Huge spike in will writing as rules could be relaxed so they can be witnessed over video call – The Sun

PEOPLE worried about catching coronavirus or simply have more time on their hands has lead to a "huge" increase in will writing.

Ian Bond, chair of the Law Society's Wills and Equity Committee, says his firm Talbots Law has seen a 76 per cent increase in the number of people making wills in March.

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But there are concerns about how wills can be witnessed while people are in isolation, leading to government discussions about whether to update existing rules.

Currently, you need at least two people to witness a will being signed under rules that have stood for almost 200 years.

The only exception is for those in the military who can make a verbal will to a comrade if they're actively serving and their life is in peril.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is now in discussions over whether to relax will writing laws to allow more to be made during the coronavirus crisis.

What if I want to make a will now?

THERE are three main options when it comes to making a will, according to the Money Advice Service:

  • use a solicitor – costs around £144 too £240 for a single will
  • use a will writing service – costs around £75 and upwards
  • do it yourself – costs around £10 for a basic template

But what can you do if you can't find two witnesses? Ian Bond of Talbots Law says you could think outside the box while maintaining the government's 2meter safe distance.

"Could you get neighbours to witness your will by looking over the garden fence or watching through a window?

"Maybe a delivery driver would witness it for you if you stand a safe distance away from each other

"The important thing is to at least make one even if you can't get anyone to witness it yet."

The Law Society also advises each person using a different pen and ensuring everyone has plenty of space. has more information on making a free or cheap will.

Mr Bond says options on the table include allowing allowing the signing of wills to be witnessed over video call, or even enabling them to be made via a text message or Word Document in extreme situations – something he says can happen in Australia at present.

Other options being discussed include having just the one witness who must be some kind of qualified professional, or allowing handwritten and signed wills with no need for witnesses – something Mr Bond says is allowed elsewhere in Europe.

It's thought MPs will debate this when they return from Easter recess on April 21, although the Ministry of Justice hasn't confirmed this.

Mr Bond points out that the issue is there needs to be balance between enabling people to make wills and protecting vulnerable people from fraud and undue influence.

He told The Sun: "Our legislation on wills has been in place since Queen Victoria's reign.

"It's very complex and it's not easy to make changes to it.

"Any changes need to balance people's right to make a will, but also protect vulnerable people."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “This is a delicate area of law and we absolutely must continue to protect the elderly and vulnerable against potential fraud.

“While there are no current plans to change the law, we will consider all options and keep this under review during the Covid-19 pandemic.”


We spoke to one pregnant widow who was left "homeless" when the bank repossessed and sold her family home after husband died without a will.

Here's how to make a will to provide your children with the best possible security.

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TV and Movies

How Many Avengers Will Be in the MCU's 'Deadpool 3': Who Is Joining Ryan Reynolds' Merc With a Mouth?

Ryan Reynold’s Merc with a Mouth received two R-Rated installments under Fox prior to the Fox/Disney merger, which placed the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four in Kevin Feige’s hands. So, what’s going to happen now that Deadpool is part of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?

Multiple questions have surfaced surrounding Deadpool: will he still be as brash and as brazen as he was in the prior two installments? Will his comedy still lean in the “for mature audiences only” direction? Or, will the character to be sanitized to fit with Disney’s family-friendly films? And, if Deadpool teams up with existing Avengers, who will he team up with? Which characters could work alongside Deadpool, without changing their ways or detracting from Deadpool’s unique (to say the least) appeal? 

Recent rumors suggest that Marvel Studios may be planning to bring a handful of Avengers into Deadpool’s first installment as part of the MCU. And, the choices should mesh narratively (and in terms of the presumable character dynamics). So, let’s dive in. 

Insider reports suggest that 3 Avengers may appear in ‘Deadpool 3’

According to We Got This Covered (WGTC), Marvel Studios may bring a few Avengers into Deadpool 3 to ease the character’s transition into the landscape. Relying on the same sources who suggested Marvel had plans to bring Daredevil into the MCU prior to Daniel RPK’s corroboration, WGTC reported that three Avengers are on the studio’s radar. 

