EASTENDERS is not ready to safely return to set yet – but may quarantine actors so they can film together.

The BBC soap shut down production last month due to the coronavirus pandemic and was forced to start airing two episodes a week instead of four.

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BBC drama controller Piers Wenger has discussed the possibility of starting filming up again after the government backed the idea of Corrie and Emmerdale returning to set.

Speaking via a virtual panel at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Piers said the three soaps are "not quite at that point yet".

However, he would consider options to "[quarantine] actors and crew in order to allow actors to interact in the same space" in the future – while still respecting social distancing guidelines.

Producers are also taking note of the camera trickery being used on Neighbours to make it looks like actors are close together.

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Piers added that the BBC will "learn an awful lot" from how the filming of Talking Heads is handled.

The series of 12 monologues by British playwright Alan Bennett stars Jodie Comer and will be shot at Elstree Studios from today while observing strict safety rules.

He added that the restrictions have become clear very quickly.

Moving set pieces is tricky without breaking social distancing, as is sorting out hair, makeup and costume for the actors.

Piers said: “That inevitably slows a shoot down, so those very practical challenges are becoming clearer. Until you can put two actors together on a set, it is going to be very hard to make drama normally."

Meanwhile, the EastEnders cast reunited last week via webcam for a skit for the BBC's Big Night In.

Viewers were left in stitches as Coronation Street's Liz McDonald [Beverley Callard] crashed The Queen Vic’s virtual pub quiz.

The funny skit saw Ian Beale – played by Adam Woodyatt – host a pub quiz, which saw Sonia pull out a trumpet before Liz turned up unannounced.


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