DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
TV

Emmerdale boss reveals secrets of the soap’s lockdown episodes

As Emmerdale airs its special lockdown episodes, exec producer Jane Hudson gives The Big Issue an insight into their making…

Emmerdale is back with six special lockdown episodes

One of the most inspiring things to come out of lockdown has been the creative ways people have risen to the challenges it presents – and that includes the Emmerdale team.

Production on the ITV soap ground to a halt when the UK first went into lockdown, but this week sees the first of six specially-created episodes, each focussing on two key characters living through the pandemic.

As the first soap to resume filming in the wake of coronavirus, the episodes were produced under strict health and safety guidelines. They included stripped-back crews and actors adhering to social distancing rules – creating some interesting challenges for executive producer Jane Hudson and her team.

Speaking to The Big Issue in this week’s magazine, she revealed the lengths they had to go to in order to bring the episodes to the screen – including a two-metre pole used to enforce social distancing.

We literally have a pole that is two metres long to check our distancing, and spots on the floor two metres apart for people to stand on,” Hudson said.

She added: “We can’t get the crane out for expansive shots or lay big tracks for the cameras because to lay a track is a touching point. So we’re having to go back to how we used to shoot. We’ve all got the techniques and skills from back in the day.”

The Emmerdale boss also revealed that the episodes would touch on the hardships many have faced during lockdown, but would be mixed with light-hearted moments.

“It is really important to show what lockdown is like,” she said. “This is an important story to tell. But we didn’t want them all to be miserable and sad – they have moments of melancholy, moments of sadness, but also have really fun bits.

“One starts with Nicola furious because Jimmy has missed the wine delivery. That can feel like a massive big deal right now.”

But there’s one question on everyone’s lips right now: when will the pub reopen? Hudson’s still waiting on the PM to answer that one.

“If Boris Johnson says we can reopen the Woolpack, even with social distancing – which will be very challenging on our set, we will be writing a few new scenes.”

We’ll drink to that!

Hudson’s article is part of our After The Virus series. You can read it in full by downloading the current issue of the magazine in The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

You can also keep us going by subscribing to the magazine to receive it every week directly to your door or device. Head to bigissue.com/subscribe for more details.

You can also get a copy in stores for the first time. Head to Morrisons, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, McColl’s, Co-op, Asda or WH Smith to grab the latest issue.

Emmerdale’s special lockdown episodes will air on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout June.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Line of Duty's Martin Compston: 'I've been dreaming of going to the Euros since I was 14'
Gordon Smart and Martin Compston
Euro 2024

Line of Duty's Martin Compston: 'I've been dreaming of going to the Euros since I was 14'

Furiosa star Tom Burke: 'It stung when someone said I didn't have a face for TV'
Tom Burke.
Letter to my younger self

Furiosa star Tom Burke: 'It stung when someone said I didn't have a face for TV'

Benedict Cumberbatch: 'History judges us on how we treat those who are most vulnerable'
Benedict Cumberbatch in Netflix series Eric with his monster pal
TV

Benedict Cumberbatch: 'History judges us on how we treat those who are most vulnerable'

Anjana Vasan on We Are Lady Parts season two, Malala and why UK must open its doors to immigrants
Anjana Vasan
TV

Anjana Vasan on We Are Lady Parts season two, Malala and why UK must open its doors to immigrants

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know