EASTENDERS stars will kiss once more thanks to a coronavirus loophole – by snogging through a plastic screen.
BBC drama bosses says actors can lock lips through a sheet of clear plastic that protects them and can be digitally removed in editing.
BBC drama boss, Piers Wenger, insisted writers had figured out a way for actors to kiss and show intimacy on screen when he told a panel at the Edinburgh television festival: “The remarkable thing about this time is just how much people want to work and how much writers are willing to think laterally to facilitate that.
“Everyone is massively determined. Both on EastEnders and on Pursuit of Love, which we’re filming in the west country at the moment, amazing, ingenious ways have been found to get around the need to put actors in close proximity to each other.”
Another dramatic change could be to ask the entire cast and crew to quarantine together without seeing family or friends, in a system they call “bubbling”.
“Throughout lockdown we talked endlessly about how to get back into production, and the two biggest issues were insurance and social distancing.
“You can’t tell a story without two actors being able to get within each other’s eyeline, and you can’t send teams of people out working without insurance in place,” Wenger added.
Actors faced new safety measures including temperature checks when they returned to work on EastEnders last month after production was halted in March owing to the pandemic.
In addition to temperature checks before they can enter the studio, EastEnders have also put strict social distancing procedures in place – with the cast being seen filming with dummies so that they don’t get too close to their colleagues.
EastEnders was the last of the soaps to return to filming, and the only one forced off air after they ran out of episodes that’d been recorded before the ongoing pandemic.
New episodes are expected to be ready for our screens in September, with EastEnders cutting episodes down to 20-minutes, four times a week.
The BBC have been airing an iconic vintage episode each week, as well as a documentary special Secrets From The Square – hosted by Stacey Dooley.