Allegedly, the studio would likely to include or or more of the following existing heroes: Spider-Man, Nick Fury, and/or Sam Wilson’s Captain America. So, why do these interactions seem more appropriate than others; it comes down to fan service, compatible dynamics, and the history surrounding the source material.

Why Spider-Man, Nick Fury, and Sam Wilson for ‘Deadpool 3?’

As for Spider-Man, it goes without saying that the Merc with a Mouth’s suit was inspired by the web-slinger’s, and the two boast quite the complex history — often fighting against one another, but coming to save each other when push comes to shove. 

With the Merc’s tendency to break the fourth wall, the number of jokes available about the physical similarities (yet personality discrepancies) between Deadpool and Spidey are endless; one’s your friendly neighborhood hero who is out to do what is best, while the other is a bit of a self-serving antihero. 

As for Nick Fury, who better to introduce a new hero to the team? Who better to see if Deadpool has the potential to fight alongside the Avengers? Who better to feel out the Merc than the man who assembled the OG team? 

And while Sam Wilson’s Falcon may seem out of place, he can easily be the guy assigned to keep the Merc on track — to keep his motives aligned with the good of all humankind. So, here’s to hoping all three avengers receive a moment in the spotlight in Deadpool’s next outing. 

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World News

We will prevail over the deadly coronavirus if we isolate like astronauts – The Sun

THERE’S a brave band of brothers and sisters who know exactly how fragile our planet really is.

They are the astronauts and cosmonauts who have looked down on the Earth from space and the surface of the moon.

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They all talk about that awe-inspiring sight, and especially the realisation there are no visible borders from space and that we are all in this together.

This week I spoke to US astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 520 days on the International Space Station.

The view from his tiny window was a stunning vision of our little planet suspended in the great blackness. The 56-year-old commander knows all too well what life is like on lockdown.

He spent a year and a half living in a tiny tin can in close proximity to his crew.

And he has some good tips for not going stir crazy.

Obviously the space station astronauts had a lot of work and experiments to do, but that did not take up all of their time. And like the rest of us, they needed to keep busy.

Scott has lots of common-sense advice for coping with being cooped up.


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First of all, we need to have a routine. We have to make sure we get up at the same time every morning and that we get washed and dressed and make our beds. We also need a regular bedtime.

Scott says you have to get outside at least once a day — we can do that on earth — while also folowing the rules.

You need to schedule times to talk to family and friends and have proper meal times.

Exercise is vital. Our very own spaceman, Tim Peake, trained and completed a marathon on a running machine when he was part of the crew on the Space Station.

Not all of us are fit enough to run 26-odd miles, but we can use this time to improve stamina and energy levels. I’m still doing my exercise classes with instructor Maxine Jones on her YouTube channel, and I will be starting virtual yoga with my daughter Rosie, who is in Singapore.

I was surprised to learn Scott took actual books, not ebooks, into space.

But he said holding a real book in his hands meant he could become completely absorbed, and concentration was not interrupted by messages pinging on his iPad.

One of the most interesting things he said was to keep a journal of these strange times.
Nasa has researched the effects of isolation and discovered that writing everything down has a positive effect.

It is more than just jotting down what you got up to that day. You need to go deeper and describe your hopes, fears and state of mind, and also what you hope to achieve when this is all over.

One of the things Scott valued most during his long stint in space was video calls with family and friends. And he says one of the silver linings of this crisis is time to reconnect with loved ones.

I know exactly what he means. I have been spending hours in WhatsApp chats with Rosie, my best friend Joyce, who is in lockdown in Spain, and my mum in East Kilbride.

We chat about everything (and everyone) and it lifts my spirits. Scott’s other sensible advice is to get your information from the experts — and he advises against relying on the internet.

He is right. Social media is stuffed with misinformed people and mad conspiracy ­theories.

I was shocked to realise how some teens don’t watch any news outlets or read newspapers. They get their “news” from Facebook.

They also think they are invincible, which is why we saw those packed beaches and parks this time last week.

This was partly because they were unaware of the need for “social distancing” but also because they think it won’t happen to them.

But Scott’s most important message to all of us is about working together.

