EastEnders' Diane Parish says acting industry is 'decimated' due to coronavirus

EastEnders star Diane Parish has opened up about how lucky she felt to have a job to go back to amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The actress — who portrays Denise Fox on The BBC One soap — said on BBC Breakfast: ‘Throughout the lockdown, the phrase we were able to use in our show and other shows like ours was “when we go back to work”.

‘That hasn’t been a commonly used phrase in our industry because our industry has kind of been decimated. The rug has been pulled out for under it.

‘We are in a unique position to be in a thing called Continuing Drama. Not Single Drama or something like that, or theatre.

‘It’s a real struggle at the moment, and our show in particular, we now sort of provide a kind of rep company for actors who aren’t working to come in and cut their teeth again and oil their wheels.

‘We were very aware when we went back that we were in a unique position, in having a job to go back to — one that we knew was there for us.

‘Ultimately, all actors want to do is work and to be able to flex our muscles. We’ve had the legs cut off a little bit in terms of there being no theatre, there being no productions for a long period of time, and there’s possibly a long period of recovery, so we need all the support we can get, really.

EastEnders was forced to shut down production amid the Covid-19 pandemic back in March, and — in spite of hopes that filming would be able to resume before the rationed episodes ran out — the soap eventually went off the air in June.

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However, it commenced filming once more, and — with innovative methods employed to ‘cheat’ social distancing — it returns with a bang on September 7.

EastEnders returns Monday September 7 at 8.05pm on BBC One.

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