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ITV exec promises coronavirus will not dominate Coronation Street, Emmerdale

ITV exec promises coronavirus will not dominate Coronation Street, Emmerdale
© ITV
ITV's head of soaps insists that Coronation Street and Emmerdale will not be "slavishly" devoted to coronavirus in future episodes.

ITV Studios' MD of soaps John Whiston has insisted that Coronation Street and Emmerdale will not "slavishly" cover the coronavirus pandemic in future episodes.

Both shows were forced to halt filming towards the end of March as the UK entered lockdown, but a slight easing of government guidelines allowed Emmerdale to resume full production last week, with Corrie set to follow suit early next month.

The COVID-19 crisis will be a part of both soaps' storylines when they return, but Whiston has promised that the regular plots will not be sacrificed or put on the back burner.

"People want us to reflect the world but not slavishly, as that would be quite dull," he told an event for advertisers. "While our families will be keeping within their households and possibly extending into social bubbles, there will still be lots happening.

"Our parallel world in which people shag, kill, are mean and tender to each other must go on. There has always been a kindness underpinning Corrie and Emmerdale and that is coming to the fore now.

"We may have to go back to the way in which these things were filmed in 1930s Hollywood - with candles blown out and doors shutting at bedtime to ensure the cast are socially-distancing. It may be a more polite world for a while."

Both ITV soaps look set to avoid going off air in the near future thanks to a mix of previously-recorded episodes and freshly-filmed material.

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