'Emmerdale' hit by complaints over coronavirus joke

Julia Hunt
The Emmerdale village set, near Leeds (Tim Whitby - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Emmerdale has been hit by complaints after the character Jimmy made a joke about the coronavirus.

The quip was made in one of the ITV soap’s special lockdown episodes, which are set against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

The scene saw Jimmy (Nick Miles) joking about not having to drop the children off at school any more because of the outbreak.

Read more: Filming on EastEnders to resume

Coming downstairs in his dressing gown, he quipped to Nicola (Nicola Wheeler): “At least we don't have to do the school run.

“Thank you, coronavirus."

Nick Miles from Emmerdale attends the Inside Soap Awards 2011 at Gilgamesh on September 26, 2011 in London, England. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Jimmy’s joke did not go down that well with some fans, and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has reportedly confirmed that it has received 12 complaints.

The remark was also criticised on social media, with people suggesting it was ill-advised.

One person posted on Twitter: “Thank you coronavirus, says Jimmy. What were the writers thinking!!! Oh no they wasn’t thinking at all.

“Over 40.000 deaths in case you had forgotten.”

Another tweeted: Can’t believe Jimmy King has just said thank you coronavirus. What do we have to be thankful for honestly.”

Read more: Emmerdale’s Michelle Hardwick pregnant

Emmerdale’s six special episodes focus on just two characters – such as Cain and Aaron (Jeff Hordley and Danny Miller) and Chas and Paddy (Lucy Pargeter and Dominic Brunt).

ITV worked within government guidelines, with social distancing in place.

Filming units stayed together to work in designated studios and crew used their own sanitised equipment, and the episodes do not see any location filming, meaning fewer scenes to avoid camera moves.

Cast members were also tasked with doing their own make-up – and they could even wear their own clothes where possible.