ISOLATION Stories boss heaps praise on Sheridan Smith’s boyfriend on his brilliant secret role in the ITV drama.
Ahead of brand new show’s debut tonight, Jeff Pope, the Head of Factual Drama at ITV and one of the series’ writers and producers was a guest This Morning from his home in Essex.
During the live chat, Jeff spoke about Sherdian’s fiance Jamie Horn’s role in the show, which was filming her scenes during isolation.
The 61-year old gushed: “He was fantastic… he literally did everything. He moved her around, he did the lighting, he did her wardrobe, he made lunch… It was one of the most wonderful spirits of togetherness I have ever experienced working on a drama, even though no one was ever in the same room.”
He added: “If it does carry on, then yes I do think we have to look at a way of reflecting our lives… I’m hoping there won’t be a need to do more but yes, if this carries on I think it is important that we do.”
The producer added that all the work done to put the show together was took place remotely and like many others, relied on Zoom conference call for communication.
Jeff added: “Everything was done remotely. We’d have a Zoom screen and everybody would be there – Director, 1st Assistant Director. We had to learn talk etiquette, when to talk and when to shut up.
“We’d all be feeding in instructions and we had a make-up artist who advised Robert on how best to get that look. I didn’t realise that when you’re looking really sweaty and ill, a little thin sheen of vaseline gives that shine.”
Jeff revealed that the project was inspired by his wife who had shown symptoms of the coronavirus.
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He said: “For about three days we were on the verge of, ‘Should we take her to A&E?’ 111 and a couple of doctors who were friends, the advice was to do with breaths per minute, over 20 is dangerous, should be about 14.
The screenwriter added: “So I didn’t realise it at the time, but I thought that afterwards, this is an interesting story and I built around that. “And I spoke to three other wonderful writers… and the pitch was just to reflect something that is going on in our lives… and let’s tell these short stories.
Jeff they explained what he hopes the audience will get out of the program: “Hopefully they’ll be funny, they might be sad, heartwarming but at least reflect what’s going on whilst it’s still going on.”
Isolation Stories starts tonight at 9pm on ITV.