“All people are inescapably connected and the more we can come together to solve our problems, the better off we will be.

“I’ve seen humans work together to prevail over the toughest challenges imaginable, and I know we can prevail over this one, if we all do our part and work together as a team.”

Well, I would urge you all to listen to Scott.

If we can put a man on the moon then we can beat this awful virus. It won’t be easy but I have faith in science.

And as long as we obey the rules, and make some sacrifices, we WILL overcome.

A bumpy time for Carrie too

NO matter what you think of him, it would be churlish not to wish Boris Johnson a speedy recovery.

But my sympathies are with Carrie Symonds, who is due to give birth in three months. She’s in isolation at a time when she needs his support.

My thoughts are with all expectant parents now, bringing babies into a world we barely recognise and unable to be together in the delivery room. It will be bittersweet for all of them.

Do the most to not get toasty

ONE part of the world untouched by Covid-19 is my spiritual homeland of Antarctica.

I visited the great white wilderness three years ago and cannot wait to return.

Aside from astronauts, the men and women who man the science bases in Antarctica – particularly the station at the South Pole – are well used to being in isolation while living on top of one another.

Which is exactly what most of us are doing right now.

Living space is limited at the Pole, and there’s no escaping the other 59 human beings holed up at the station for the full Antarctic winter.

It’s virtually pitch black for six months and you can’t really go outside apart from short bursts of vital scientific work.

Most are in danger of becoming “toasty”, which is their description of going stir-crazy.


Being cramped, isolated and without proper personal boundaries and “me time” can make you cranky, short-tempered and irritated by the smallest things.

In order for us all to avoid toastiness during these strange times, I’d recommend a few rules, some of which were given to me by a hardy survivor of winter at the extreme south.

Have a sanctuary, even if it is just in the toilet reading your newspaper and doing the crossword.

If you are feeling at the end of your tether, don’t bottle it up.

Talk about your feelings and listen to what others in the house with you are saying.

You might very well be annoying them as much as they are driving you up the wall.

It’s early days, and this is a marathon and not a sprint.

Unlike those at the Pole, at least we can still go outside and enjoy the sunshine and the heat as well as the light.

Throne together

I’VE got a Star Trek version of Monopoly and I’m wondering if it is too soon to bring it out from the back of the cupboard.

I’ve never actually got to the end of a game of Monopoly and I reckon this might just be the only time that will ever happen.

I’m also going to start watching Game Of Thrones for the first time, which should keep me going for a couple of weeks. Any other suggestions for box sets gratefully received.

Hounds don't 'arf help

I’M sure all dog owners would agree that our fantastic, loyal, loveable pets are keeping us sane right now. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t take Angus for a walk once a day.

It’s not just a chance to get out in the fresh air and do some exercise, which is good for our physical and mental health, but it’s having something that takes your mind off the current state of the world.

When I’m playing with Angus I can almost forget those feelings of anxiety that creep up on all of us and simply enjoy his energy and enthusiasm.

He needs to be fed and watered and taken care of, and that gives me a much-needed sense of purpose.

It’s a proven fact that just having a dog in the house to cuddle boosts your well-being and cuts stress levels.

I don’t know what I would do without him.

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TV and Movies

'Will & Grace' Plans 'I Love Lucy' Tribute, Retrospective Ahead of April 23 Series Finale

It’s the end of the line — for the second time — for Will & Grace. The NBC sitcom, which originally aired from 1998 to 2006 and was revived in 2017 — will air its series finale on April 23. But before that happens, fans can expect a few special treats, including an I Love Lucy-themed episode and a series retrospective. 

‘Will & Grace’ pays tribute to ‘I Love Lucy’ 

On April 9, Will & Grace will pay tribute to another iconic sitcom: I Love Lucy. The episode titled “We Love Lucy” will feature Grace (Debra Messing), Karen (Megan Mulally), and Jack (Sean Hayes) all imagining themselves as Lucy in bits recreating the “Vitameatavegamin,” “Chocolate Factory,” and “Grape-Stomping” scenes from the 1950s show. Will (Eric McCormack) will be the Ricky to all three Lucys. Leslie Jordan will co-star, along with Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The episode airs on Thursday, April 9 at 9/8c on NBC. 

