Eastenders stars have reportedly been left unhappy and even contemplating leaving over extended breaks and pay losses on the soap due to the coronavirus situation and it’s been claimed that due to social distancing measures, fewer cast members can be permitted on the set at the same time.
And while the celebrities are taking an extended break, they will not be paid during their time off.
It comes after Jake Wood left the BBC One soap last week after 15 years playing the baddie Max Branning and in August it was announced that Ian Beale star Adam Woodyatt was taking an extended break.
However, an Eastender spokesperson told a media outlet that it’s not uncommon in soaps for the actors to have breaks for storyline reasons or other projects. However, these are always planned months in advance and no discussions have taken place about operating a period of extended breaks.
It comes after a source told a news outlet that casts had been called by producers over the weeks and told that, going forward, they would be operating a period of extended breaks for some.
It could see up to a third of the cast off at any one time on a loose rotation system but actors will not be paid when they are off and they’re not happy and some are contemplating leaving.
And social distancing means that fewer people can be on set at one time and they have to save money during difficult financial times and now Eastenders star Jake Wood quit the soap after 15 years of playing fiend Max Branning.
The actor, 48, confirmed he would be departing Albert Square at the end of the year, but added that bosses will be leaving the door open for his return.
Lacey Turner is also reportedly set to take a long break from Eastenders just as her character Stacey Fowler has returned to Albert Square.
The actress, 32, will be back on screens after she went on maternity leave for a year with her daughter Dusty, now fourteen months old, but according to a news outlet, Lacey’s return will be a short one as she will be off the soap again by the end of the year, with bosses now planning her temporary departure.
An insider said that Lacey will be taking a break and top bosses agreed to give her some time off from the show.
However, with some of the actors leaving, will anybody really notice or care? And admittedly it’s precarious work even on a good day and some have been in the show for such a long time, now they’ve been typecast, so is there anything else they can do?
When coronavirus was announced months ago, the public was led to believe by the Government, that neither the businesses nor their staff would lose out financially. Since then, all we’ve been reading is that everyone except the conglomerates has been losing out, especially their staff – yet another pledge made, but then broken.
So, some of these actors are contemplating leaving, so where will they be working next? And we know that actors usually live in a world of their own, but even they must have noticed what’s going on.
The problem here is that they’re not being paid in some cases or have had their wages slashed which is right as they’re not shooting.
I don’t believe any of them are asking for pity but if you’re not getting paid but still tied to the soap contractually then you may be unable to take other work or projects to supplement that loss of revenue.
Also if other work or projects come up, they might not be able to due to scheduling issues and whether you work on a soap or work in a supermarket you want to be working and earning money and there seems to be a tremendous problem in this country with people feeling that anyone who earns a certain amount of money somehow shouldn’t grumble when their paychecks cease.
Although it would be wrong of us to tell these celebrities to shut up and take it on the chin because clearly, they all want to be working and have the right to do so if things aren’t going well where they are.