Stars doing their own make-up: Broadcasters reveal new guidance to get cameras rolling

Simon Austin's picture
Kym Marsh

The UK’s main broadcasters have agreed a new set of coronavirus safety rules designed to get cameras rolling again on some of the nation’s most popular shows.

Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Top Gear all plan to resume filming in the coming weeks as stocks of episodes begin to run out. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, ITN and Pact - which represents UK independent producers - worked together to produce the new guidelines.

The recommendations in the 15-page document include enabling on-screen talent to do their own make-up, or by remote instruction, and to “limit or curtail” any on set touch-ups.

Stars may now have to drive themselves to locations and sets, with travel guidance stating that “single occupancy vehicles” should be used wherever possible. When on location, “outdoor filming” is preferable, although ideally not in a public space, while indoor filming should be in a “large open space with good ventilation” and “avoid small rooms where possible”.

Sets should use “green screens” to support the reduction in the number of people on a production. Lunch breaks should be staggered and crockery, eating utensils and cups can be brought in from home by cast and crew, so they do not have to be cleaned and cleared by others.

Personal protective equipment “should only be required when filming in higher risk settings such as hospitals. It should be noted that the current Public Health England guidance is that the UK does not currently advise use of face masks outside of care settings.”

Carolyn McCall, chief executive at ITV, said: “Our production teams are now working hard to bring many more much-loved shows back for viewers. This requires really innovative thinking, but above all, the safety and wellbeing of all those who work on the programmes is paramount.”