ITV has announced four short dramas inspired by true stories and reflecting life in lockdown across the country.
Coming from Oscar nominated writer and producer Jeff Pope, Isolation Stories will be made up of four 15 minute episodes each featuring a stellar cast and comprise of four
Written by award-winning screenwriters, and assembled in conditions that the production team has never faced before, ITV say the episodes "will reflect what families are going through after weeks of lockdown, featuring moments that are funny, sad, heartwarming and poignant."
The series will be filmed observing the strict rules of lockdown with actors and their families filming the scenes themselves, watched remotely by the directors.
You can watch online via the ITV Hub.
Isolation Stories cast and episodes
Mel - Monday 4th May at 9pm
Sheridan Smith stars in the first episode entitled Mel, written by Gaby Chiappe (The Level) and directed by Paul Whittington (White House Farm, Little Boy Blue).
A synopsis reads: "Alone, heavily pregnant, and fed up with life, Mel (Sheridan Smith) faces having to go through birth without the married father of her child - who has chosen to stay with his wife and family - and without her own family, who have given her the cold shoulder.
"She might be the only person in the country who doesn’t mind isolation. At least everyone else will understand what it’s like to be miserable…"
Ron & Russell - Tuesday 5th May at 9pm
Robert Glenister and his actor son, Tom Glenister, appear in Ron and Russell written by Jeff Pope and directed by Louise Hooper (Flesh and Blood, Cheat).
A synopsis sahres: "Ron (Robert Glenister) is ill with the virus and is confused about where he is and what’s happening to him. One of his sons, Russell (Tom Glenister), is trapped and isolating with him.
"Their relationship is already strained and old wounds are reopened as they are forced to spend all their time together. Russell becomes increasingly frantic as he tries to help Ron through the illness. "
Mike & Rochelle - Wednesday 6th May at 9pm
Darren Boyd and Angela Griffin appear in Mike and Rochelle written by William Ivory and directed by Paul Andrew Williams (A Confession, Broadchurch).
A teaser reveals: "The worst fears of paranoid, self-absorbed hypochondriac Mike (Darren Boyd) have come true. There is an unstoppable virus that affects us all, and you can catch it just by breathing!
"He insists on an online session with his psychiatrist Rochelle (Angela Griffin) who must try and talk him down from the precipice. But who really is the patient, and who is the shrink?"
Karen - Thursday 7th May at 9pm
Eddie Marsan, his sons Blu and Bodhi, and David Threlfall star in Karen written by Neil McKay and directed by David Blair (The Block).
A synopsis reads: "A grandad (David Threlfall) resolves to bring his broken family together by...being a grandad. Able to pass by his son-in-law’s house on the way to the grocery store, he stops off outside their window to lark about and make his grandkids smile.
"But his son-in-law (Eddie Marsan), still suffering after his wife Karen left him, doesn’t welcome these daily visits."
Following the four episodes, a special Isolation Stories: Behind The Scenes will air Thursday 7th May at 11pm on ITV.
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, has commissioned the series.
She said: “It’s amazing that Jeff has managed to make these short films so quickly, to reflect the times we are living in. These are moving and funny tales of isolation with an incredibly talented team on and off screen. They are stories told from isolation to an audience in isolation.
"It’s not often drama can be made this quickly so huge thanks to everyone involved in making this happen and I hope they bring some joy to the audience, in what we know are difficult times.”