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Coronation Street has made use of a mannequin to film TV’s first socially distanced stunt.
Fans of the ITV soap will see characters Gary Windass and Sarah Platt involved in dramatic scenes next week when his web of lies begin to unravel and he is mowed down by an oncoming car.
Soap bosses have given viewers a glimpse of how actors Mickey North and Tina O’Brien managed to film the stunt while still observing social distancing guidelines, which revealed they had a helping hand from a plastic mannequin.
The storyline will see Rick Neelan’s engraved watch found in the woods before Sarah demands answers from Gary about his involvement in the loan shark’s disappearance.
Terrified by Gary’s admissions, Sarah runs away from him to call the police. As Gary chases Sarah down the street, a car hurtles towards her and Gary dives into the path of danger, pushing her to safety and saving her life.
However, a dummy dressed in Sarah’s clothes and used in place of Tina O'Brien in certain shots
Mickey revealed: “The stunt was me acting with the dummy Sarah at times and it’s not easy but we have done as best we can, it’s just really nice to get back there and the crew have been fantastic and the scripts have been edited in a way where we can film it.
“It’s changed quite a lot from what we had for this week before lockdown but hopefully we’ve not lost any of the effect from it.”
Tina revealed that the dummy was taken from the soap’s Underworld factory set, but they had to make some changes.
She said: “When I stood next to it, it was towering over me! We had to saw the bottom of the legs off to make it more realistic and more my height but we have a very talented director and post production team so no one will notice when it’s in the show.”
The stunt was originally scheduled to be filmed on location, in the woods, but this was also amended in the interest of safety for the cast and crew.
Director David Kester added: “Because of social distancing, Mikey cannot touch Tina or push her away and that is integral to the stunt because his character has got to look heroic and that he has saved her.
“We are cheating it by using a mannequin from Underworld and if we shoot it in the right way, making it a tight shot and we do it very quickly, it will work and will still sell the idea that he has pushed her.”
Coronation Street resumed filming at its studios in Salford with strict protocols in place last month, after production ceased due to the pandemic back in March.
Unlike rival soap EastEnders, Corrie managed to stay on air before running out of pre-recorded episodes, with scenes filmed after lockdown now on screen.
Coronation Street will air TV’s first socially distanced stunt on 29 July.