CORONATION STREET will restart filming next week, soap bosses have confirmed — but without kissing scenes or the older stars.
Cast and crew back at the show’s studios in Trafford, Greater Manchester, on June 9 will have their temperatures checked daily in case they have coronavirus.
Street actor Andy Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland, said: ‘There definitely will be no kissing scenes.’
Cast ‘who are over the age of 70 or have an underlying health condition won’t be on set in the initial period of filming’, ITV said.
Those who fall into the clinically vulnerable category will ‘follow an individual risk assessment process, which will enable them to return to work if it is safe for them to do so’.
Older cast members include William Roache (Ken Barlow), Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner) and Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer).
The number of episodes will be fewer than before the pandemic, at three a week initially.
Series producer Iain MacLeod promised the Street’s legendary humour would be back.
‘The whole team at Coronation Street has pulled together to generate an ingenious, intricate set of protocols to allow filming to restart as safely as humanly possible,’ he said.
‘We are really pleased to be able to resume making the nation’s favourite soap at a time when people need the reassurance of their regular Corrie fix more than ever.
‘Safety remains our number-one priority and we are under no illusions about the challenges still facing us and the nation as a whole.
‘However, I can assure viewers that Corrie’s ever-present humour and brilliant storytelling will be there in abundance in the episodes due to begin filming next week and beyond.’
ITV’s managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV in the north, John Whiston, said: ‘Getting to this point has taken a huge amount of work and goodwill from a huge number of people, not least our cast and crew.
‘With the peak past, all indications are that the time is right for a return to filming.
‘And with the extensive protocols we have put in place, we have made our workplace as safe as possible.
‘I’m sure our audience will appreciate having the show they love continue on air.
‘For many who have written in, it is a vital escape from all the fears and stresses this virus brings in its wake.’
ITV said the return to filming would ensure the soap, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in December, stayed on air in July.
Whyment told ITV’s Good Morning Britain With Lorraine Kelly: ‘It’s going to take some getting used to,’ but added: ‘I think we’re all ready to get back now.’