“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,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
“The decision was made after the latest government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organization and public health organizations.”
“EastEnders” had been running every weeknight, except Wednesdays, since 2001. Broadcasts of taped episodes will now be reduced to Mondays and Tuesdays, effective immediately.
The BBC has also announced several changes to its news output. The “Politics Live” and “Victoria Derbyshire” programs have been temporarily rescheduled in order for the corporation to concentrate on core news service programs like “Breakfast,” “News at One,” “News at Six,” and “News at Ten.”
“Newsnight” and “The Andrew Marr Show” will remain on air but will be operated by reduced technical staff. “The Andrew Neil Show,” “Newswatch” and “The Travel Show” will be suspended with “HARDtalk” following suit next week. “Question Time” will be broadcast at 8 p.m. every Thursday without a studio audience.
The “Newscast” podcast will now be a daily edition of “The Coronavirus Podcast.”
The BBC has also reported high consumption of its online digital news services.
“These are unprecedented and difficult days,” BBC director of news, Fran Unsworth, said.
“Trusted, accurate information is vital in a public health emergency, and the BBC has a key role to play. We will continue offering our audience a continuous news service on TV, radio and online, but this will look a bit different in the weeks ahead.”
“Like many organizations we are unable to have all our staff on site due to the coronavirus outbreak. We are therefore making some changes to what we do to streamline our output to ensure we can work with fewer people and protect the staff who are at work.”