A ‘Will & Grace’ retrospective

Fans can also tune in to a Will & Grace retrospective that will air ahead of the series finale on April 23. McCormack will host the 30-minute special, which will include clips of iconic moments from the show’s 11-season run as well as stories from fans and celebrities about what Will & Grace has meant to them. Elton John and Norman Lear will both appear in the special, which begins at 8:30/7:30c. 

What to expect from the ‘Will & Grace’ series finale 

The Will & Grace retrospective will lead in to the series finale episode, “It’s Time.” Here’s the synopsis from NBC: 

[W]ith the apartment packed up, Will is determined to not reminisce about his life in the city or his ex, McCoy (Matt Bomer). Grace, on the verge of giving birth, keeps having false alarms of going into labor. At the behest of Stan, Karen goes to the top of the Statue of Liberty to get closure with her ex-husband. Jack’s dream of taking a bow on a Broadway stage becomes a very real possibility.

Minnie Driver and Brian Jordan Alvarez will guest star.

“What a glorious end to an amazing experience.,” Hayes shared in an Instagram post from December after the final episode wrapped. “Thanks to all of the fans. This was all for you.”

The Will & Grace series finale airs Thursday, April 23 at 9/8c on NBC. 

Where to stream old episodes of ‘Will & Grace’ 

Want to revisit Will & Grace’s 200-plus episodes before the show ends for good? You can head to Hulu, which has all eight seasons of the show’s original run as well as season 3 of the revival. You can also watch the original episodes on Seasons 1 and 2 of the revival are available to purchase on Amazon and iTunes.   

Read more: Debra Messing Gushes Over Demi Lovato Joining the ‘Will & Grace’ Cast

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These Adorable Water Toys Will Make Baths a Blast

Bath time is one of the most cherished times you have to have fun with your little one and bond with them. Sometimes, though, they might not look forward to getting a bath, especially when they need it the most. One of the best ways to encourage them to have fun in the tub and make the process easier on you is to enlist some engaging water toys for babies to keep them interested while they’re getting cleaned up.

The type of water toys for babies that you select depends on what kinds of interactive toys your little one prefers. Perhaps you can make their washing up time better by bringing along their favorite Disney friends like Nemo and Dory, or maybe some classic rubber duckies will do the trick. To help you get to a more enjoyable bath time for everyone, we’ve rounded up the best water toys for babies that will get them clean in no time.

1. Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles

One of the best features about water toys for babies is that they can teach your little one valuable motor skills, while making your life easier so they’ll stay in the tub longer. These set of four water toys include two friendly characters to keep them company during bath time and two whirly toys that spin and rattle to entertain them while in the tub. Between the noises and adorable characters, your baby will learn to engage all their senses. The textured rings move freely about the bubbles for constant fun and giggles.

2. Yeonha Water Toys

Your little one will fall in love with these next level water toys for babies that light up. When these too-cute-for-words toys touch the water, they vividly change colors for entertainment that will keep them guessing what’s next. This set of four features brightly colored characters that will stimulate your baby’s sense of sight and will teach them the names of animals at the same time. You can expect to see animals like a frog, the classic rubber duck, and octopus. They’re also non-toxic so you can have peace of mind while scrub-a-dub-dubbing in the tub.

3. Disney Nemo Toys

If there’s anyone who can help your little one have the best time in the water, it’s their friends Dory and Nemo. These Disney bath toys aren’t just adorable: they also can squirt water, so your baby can have plenty of fun engaged with them. Best of all, these are some of the best water toys for babies thanks to their compact size, which makes it easy for small hands to grip onto them.

4. Splashin’ Kids Inflatable Water Mat

If your little one needs some tummy time, this inflatable water mat by Splashin’ kids is just what they need to have a fun time too. This water toy for babies is made with extremely durable plastic, so it will last for plenty of playtimes to come. Plus, it won’t leak water or air either, so you won’t have any disruptions during tummy time. The eye-catching ocean-themed graphics will delight your little one while they’re on it, and help introduce them to the animals of the sea.

