Elstree has already stopped having audiences at shows

Elstree Studios

TV studios in the UK are reacting to the latest measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  

Elstree Studios has made an early move in reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak, stopping their stages from being used by audiences and studios from being used for events.  

Managing director of Elstree Studios, Roger Morris, said: “Whilst we are currently taking strict measures to safeguard the people working on site, we are fully aware that an outbreak at the Studios could at any time happen and this could mean that we close and quarantine the areas.” 

“A number of our clients have closed their offices on site for a number of weeks and we are taking advice daily.” 

This could signal a change across the industry, with companies now having to deal with isolation measures and remote working.

Other studios are currently still in business, but there are significant questions over productions involving audiences or even large crews.  

CEO of BBC Studioworks, Andrew Moultrie, commented on the situation: “In light of the latest government advice we are working with all of our partners on the appropriate actions to be taken to protect our people, our audiences, and the content which is produced in our facilities.” 

Meanwhile, The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol is also attempting to continue day to day operations. However, there have been precautionary actions taken.

Fiona Francombe, studio director at The Bottle Yard Studios, said: “The Studios remain open; day to day operations have been continuing with all Government guidance being followed and a number of strict measures implemented to try to prevent the spread of the virus.” 

“We have increased our cleaning regimes and are circulating regular guidance updates to all our clients. Productions and businesses based here are being supported to risk assess accordingly and to closely follow the social separation and preventative cross-contamination advice whilst they consider next steps for their own operations and shooting schedules.” 

“One industry skills event that was scheduled to take place at the end of the month has been postponed. Tipping Point (ITV) is the only production on site that involves an audience element for its ‘Lucky Stars’ special episodes, and these are not currently in active production.  

“We are in regular close liaison with Bristol City Council and, as a Council-owned site, we continue to be advised by them as Government guidance develops.”

There has been litte comment on how the current situation could affect future bookings at studios, but it is clear that it may have a major effect on companies as it continues to limit interaction.