a 'normal' Christmas Day, as in it's just big story piques in ongoing narrative arcs, rather than a standalone bubble.

"However, one of the words that's been bandied around in the lockdown, pandemic era is, we are very agile as a show and a genre.

"Soaps are very good at changing tact extremely quickly and doing something new and innovative, so if it got to the point where we thought we're not going to be able to film Christmas in the normal way, then we would change course and shoot a standalone episode of some description.

"We could do that if we needed to, even right up to the last 11th hour we could film a bubble to drop on Christmas Day, but at the moment, fingers crossed, we shouldn't need to."

The soap returns to airing six episodes a week starting with a double episode on Friday, September 11.


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