5. Dwi Dowellin Bath Toys

These water toys for babies are sealed shut, so you won’t have to worry about mold or bacteria growing inside them. Bath time is sure to be a lot more fun with these adorable water toys around. This fishing set includes a hook and net, along with a cast of friendly fish that can join them during bath time. These cute toys also are great to tag along to the beach, pool, or on the floor for dry playtime. With this engaging set, your little one will learn essential hand-eye coordination skills while trying to catch all the fish.

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Beauty and Fashion

This New Art Competition Will Keep You Entertained Until Project Runway Is Back

If you’ve lost track of which day of self-quarantine you’re on and could use a little creative motivation, Ganni has got you covered. The ultra-cool Danish brand recently launched a project called “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” which encourages people to produce artwork centered around that very theme. But this is much more than a creative exercise — it’s also a competition.

Anyone can submit their piece(s) online, and a panel of judges, including Ganni creative director Ditte Reffstrup, will have the final say in who takes the top spot. The winner will receive a €1500 gift card (about $1,600), while runners up will receive €500 gift cards (about $551). While it’s not clear just how many pieces will be chosen in total, according to the brand, the selected works will be featured as part of its pop-up exhibition in Copenhagen, tentatively scheduled for August 2020.

“We are in this together, even though we are separated in our homes,” Reffstrup said. “This is my way to reach out to [the] community and hopefully inspire positive creativity and unity in our community. By asking for submissions in this way, it really feels like the right way to share ideas and emotions. I can’t wait to see the results of this project.”

The only rules for entering? The artwork can be anything — a painting, an illustration, a collage, a photograph — but it must be tied back to the theme. It also needs to be original and unpublished.

To throw your artistic hat in the ring, post on Instagram with the hashtag #GanniWFH, or email your entry directly to [email protected] But the sooner you get to creating, the better: The deadline to submit is April 3 at midnight.

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World News

Mystery man will buy entire village fish and chips every Friday to raise spirits during coronavirus lockdown – The Sun

A MYSTERY man has said he will buy an entire village fish and chips every Friday for the next three months.

The man, who asks to remain anonymous, hopes to raise his neighbours' spirits while the UK is in coronavirus lockdown.

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It will mean spending £5 per head on 171 villagers in Denchworth, Oxon – paying the local pub landlord to cook the meals up every Friday.

Stephen Davidson who owns The Fox Inn in Denchworth, is set to prepare fish and chips on mass – after he was forced to shut his 17th century pub on Friday.


It comes after all pubs, restaurants and bars in the UK were ordered to close last week to help halt the spread of coronavirus.

They can, however, still deliver takeaways.

Speaking about Denchworth's mystery fish and chip donor, Stephen said: "He is really concerned about people in the village, so he wants to help in any way he can."

Stephen says he was approached by the "very wealthy" man, who splits his time between London and Denchworth over the weekend.

He added: "The pub is an important part of the village – we opened it back in 2000 – and it is the local boozer for this man.

"It will be a good thing for the locals, especially for the elderly who are stuck indoors."

Stephen is still discussing funding, menu and deliveries with the wealthy donor – but he has promised a hot, tasty plate of fish and chips for everybody.

He said: "We are all in the same boat with this virus, so this is easing my mind.”

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World News

Airline says it will pay passengers over $8K if they catch coronavirus

A Vietnamese airline seeking business during the coronavirus slowdown is offering passengers a novel perk — an insurance plan that will pay them up to $8,570 if they catch the deadly bug after flying with them.

Vietjet’s “Sky Covid Care” insurance is provided free of charge for all eligible passengers — regardless of their age or nationality — on all domestic flights until June 30, according to the UK’s Independent.

“With the insurance, passengers are eligible for insurance coverage and benefits from Vietjet within 30 days starting at 00:01 of the flight date, regardless of how passengers are infected with the disease,” the carrier said.

Vietjet said it has set aside “tens of billion dong” to cover the insurance, which is designed to “bring passengers assurance.” (At current exchange rates, 24,000 Vietnamese dong is equivalent to $1.02.)

