Session details

Avoid Like the Plague
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
1:45 PM - 2:30 PM (AEDT)

This session explores the brave screen stories which incorporated COVID-19 into their narratives.

COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of the screen sector, most obviously in the precautions on set, but it has also had a huge impact on scripts. The Home and Away script department were careful to avoid dialogue such as “I’m going to avoid him like the plague” and actors could no longer have close contact - how do you write a proposal scene that can’t end in the couple kissing?

We examine UK series that incorporated COVID-19 into their narratives - including BBC’s Casualty which used its hospital as a centre piece to tell the struggles of the NHS staff and patients and East Enders who incorporated lockdown and the pandemic into their long running story threads.

We also speak with Australian director Molly Reynolds who managed to produce a hybrid doco-drama, Shoppappa, staring a London man trapped in his home and Nicholas Hayden, whose team not only managed to get Home Alone Together, starring Ray Martin, on our screens under immense time pressure but also successfully kept up with society’s response to the pandemic in real time.

This is definitely NOT a panel to avoid like the plague!

Moderator & Producer

Holly Lyons, Screenwriter


Nicholas Hayden, Head of Entertainment, ABC

Kate Oates, Head of Genre, BBC Studios

Loretta Preece, Series Producer, Casualty, BBC

Molly Reynolds, Writer, Producer & Director, Molly Media

Nicholas Hayden Kate Oates Loretta Preece Molly Reynolds
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