Coronavirus: ITV halts Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Lorraine, Loose Women filming

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Lorraine Kelly will join Piers Morgan in the Good Morning Britain studio from 09:00-10:00

ITV has suspended production of some of its most popular programmes in light of coronavirus restrictions.

Filming on Coronation Street and Emmerdale has been halted.

Loose Women will show repeats rather than being live, and Lorraine Kelly will be in the Good Morning Britain studio instead of hosting her own show.

GMB will be extended from 06:00 to 10:00 from Monday, with ITV saying it would try to keep that show and This Morning on air for as long as it can.

"This decision has been made to minimise the number of staff travelling in and out of our studios and working together on shift at any one time," a spokesperson said.

Image caption,
Like all pubs around the UK, the Rovers Return will be empty

"We're focusing our efforts on providing to viewers the latest news on the rapidly changing situation which aims to offer some stability and continuity in all our lives whilst so many of us are at home right now.

"That's why we have taken this tough decision to protect our GMB News programme in the morning and keep This Morning on air for as long as possible."

ITV said it would "obviously continue to review these new arrangements on a day by day basis and follow at all times the latest PHE [Public Health England] and WHO [World Health Organisation] guidelines".

'The time has come to stop filming'

Last week, the broadcaster said the filming schedules on its two soaps would be reduced and episodes of Coronation Street would only air three times a week.

But on Sunday, a spokesperson said production would stop completely. "ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday 23 March," a statement said.

The broadcaster later added it will also reduce Emmerdale's transmission pattern to three episodes per week from Monday 30 March, ensuring the Yorkshire soap will air until "at least the early summer", as will the Weatherfield-set show, it confirmed.

"We've been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the government's latest health guidelines, to ensure we've episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.

"However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming."

Over the weekend, Ant and Dec presented their latest episode of Saturday Night Takeaway without a studio audience and a pared-back film crew.

It drew the duo's biggest-ever audience since the first series ran in 2002, with an average viewership of 9.5m viewers.

At the end of the show, Ant and Dec told fans that next week's episode, the series finale, would be pre-taped.

The BBC has already halted filming on continuing dramas including EastEnders, Casualty and Doctors; while Channel 4 has suspended production of its teen soap Hollyoaks.

The broadcaster will ration new episodes of the show, showing three instalments a week instead of the usual five.

A new series called Hollyoaks Favourites will "give viewers a chance to revisit some of our biggest episodes, from weddings, bust-ups, heartbreaks and some of our biggest and best stunts," Channel 4 said in a statement.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email