FILMING a TV show in a studio is hard enough in these strange times, with social distancing and tighter restrictions and regulations than ever before.
But shooting a series in a tiny restaurant on the end of Southend Pier is frankly impossible — as Jamie Oliver will confirm.
I’m told the next series of Channel 4’s cooking show Jamie And Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast has been indefinitely postponed because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Bosses had tried their hardest to find a way for Jamie and his best pal Jimmy Doherty to shoot the show but realised the cafe was just too small.
The show, which has so far run for seven series, sees a different celebrity guest joining the pair each week, with Ant and Dec, Mary Berry, Mel B and Claudia Winkleman all helping out last year.
A source said: “Channel 4 really wanted to get the show on air as it’s popular with viewers and frankly everyone is craving some new telly right now.
“But they had to make a decision with the health and wellbeing of those involved in making the show their utmost priority.
“It would be nigh-on impossible to get celebrities in as guests safely too. It would be a real health and safety nightmare. So the new series is postponed for now and hopefully when things settle down they can revisit it with Jimmy and Jamie.”
A spokeswoman for Channel 4 confirmed: “The series has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Hopefully we will get to a stage very soon when more shows are being given the green light than the axe.
MIRANDA Hart feared she was about to be burgled when she heard a late-night intruder, which turned out to be a fox.
She tweeted: “I slowly go to the top of the stairs. The fox is half way up TO MY BEDROOM. UNACCEPTABLE.”
Simon's stand-up dream
INBETWEENERS actor Simon Bird plans to move away from TV and films and start doing his own live shows.
He said: “I’m toying around with the idea of doing a bit of stand-up. I have been toying around with that for years but never quite had the courage.
“I wouldn’t close the door on acting. I’d always read scripts if they come in but they very rarely do.”
Emily Atack, his character Will’s love interest in the E4 series, has become a name in her own right after appearing on I’m A Celebrity.
Simon added: “My path coming out of university was that I would really give comedy a go and that means that I’ll try and do a stand-up show at Edinburgh.
“The Inbetweeners happened so quickly and suddenly that I was moved into the world of acting, rather than stand-up and sketches.
“I am now trying to re-state my claim to doing my own thing.”
EMMERDALE’S Natalie J. Robb says the pandemic has stopped cast and crew having fun when filming.
Natalie, who plays Moira Dingle, said: “There’s less of us now on set, so you don’t have as much of a laugh. But we’ll get there.”
The best of cluck to Fred
FIRST Dates star Fred Sirieix is on a mission to solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time – the recipe for KFC.
The maître d’ extraordinaire will challenge top chefs to work out what goes into making the fast food favourite in the second series of Channel 4 show Snackmasters.
A TV insider said: “Only two people in the world know the combination of 11 herbs and spices that makes KFC so addictive.
“It’s such a fiercely guarded secret that the original recipe is locked away in a vault at the company’s Kentucky HQ.
“Replicating the taste is going to be the toughest challenge that Fred and his team of culinary experts have ever faced.”
The series will also see chefs attempt to duplicate Domino’s pizza, Snickers, Quavers and Quality Street chocolates, with a panel of experts from each brand judging them on how authentic they look and taste.
Previously, there have been attempts to make KitKat, Monster Munch and Burger King replicas. Snackmasters’ first run landed a Bafta nomination for Best Feature.
If they manage to crack the Colonel’s secret, it deserves every award going.
WHAT? Escape To The Chateau: Make Do And Mend, Channel 4, 9pm.
WHY? The last episode of the series sees Dick and Angel Strawbridge help a family come up with camping ideas including a portable solar shower.
Mo fills Ken gap
THE Masked Singer’s Ken Jeong is being replaced for the second UK series.
Mo Gilligan is taking his place because the US actor is unable to take part in filming due to the travel restrictions.
The award-winning comic will join Rita Ora, Davina McCall and Jonathan Ross on the panel for the ITV show.
He said: “It’s a real privilege to be joining The Masked Singer team. It’s one of the funniest shows out there and I’m really proud to play my small part to help bring a little bit of joy to the nation.”
Joel Dommett will again host as 12 celebrities fight it out to be crowned the winner, while the public attempts to unmask their identities.
Pretty long stretch for Molly-Mae
MOLLY-Mae Hague doesn’t pull any punches as she launches her latest clothing collection.
The influencer has created another edit for PrettyLittleThing, which snapped her up following her exit from Love Island’s villa with boxer boyfriend Tommy Fury last year.
It comes after she signed a £600,000 deal to extend her partnership with the fashion brand.
The reality star admitted during an Instagram Q&A that she expected her and Tommy would be having children in the near future.
She said: “Probably not ages, like. I’ve always wanted to have a baby slightly younger anyway, so not going to be super, super old or not going to be super, super young.”
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