THE cast of River City could soon be returning to the streets of Shieldinch after the BBC confirmed plans to resume filming.

The network said preparations are underway to restart filming in mid-August at the BBC Scotland Dumbarton studios. Filming previously came to a halt in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

New episodes are planned to air on the BBC Scotland channel and BBC One Scotland in late September.

The BBC said that filming resuming will be subject to government guidelines and ongoing discussions with BBC Scotland. Due to social distancing measures - and the need to reduce the number of cast and crew filming scenes at any given time – the proposals will see the popular weekly soap initially return as two half-hour programmes, twice a week from September instead of its usual hour-long episode. This is a temporary plan until social distancing measures are relaxed.

The BBC added that the aim is to restart filming 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.

In the coming weeks, plans are underway to complete some socially distant camera tests with guidance from the BBC Studios team working on EastEnders.

Storylines for the new episodes are currently being written and will revisit the residents of Shieldinch including fan favourites Bob O’Hara (Stephen Purdon), Alex Murdoch (Jordan Young), Caitlin McLean (Gayle Telfer Stevens), Lenny Murdoch (Frank Gallagher) and Scarlett O’Hara (Sally Howitt).

Before lockdown, the last original River City episode aired on May 18 and fans of the show are currently taking a step back in time with River City Rewind on the BBC Scotland channel on Monday nights, a ten-part series which delves into the archives showcasing some of the soap’s most iconic storylines over its 18 year history.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: River City to rewind with classic episodes to be aired

Gavin Smith, Commissioning Editor, BBC Scotland says: “River City will continue to reflect the lives of our audience when it returns to BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland after the summer.

"After such a seismic event in 2020, we can’t ignore coronavirus so when we’re back in Shieldinch we’ll see the effect of the pandemic on our characters rather than making it the main focus.

"River City’s comeback will see fans favourite characters return with a bang and there’s lots of new dramatic and funny stories being written over the summer.”

BBC Studios Series Producer, Martin McCardie added: “We are busy preparing our new episodes of River City where the lives, loves and laughter from Shieldinch can soon be on our screens again.

"Our characters will adjust to their new reality but continue with the drama and the fun, we can’t wait!”

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