Media release: Lights, camera, action! River City resumes filming


AFTER a five-month hiatus, BBC Scotland’s award-winning drama, River City, has started filming again at the BBC Dumbarton Studios, following a halt in filming due to the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. New episodes will air on the BBC Scotland channel and BBC One Scotland from early October.

The drama will note the five month break on-screen, highlighting the life-changing reality for the residents of Shieldinch. In early episodes, River City fans can expect lots of dramatic moments including the stalker storyline, the funeral of a local, return of a River City regular and a Coronavirus storyline which will see one of the key characters gripped by the virus.

River City will once again revisit fan favourites including Bob O’Hara (Stephen Purdon), Lenny Murdoch (Frank Gallagher), Caitlin McLean (Gayle Telfer Stevens), Alex Murdoch (Jordan Young), and Scarlett O’Hara (Sally Howitt), as well as some new faces to be announced soon.

Gayle Telfer Stevens, who plays Caitlin McLean, is thrilled to return to Shieldinch: “I feel so excited to be back doing what we all love doing and meet our characters again. It’s a sheer mix of emotions from gratefulness, delight and nerves all mixed into one. We’ve been off air for so long we all can’t wait to get up and running again. Fans can expect the same level of dramatic storylines, glamour and Shieldinch
social distancing all rolled into one!”

Filming resumed today and follows industry guidelines. Due to social distancing measures – and the need to reduce the number of cast and crew filming scenes at any given time – the popular weekly soap will initially return as a half hour programme from early October instead of its usual hour-long episode. This is a temporary plan until social distancing measures are relaxed.

River City has returned to film with two reduced crews and a maximum of four cast per unit working in ‘filming pods’. These smaller cast and crew teams will have staggered start and end times, ensuring that there is no overlap between the pods.

BBC Studios series producer, Martin McCardie, adds: “While working with one-way systems, COVID pods and doing their own costume and make-up, the actors from River City are back. Alongside a fantastic crew who are working with strict safety protocols they are combining to bring some of the best drama yet to River City fans.

“All the emotion, heartbreak and loss that people endured during lockdown happens on Montego Street but our characters also find happiness, humour and love and are looking forward to sharing those moments with our BBC Scotland audience.”

River City is a BBC Studios production for BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland.

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