Isolation Stories boss reveals how family being struck down by coronavirus inspired game-changing ITV drama

ISOLATION Stories boss has revealed how his whole family being struck down by coronavirus inspired the game-changing ITV drama.

It was announced last week that a series of four 15-minute episodes depicting life in lockdown is to air on the channel next month.

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The series stars the likes of Sheridan Smith – who is heavily pregnant with her first child – Robert Glenister and his son Tom and Angela Griffin, and is the brainchild of acclaimed TV producer and screenwriter, Jeff Pope.

Each episode was shot in the actors' own homes within a month, and Jeff has opened up about how his own experience with Covid-19 inspired the series and its quick turnaround.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Jeff revealed how himself, his wife Tina and their three sons all contracted coronavirus.

Once he was well enough, Jeff immediately started working on the idea for the drama and the logistics of how it could be made, but he hopes viewers won't be too harsh if it's not a polished finished product.

He said: "Well, I don’t think there’s any danger of it looking too slick. They’re going to appear rough around the edges.

"We wanted to make some drama about this crisis and show it on the telly during lockdown.

"So, in the circumstances, I don’t think viewers will be too hard on us for having had a go.

"It’s all about reflecting this shared experience and, hopefully, relieving some of the pressure that we’re all living with.”

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However Robert, 60, wonders if the show will raise the question of TV budgets further down the line.

The actor said: "If things carry on like this, we might reach a point where people start wondering why we’ve been spending £250,000 a week making TV shows when we can do things in a far simpler, quicker fashion.”

The series will be filmed observing the strict rules of lockdown with actors and their families filming the scenes themselves watched remotely by the directors.

Each of the directors – Paul Whittington, Paul Andrew Williams, Louise Hooper and David Blair – will be watching footage via their mobile phones and giving advice to the actors and their family members about camera positioning, scene composition and lighting as they record the scenes.

Isolation Stories begins on Monday, May 4 at 9pm on ITV and will air across four consecutive nights.


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