EastEnders shuts down production and will only air two episodes a week

The BBC has taken the decision to cut EastEnders weekly programming in half, going from four episodes a week, to just two amid coronavirus concerns.

It comes after the soap was forced to shut down production following the coronavirus outbreak.

The two episodes will air Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 7:30pm.

A statement from the BBC read: "In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice.

"The decision was made after the latest government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England. We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two, so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy EastEnders in their homes for as long as possible."

The BBC expect to issue further updates as they continue to monitor the ongoing situation.

As episodes are filmed six-eight weeks in advance, it is currently unknown when production will start up again.

Filming has been suspended for other BBC shows such as Casualty, Doctors and Holby City.

A BBC spokesman said: "In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice."

BBC News has also had a scheduling shake-up, airing it's tradition six o'clock news with the slightly longer running time of 45 minutes on Tuesday evening.

The regional news bulletins then followed from 6:45pm to 7:15pm.

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