89 Not Out: Day 67, When Will the Telly Run Out?

S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of the lockdown, as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 67, and Ian contemplates the future of television, as we used to know it.

Friday 22nd May, Day 67 of 89.

When will the telly run out? 

I am not the biggest watcher of the TV but I do like a cooking show. Before the pandemic, we had the joys of Masterchef followed by the Great British Menu and now there is…nothing.

The weekend cooking shows of Saturday Kitchen on BBC1  and Sunday Brunch on C4 are still going, in a socially-distanced, cooking-from-home-style, but the group competitions have ceased.

This set me wondering as to when we will run out of original TV. 

By my reckoning, all filming stopped about 6 weeks ago. If I look at the government’s five ‘Coronavirus Alert Levels’ then I don’t think ‘normal’ filming (i.e. without social distancing) could start again until we are in level 1, the timing of which is yet to be announced.

Image from UK government website.

If I have understood the levels correctly we are now in Level 4. June may see limited schools opening to more pupils and some other businesses opening, then in July some leisure facilities could re-open. This is where I am pinning my hopes of returning to the gym, though social distancing will still be very much at the forefront in this phase.

With no mention of the timing of Level 1, where Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK, and the end of social distancing entirely, it feels to me like new TV production won’t be happening until the autumn, at the earliest. 

This has to mean the broadcasters are going to run out of original content – no Corrie or Eastenders!

I pride myself that I have never watched an episode of Corrie, but more worryingly for me, this means no cooking competitions. I shall have to look for more of my second favourite genre, Police Interceptors or ‘Police STFC’ as it’s known in our house. My favourite bit is when they release the hound; there is little sweeter than the sound of a villain being taken to ground by a playful German Sheperd, but I digress.

I might even have to venture into the murky world of box sets. When I used to be able to sit around a canteen table at work, I was mystified by talk of Season Two of Breaking Bad and the like. But in these strange times I might have to fire up Netflix and go hunting. After all I have a three day weekend to fill.

Enjoy yours! 


[Editor’s note: For those readers desperately missing their soaps, on Monday 18th May, the UK’s largest broadcasters published a ‘back-to-work blueprint’ for the industry, and the BBC reports: ‘It is hoped that soaps including EastEnders and Coronation Street will start filming again in June,’ utilising social-distancing and with some cast members with health conditions or those aged over 70 years not returning to work.]


Don’t miss Ian’s diary each day, keep an eye out for new entries here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast. How are you managing the lockdown at the moment? Get in touch with us over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your experiences and any hints and tips you’re finding helpful right now.

Image by Renate Köppel from Pixabay.

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