To qualify, the airline said, passengers must provide “all information in accordance with Vietjet’s terms and conditions” when buying the tickets — including the full name with ID as proof, date of birth, phone number and email address.

The customer also must “comply with all regulations on disease prevention and control of Vietjet, the Ministry of Health and authorities,” it added.

The caveat is that people who have already been tested positive are ineligible, as are those who violate safety regulations, such as isolation or travel bans.

The airline also said it won’t cover passengers with epilepsy, mental illness or suicidal behavior.

As of Wednesday, Vietnam had 134 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Vietjet, which describes itself as a “new age” airline, also made headlines in 2012, when it was fined after hosting a bikini show on one of its planes, the Independent reported.

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Will Smith Shares Virus Lessons He Learned While Filming 'I Am Legend'

Based on 1971’s The Omega Man, I Am Legend was one of those perfect pieces of 2000s blockbuster cinema, and one, apparently, that’s been causing some confusion. “I made I Am Legend, so I feel responsible for a lot of [coronavirus] misinformation,” actor Will Smith said, half-jokingly, on a recent episode of his family’s Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk.

You probably remember the film for its sprinting 28-Days-Later-style zombies (not hobbling Walking Dead B.S.)., technology that allows us to scan someone’s pupil and determine infection (“scan it again!!”), and—what Vermonters like me remember—people fleeing to New England to wait out the apocalypse while leaf peeping. (We call you highway-clogging people “flat-landers.”)

“When I was preparing for I Am Legend, my character was a virologist,” Smith explained. “I had an opportunity in my preparation for the role to go to the CDC. And there was a basic foundational comprehension of viruses and viral pathogens that I developed. And it really changed my life and the way I looked at the world. And there’s basic concepts that people do not understand.”

Some of those concepts include transmission of viruses, especially airborne viruses that can spread through particles when you breath, and how one can transmit a virus without necessarily being symptomatic. Smith and family discussed these ideas with Dr. Michael Osterholm.

Smith also said he learned about the ease at which hospitals can be overwhelmed with patients. “50 people show up in that hospital at one time to get 40 beds, now you have 10 people in critical condition,” Smith explained.

You might remember the similar chaos in I Am Legend, but Smith wanted to put the panic into a bit of context. “There has never been a time in human history where human beings have not been in a tug of war battle with viruses.”

And no, there isn’t a zombie strain, in case you were wondering.

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Emmerdale will now air just three episodes a week

Emmerdale will air just three episodes a week as ITV announce new cuts to ensure soap and Coronation Street will be on screens ‘until at least early summer’ after filming was suspended

Emmerdale will start airing just three episodes a week from March 30, it was announced on Monday.

ITV confirmed the further cut to ensure they have enough episodes of both Emmerdale and Coronation Street, which have suspended filming, to air ‘until at least the early summer.’

It was previously announced that Emmerdale would air five episodes a week, from Monday to Friday, but it has now been cut to three in line with Coronation Street.

Cut: Emmerdale will start airing just three episodes a week from March 30, it was announced on Monday to ensure it has enough episodes to last until summer after filming was suspended

A statement from ITV explained that ‘following yesterday’s announcement that filming of Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be suspended, ITV has taken the decision to reduce Emmerdale’s transmission pattern to three episodes per week from Monday 30 March’.

‘The Yorkshire based soap will air on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Coronation Street airing at 7.30pm on the same nights’.

‘The change to Emmerdale’s transmission pattern will ensure we have episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.’ 

On Sunday it was confirmed that Coronation Street and Emmerdale will stop shooting from Monday due to COVID-19 concerns.  

A statement from the broadcaster said its staff had been working hard to ensure filming continued ‘whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines’. 

Announcement: The news comes as ITV bosses confirmed they would be halting filming for Coronation Street and Emmerdale from Monday March 23

The statement said: ‘ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday March 23.

‘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.

‘We’d like to thank our viewers for their support and hope they continue to enjoy both soaps in the coming months.’

Suspend: A statement from ITV read, ‘ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday 23rd March’

Earlier this week, the BBC suspended filming of EastEnders and other top BBC dramas including Casualty, Doctors, Holby City, River City and Welsh series Pobol y Cwm.

