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Featured Image Credit: ITV
When coronavirus lockdown officially kicked in, soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale reduced their episode schedule to just three a week, in a bid to space out those they had already filmed for as long as possible.
With the social distancing measures still in place, and the soaps unable to resume filming, ITV boss Kevin Lygo has revealed how long the soaps will run for until they run out of episodes. Sob.
Speaking at an online Q&A for the Edinburgh TV Festival this week, Kevin explained the episodes filmed prior to the COVID-19 lockdown would only last for a limited time, if filming could not be resumed.
He explained Emmerdale - which is currently showing three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7pm - only has enough banked episodes to run until the end of May.
Meanwhile Coronation Street, which also airs three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm, has enough to continue the show through May, but will likely run out in June.
It appears bosses at ITV are also being cautious over protecting those most at risk, with Kevin explaining some older cast members, such as Ken Barlow actor, William Roache, 88 could be absent from filming.
Speaking about the measures soaps might take once the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, Emmerdale actor Jeff Hordley - who plays Cain Dingle - explained UK soaps could follow the same model as Australian show, Neighbours which has resumed production.
Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning, Jeff discussed the approach.
Phil asked: "Has there been talk about how you go back if you were to go back? Because I think Neighbours started the other day but I think they were being very socially aware while they were filming."
Jeff explained: "I think we would be following the model they've done over in Australia and that's how we would proceed if we were to go back. Most definitely."
Fingers crossed these soaps return to their normal schedules ASAP...