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ITV announces first entertainment show to return to filming

Catchphrase is hosted by Stephen Mulhern (STV/PA)
Catchphrase is hosted by Stephen Mulhern (STV/PA)

ITV has announced that Catchphrase will be its first entertainment show to begin filming following the coronavirus lockdown.

The game show will start filming the week beginning July 6 without an audience and with new safely protocols.

Ten episodes of the programme will be recorded, to be broadcast on ITV and STV during the autumn.

ITV Gala 2017 – London
Host Stephen Mulhern (Ian West/PA)

The set will be changed to allow for social distancing, while there will also be changes to the galleries and make-up room, while participants will have to fill out online health declaration forms.

Gary Chippington, creative director for entertainment at STV Productions, which makes the show, said: “The wellbeing of our people and contributors is our priority and the production team have been working tirelessly to make sure we’re all working in a safe environment.

“A number of measures have been put in place and social distancing will be adhered to – but be in no doubt, the fun and antics that viewers expect from each and every episode of Catchphrase will very much be central to the mix. We’re thrilled to be going back into the studio.”

There will be staggered start times and changes to the catering service, while crew will maintain social distancing, and contributors and crew will all have their temperatures checked on a daily basis throughout the filming period.

The studios and filming areas will be cleaned every day and equipment will be assigned to individual crew members, while working “bubble” groups will also be established.

Host Stephen Mulhern said: “We were always due to start filming now so it’s great that we are in a position that we can do so.

“It feels so good to be back in the studio and it’s taken a huge amount of work from the crew and all at STV Productions, who make the show, and ITV, who broadcast it, to get us back up and running safely. We can’t wait to start.”

Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at ITV, said: “Catchphrase is the first of ITV’s big entertainment shows to go back into the studio.

“All the teams have worked incredibly hard to get us back filming, and the production team have protocols in place in line with government guidelines to make sure that we are doing this in as safe a way as possible for the crew, contributors and everyone involved.

“We can’t wait to get going and Stephen is the perfect host to kick off entertainment post-lockdown.”

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