EastEnders fans will still be able to get their fix of Walford from episodes already filmed, and TV bosses say just two episodes will air each week to make them last as long as possible. 

Production on long-running Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks is set to be halted at the end of the month, it was also announced on Sunday.

Bosses of the popular series also revealed that the number of episodes aired weekly would be reduced from five to three. 

This is not the first time ITV has been forced to take shows off air due to circumstances outside of its control.

For eleven weeks, between August and October 1979, industrial action forced Coronation street (which began in December 1960) off the air, along with the majority of the network.

On Friday Andy Whyment, 38, who plays Kirk Sutherland on Coronation Street, said the show had been forced to rewrite scripts as cast members self-isolated. 

Empty: The sets of Coronation Street (pictured) and Emmerdale will remain empty over the coming weeks if not months

The actor took to Instagram to revealed it’s been a ‘tough week’ amid the upheaval caused by the coronovirus pandemic.

Alongside a snap of himself and wife Nicola Willis enjoying a beer, the star praised everyone on the show for all pulling together during this difficult time. 

He penned: ‘So ready for a drink tonight been a tough week at work with rewrites and changes with some cast members having to self isolate.

‘I just want to say I’m so proud of everyone @coronationstreet the way people have mucked in this week has been incredible and shows how much love there is for the show. 

‘It’s a mad situation we all find ourselves in but we’ll get through this, stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️ xxx.’

His co-star Georgiua Taylor, who plays Toyah Battersby was in agreement, as she wrote: ‘Everyone has been incredible haven’t they?

‘I was saying to Mark tonight how I feel so lucky to work with such an outstanding team. And all done with such good grace and humour xxx.’

With Andy replying: ‘couldn’t agree more we have an amazing cast and crew xx.’ 

Tough: On Friday Andy Whyment, 38, who plays Kirk Sutherland on Coronation Street , said the show had been forced to rewrite scripts as cast members self-isolated 

Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby, added: ‘Totally agree. We all worked together at the worst of times. Its been difficult but everyone on and off camera has pulled together. Stay well everyone x.’

While Tyrone Dobbs actor Alan Halsall also wrote: ‘Couldn’t agree more mate, just shot the last scene of the week & the spirit was amazing! Tough times as you say & I hope @coronationstreet can keep people entertained!’ 

It comes after both Coronation Street and Emmerdale bosses confirmed that the soap’s planned storylines will be affected by their scheduling changes during the coronavirus pandemic.

An ITV spokesperson revealed that episodes that were planned to air around Easter or VE Day in May will inevitably be shown on a different dates, after cutting back on their weekly broadcasts to ration their filmed episodes. 

Which UK shows have stopped filming? 


Coronation Street



Line Of Duty

Peaky Blinders



Holby City

River City 

Pobol y Cwm 


Call The Midwife 

The Only Way Is Essex 

In their statement a spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘In the coming weeks some episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale will understandably be out of kilter due to the temporary transmission pattern for both programmes which takes effect from Monday 30 March.

‘Episodes due to broadcast at Easter and those commissioned and filmed to commemorate VE Day, for instance, won’t now air on the dates we’d anticipated.

Coronation Street will now air just three episodes a week, while Emmerdale will only air five.

The ITV spokesperson also confirmed that despite government advice for residents to avoid social contact in pubs and restaurants, they would be continuing to include scenes in The Rovers Return and Woolpack.

They told MailOnline: ‘Additionally, as both Coronation Street and Emmerdale film many weeks before they air on ITV, episodes will continue to feature scenes set in the Rovers and Woolpack and other communal areas.

‘Although the Government’s latest guidelines indicate that people should avoid such public spaces, we’d ask viewers to make allowances for the fact that filming took place before the coronavirus pandemic… and to make sure they follow the most recent Government’s health advice.’

Corrie and Emmerdale join a long list of programmes that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many shows including rival soap EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Call The Midwife forced to halt filming. 

Circumstances: This is not the first time ITV has been forced to take shows off air due to circumstances outside of its control

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