Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio says show unlikely to resume filming until testing improves after coronavirus outbreak on set

Filming was abandoned in March due to coronavirus

Isobel Lewis
Monday 18 May 2020 07:51 BST
Line of Duty - series 5 trailer

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has admitted that the show may not be able to return to filming until next year unless coronavirus testing facilities are made widely available.

Filming for the show’s sixth series had to be abandoned in March due to the coronavirus outbreak after it was deemed unsafe for the police procedural and Peaky Blinders to go ahead with filming.

Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show with Vicky McClure, who plays DI Kate Fleming in the BBC drama, Mercurio revealed that while they had initially had a small outbreak on set, testing had kept this under control, but without access to tests they wouldn’t be able to restart.

“The problem was when [testing] was abandoned by the Government, we were looking at a situation where we couldn’t apply that,” he explained.

“Nobody knows how this is going to unfold and we’ve just got to make sure everybody’s safe. I feel for a lot of the crew, it’s a difficult time when you’re out of work.”

Mercurio continued: “I want to get back as soon as we can, but that’s got to be when it’s safe and we’re not a show that is similar to the soaps where there’s a possibility of bringing the actual subject of corona into the storyline, where that could make it slightly easier for them to adapt to it, whereas it’s currently not in Line Of Duty‘s world.”

“To be honest with you there’s a lot we can do within the industry, but until wider society has the public health infrastructure of test, trace and isolate in place it’s going to be very hard for anyone... I just don’t think, unless wider society has got the process right, we’ll be able to work in isolation.”

The fifth series of Line of Duty aired last year and starred McClure, Stephen Graham, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar as the officers of AC-12.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in