Emmerdale has filmed new episodes showing its characters in lockdown as part of the ITV soap's "phased return to filming".

ITV has said the episodes will "ensure Emmerdale stays on air in June". The rural soap halted filming in March due to the Covid-19 emergency and reduced its transmission of episodes to three per week.

The new episodes were filmed under social distancing protocols with reduced cast and crew, fewer scenes and no location shoots.

The episodes explore characters' thoughts on what is important in life and see them looking back on Emmerdale history. 

In a statement, Emmerdale's executive producer Jane Hudson said: "Lockdown has created an opportunity for us to focus on what is important in our lives.

"When we first discussed commissioning these episodes back in March the writers instantly rose to the challenge.

"Seven weeks into lockdown, and the scripts have an added poignancy and meaning.

"The response from everyone at Emmerdale to filming these episodes has been fantastic and we're really grateful for their support."

Emmerdale airs on Virgin Media One and ITV on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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