Filming begins on first BBC dramas to resume production since lockdown

Following over four months of lockdown, the UK television industry is recommencing production.

Filming was halted on all UK drama back in March due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Shooting on the next season of Call the Midwife was suspended as they prepared to begin work on this year’s Christmas special, while filming was also postponed for the sixth season of Peaky Blinders and the next Fantastic Beasts movie.

Fortunately, the fourth season of The Crown completed its shoot just in time, but the fifth season has been pushed back.

A report earlier this summer revealed that almost two thirds of scripted television series that were set to air in 2020 are going to be delayed and up to 10% of planned dramas and comedies for this year will be cancelled completely.

However, there’s some positive news on the horizon!

Filming has now officially begun on the tenth season of Death in Paradise on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

The producers, Red Planet Pictures, have worked closely with industry bodies, other production companies and the BBC to develop a detailed Covid-19 protocol policy, implementing various safety measures including social distancing, face coverings and temperature and Covid-19 testing to minimise any risk of infection.

They’ve also got a full-time Covid-19 Supervisor on set to make sure the protocols are being implemented correctly.

Death in Paradise first aired in 2011 and has become one of BBC One’s most popular drama series over the past decade.

All nine seasons are available to watch on Amazon Prime for free with a 7-day trial of the BritBox channel.

The Royle Family star Ralf Little is back as D.I. Neville Parker, alongside Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson, Tobi Bakare as D.S. JP Hooper, and Elizabeth Bourgine as Mayor Catherine Bordey, plus the surprise return of Josephine Jobert as D.S. Florence Cassell.

Red Planet Pictures’ Joint Managing Director, Alex Jones commented: “Like every other production company, we have faced huge challenges to get to this point, so we are delighted to be up and running again and extremely grateful to everyone who has helped us get this far, not least the people of Deshaies and the region of Guadeloupe for their assistance.”

He added: “The safety of our cast and crew – as well as our friends in Guadeloupe – is the most important thing to us and our policies have been designed to protect everybody whilst still delivering an amazing series for our tenth year.”

Long-running British soap operas Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, EastEnders, and Holby City are also back filming again.

New period drama series The Pursuit of Love has just commenced filming in Bristol, England too.

The BBC’s Call the Midwife, Line of Duty, and Peaky Blinders are expected to resume production in the UK this autumn.

Death in Paradise is available to watch on Amazon Prime.