Lorraine and Loose Women will stop broadcasting live from Monday, ITV has announced.
This follows an earlier announcement by the broadcaster that filming on its soaps – Coronation Street and Emmerdale – will also be suspended from Monday due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the news about Loose Women and Lorraine, a statement said: “ITV Daytime has taken the decision to stop broadcasting Lorraine and Loose Women live from Monday 23rd March”.
“This decision has been made to minimise the number of staff travelling in and out of our studios and working together on shift at any one time.
“We’re focusing our efforts on providing to viewers the latest news on the rapidly changing situation which aims to offer some stability and continuity in all our lives whilst so many of us are at home right now. That’s why we have taken this tough decision to protect our GMB News programme in the morning and keep This Morning on air for as long as possible”.
ITV said that from Monday an extended version of Good Morning Britain will air from 6am until 10am and feature Charlotte Hawkins as co-host until 9am, with Lorraine Kelly joining Piers Morgan for the remainder of the programme.
Kelly will then “hand straight over to the This Morning studio with Phillip (Schofield) and Holly (Willoughby) as usual running from 10am until 12.30pm.
“We will then run some of our most favourite repeat episodes of Loose Women from 12.30pm to 1.30pm to give viewers something to smile about each day at lunchtime”.
The broadcaster added that over the last week they had been reducing crew numbers and “these changes will enable us to reduce them further and help us build further resilience with the aim of Daytime content continuing to air for as long as possible”.
The statement ended saying: “Safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved with our programmes is our priority and in this dynamically developing situation we will obviously continue to review these new arrangements on a day by day basis and follow at all times the latest PHE and WHO guidelines.”
UPDATE: @GMB is being extended by an hour tomorrow for a Coronavirus special edition from 6am-10am. Iâll be co-hosting with @CharlotteHawkns until 9am, and with @reallorraine from 9-10am.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 22, 2020
Our quarantined @susannareid100 will also be joining throughout the show from her home.
In a tweet, Good Morning Britain host Morgan said his co-presenter, Susanna Reid, who is self-isolating at home after one of her sons developed symptoms of the virus, will join the show via video link.
Announcing the news about Coronation Street and Emmerdale, ITV said its staff had been working hard to ensure filming continued “whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines”.
It said enough episodes have been recorded to see both soaps through until the early summer.
The statement said: “ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday March 23.
“We’ve been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines, to ensure we’ve episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.
“However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming.
“We’d like to thank our viewers for their support and hope they continue to enjoy both soaps in the coming months.”
A tweet from the official Coronation Street account confirmed it will still be on air next week “as normal, apart from Friday”.
From March 30 onwards the show will air three times a week.
Thanks for your support. We'll be here on social bringing you the Big Drama from the Small Village in the best ways we can. We're in this together x #Emmerdale— Emmerdale (@emmerdale) March 22, 2020
Replying to a fan praising the soap for its decision, the official Emmerdale account tweeted: “Thanks for your support. We’ll be here on social bringing you the Big Drama from the Small Village in the best ways we can. We’re in this together x #Emmerdale.”
Earlier this week, the BBC suspended filming of EastEnders and other top BBC dramas including Casualty, Doctors, Holby City, River City and Welsh series Pobol y Cwm.
EastEnders fans will still be able to get their fix of Walford from episodes already filmed, and TV bosses say just two episodes will air each week to make them last as long as possible.
Filming on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks will also be paused and the number of weekly episodes will be reduced from five to three from Monday March 30. These will air from Monday to Wednesday.
A statement from Lime Pictures, the makers of Hollyoaks, said the decision had been made with a “heavy heart”.
It added: “To make sure we stay on air every weeknight, fans can look forward to extra special episodes every Thursday and Friday on E4, as we begin a brand new series of ‘Hollyoaks Favourites’.
“Introduced by Kieron Richardson and Jorgie Porter, this series will give viewers a chance to revisit some of our biggest episodes, from weddings, bust-ups, heartbreaks and some of our biggest and best stunts.
“We will start the series with Mercedes’ fourth wedding, to Dr Browning.”
Richardson is known to fans for playing Ste Hay and Porter for her character Theresa McQueen.
The statement ended saying: “Soaps are an important part of people’s lives and we have 25 years of Hollyoaks Favourites to revisit over coming weeks, celebrating the history of the show that you love.
“We will remain as present as ever on our social platforms so please keep in touch with us, stay safe and take care of yourselves. Thank you for your ongoing support.”