Line Of Duty has resumed filming after a five-month hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BBC police drama suspended shooting for series six back in March, but leading actor Martin Compston – who plays DS Steve Arnott – returned to set to shoot socially-distanced scenes on Tuesday.
Show creator Jed Mercurio thanked fans for their ‘patience’ and assured that the cast and crew are aiming to have the sixth season back on air ‘as soon as possible’.
It’s back! Line Of Duty has resumed filming for series six as it shared a socially-distanced snap on set with Martin Compston as his character DS Steve Arnott
In a new photo from the set, Martin posed as his character DS Steve Arnott while sitting behind a glass wall, which appeared to be in a prison.
The cast surrounding him are all wearing face masks and remain at a social distance on the other side of the screen.
Talking about the highly-anticipated return to filming, creator Jed said: ‘We know Line of Duty fans are desperate for Series 6 and we hope we can get it on air as soon as possible. Thanks so much for your patience in these difficult times.’
Series regulars, Martin, Vicky McClure (DI Kate Fleming) and Adrian Dunbar (Superintendent Ted Hastings), also issued statements about their return to filming.
Hooray! The hit BBC One police drama revealed that filming restarted on Monday with creator Jed Mercurio thanking fans for their ‘patience’ (Martin pictured in show still)
Martin, 36, said: ‘It’s been a long few months and it will be a different way of working from when we stopped, but I’m delighted to be back on the case with the Line of Duty team!’
Vicky, 37, added: ‘Been sitting on these incredible scripts for some time now, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to it and seeing the Line of Duty family.’
While Adrian, 62, commented: ‘Even with the imposition of Covid restrictions I can’t hide my excitement at getting the team back together. So many people wondering…what happens next?’
Line Of Duty insisted that they have worked with health and safety consultants in accordance to government guidelines to ensure the safety of cast and crew.
Statement: Talking about the highly-anticipated return to filming, creator Jed said: ‘We know Line of Duty fans are desperate for Series 6 and we hope we can get it on air as soon as possible. Thanks so much for your patience in these difficult times.’ (pictured in 2019)
Executive Producer for World Productions, Simon Heath, said: ‘It’s been almost six months since we stopped shooting.
‘But following our implementation of all the industry Covid protocols, we’re delighted to be able to resume filming series six safely.’
The hit BBC One police drama suspended its filming in Belfast for season six in March to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations.
A BBC spokesperson said at the time: ‘In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, the producers Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions of Peaky Blinders Series 6 have postponed filming, and World Productions on Line of Duty Series 6 have suspended filming, both in consultation with and supported by the BBC.
Hit show: Series regulars, Martin, Vicky McClure (DI Kate Fleming) and Adrian Dunbar (Superintendent Ted Hastings), also issued statements about their return to filming (above Mercurio with the lead stars)
‘We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation and Public Health England.’
The exciting news comes after creator Jed revealed filming on the show’s sixth series is set to resume imminently.
The writer revealed in a tweet on Thursday that he was jetting to Belfast to self-isolate ahead of a return to production.
He wrote: ‘So I’m on a @British_Airways flight to Belfast to self-isolate before resuming filming of #LineOfDuty and the two passengers in the row behind aren’t wearing masks and the flight attendant won’t challenge them.
‘If we have to shut down again, you know who to blame.’
It is rumoured to air sometime in 2021 – although no date has been confirmed. Series five aired from March-May 2019.
The show, which stars Martin as DS Steve Arnott, Vicky as DI Kate Fleming and Adrian as Superintendent Ted Hastings – following anti-corruptions officers as they root out bent coppers in the AC-12 division.
Last month, Martin explained the cast have a ‘definite date that we’re working towards’ to get back on set and they’re hoping to have the forthcoming sixth season shot before Christmas.
Paused: The hit BBC One police drama suspended its filming in Belfast for season six in March to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations
Appearing on The One Show, he said: ‘Well, I’m in dire need of a haircut and I’ve also got a few lockdown pounds I need to lose before we get back.
‘We’ve got a definite date that we’re working towards but there’s no point announcing it because the situation’s so fluid,
‘It can change daily, so hopefully we can get it done before Christmas.’
The Scottish star said the new pandemic filming measures will make things on set ‘completely different’ but he is eager to start again.
Discussing necessary alterations in order to keep the film studio coronavirus-safe, he explained: ‘I think there will be changes.
‘I mean there’s going to massive changes off camera just because of the protocols and the social distancing, how many people can be on set, no congregating, people off-camera wearing masks. It’s going to be a completely different feel.
Martin also teased storylines for the upcoming sixth series, which saw filming halted in March because of Covid-19, as he insisted that ‘the scripts are so good!’
He said: ‘In terms of the changes… we really wouldn’t want to compromise the scripts, the scripts are so good, and people are so loyal to the show, there would be no point coming back if we’re going to compromise quality.’
The show’s writers are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to storylines, and so when quizzed about whether there is, as rumoured, a ‘massive bombshell’ at the end of episode four, Martin teased: ‘Well there’s a few before that as well…
‘But just because I don’t have script five, there’s a big, big question at the end of [episode] four.’
Back to AC-12: The show, which stars Martin as DS Steve Arnott, Vicky as DI Kate Fleming and Adrian as Superintendent Ted Hastings – following anti-corruptions officers as they root out bent coppers in the AC-12 division (pictured in show still)