Emmerdale Al star swipes at BBC as he brands ITV ‘poster child for Covid rules’

Emmerdale star Michael Wildman, best known for his role as Al Chapman in the ITV Dales, has taken a subtle swipe at rival channel BBC.

He branded ITV the "poster channel" for Covid social distancing rules in a veiled jab at rival soaps like EastEnders.

Despite his swipe, all three major soaps used distancing measures in their filming, with crew members substituting tennis balls on sticks for mouths in racy kissing scenes and employing various other camera tricks.

Soap fans in particular poked fun at Tyrone's 'kiss' with Alina on the Corrie cobbles, with regular extras Alex Mulvaney and his wife Hannah stepping in as substitute stars – not too successfully.

But now social distancing has been scrapped, actors can get back to some serious snogging, which Chas star Lucy Pargeter admitted was "very weird".

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star and other press, she admitted of the upcoming scenes – which see Chas and Al share a snog after consoling each other about their woes: "It was very weird.

"Instead of people saying, 'You can’t stand next to them, you can’t touch them, you’re too close, you’re a metre away – don’t go any closer!', now they’re saying, 'Can you just stand there literally lip to lip, and we’ll just line up the cameras?'

"It’s very strange going back the other way now."

Michael then agreed: "Absolutely, it was incredibly weird. I mean, listen, you get on and you do it."

Which is when he couldn't resist taking a subtle swipe at the BBC, adding: " But we have been sort of the poster channel for distance acting you know, more so than the BBC.

"Then to all of a sudden be told, 'Oh be as intimate as you possibly can', coupled with the fact that – though Al doesn't have a family – the two families are so far apart…

"You’re not only bringing us together as actors, you’re bringing the families together in this really intimate place… but we had fun doing it," he said.

Lucy agreed: "Yeah it was good, a good laugh!"

Emmerdale airs weeknights from 7.30pm on ITV

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