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Jake Wood on ‘extraordinary’ EastEnders filming as production resumes

The cast and crew of the BBC One soap returned to work this week.

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Jake Wood said viewers will not notice any difference in EastEnders since the soap resumed filming with new measures in place (David Parry/PA)

Jake Wood said viewers will not notice any difference in EastEnders since the soap resumed filming with new measures in place (David Parry/PA)

Jake Wood said viewers will not notice any difference in EastEnders since the soap resumed filming with new measures in place (David Parry/PA)

EastEnders stalwart Jake Wood has said viewers will not notice any difference in the soap since it resumed filming with new measures in place.

The 47-year-old, who plays Max Branning, is among the actors who returned to Albert Square on Monday after production was halted in March because of coronavirus restrictions.

Newly released on-set photographs show the cast and crew of the soap back at work with social distancing measures in place, and they also appear to show crew members measuring out distances using a large pole.

Wood said filming amid the new rules is “going to take a bit of getting used to”.

He told Good Morning Britain: “We’re all socially distanced, everyone is two metres apart, but it’s quite extraordinary the way we’re shooting it.

“It’s very, very clever. I think you’re not going to notice the difference as a viewer.

“Almost every shot has got CGI in it… We are actually there but if they could generate a CGI version of me and I could do it from home that would be perfect!”

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Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale), Clay Milner Russell (Bobby Beale) and Jake Wood (Max Branning) practise social distancing as the cast and crew of EastEnders return to work (BBC/PA)

Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale), Clay Milner Russell (Bobby Beale) and Jake Wood (Max Branning) practise social distancing as the cast and crew of EastEnders return to work (BBC/PA)

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Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale), Clay Milner Russell (Bobby Beale) and Jake Wood (Max Branning) practise social distancing as the cast and crew of EastEnders return to work (BBC/PA)

The actor said Walford, the fictional borough where EastEnders is set, is “in a world where everyone has been in lockdown”.

“It’s going to be going out in quite a few weeks’ time, so it’s very difficult to predict where society will be and what the rules will be then. So we’re not drawing too much attention to it (coronavirus).

“The Queen Vic is opening up and I think everyone will be socially distanced.”

Wood said they are “looking at ways to film where people can appear to be kissing and together”.

Asked about doing a socially distanced love scene, he told the ITV show: “Like anything at the moment, it’s going to be a challenge!”

Since material filmed before lockdown ran out, the BBC has been airing classic episodes of the soap and has also introduced a spin-off featuring Stacey Dooley.

EastEnders: Secrets From The Square features cast members talking to Dooley about their characters, storylines and more.

PA