'Line of Duty' will not start shooting again until coronavirus testing improves

Danny Thompson

Line Of Duty boss Jed Mercurio has said shooting for the popular series will not pick up again until testing for the coronavirus is improved and the safety of cast and crew is guaranteed.

The second phase of resuming life after coronavirus, meant the BBC were legally clear to pick up filming again but the writer is unwilling to put cast and crew at risk.

This means fans may have a lengthy wait to see what happens in series six of the show.

Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show, Mercurio said: “The problem was when [testing] was abandoned by the government, we were looking at a situation where we couldn’t apply that.

Kate (VICKY MCCLURE), Hastings (ADRIAN DUNBAR), Steve (MARTIN COMPSTON) (BBC/World Productions/Aiden Monaghan)

“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.

Read more: Vicky McClure shares 'Line Of Duty' lockdown reunion

“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.”

Thandie Newton, Jed Mercurio and Vicky McClure attend the launch of the BBC drama 'Line Of Duty' on March 3, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Asked about the possibility of the pandemic making its way into storylines, which is expected to happen with the nation’s soaps, Mercurio admitted he wasn’t sure if it would work.

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He said: “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.”

As the series had already been filming for four weeks in a “pre-COVID” world, bringing in coronavirus storylines would mean reshooting which would “have huge cost implications”.

Adrian Dunbar, Rochenda Sandall, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston attend the "Line of Duty" photocall at BFI Southbank on March 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Also appearing on the show was Vicky McClure who plays Kate Fleming on the series.

Read more: 'Line of Duty' star Stephen Graham reveals suicide attempt

Speaking about production being halted by the pandemic she said: “We all knew we were not far off having to shut down and we did when it was the right time.

“It’s a massive blow for everybody no matter what business you’re in it’s tough not going to work when thats what we naturally do - we'll get back up and running when its safe I imagine.”

The Andrew Marr Show airs every Sunday on BBC1 from 9am.