Australia, you’ve done it again…. and for that matter so has Network 10.
“Australia, which hasn’t been hit as hard by the global pandemic as some other countries, is showing the world how to resume film and TV production. Neighbours, the long-running soap, was one of the first suspended scripted dramas to return to production with safety protocols in place.” -Deadline.
Another Aussie production is winning global press coverage for its measures in social distancing, in the roadmap back to production.
US trade site Deadline is reporting on new measures by MasterChef Australia, which hit screens this week.
A reference to the absence of Melissa Leong on Monday’s episode is particularly interesting.
Here’s how Deadline reported….
In the Australian version, additional hand sanitizing stations were put in across the set, while the cooking benches were spaced out further to keep contestants further away from each other and gloves were provided for team challenges where equipment was shared as well as when contestants went to get food from the store cupboards. Extra sinks were also added as well as dedicated hand washing stations.
In terms of the judges – this season featuring Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo – they stepped up to taste the individually portioned meals and didn’t share cutlery or plates.
Contestants were kept separated, and there were obviously no high-fives and hugs when things went well or badly. The first episode back helped as it was a relay challenge, where the contestants work one after each other, waiting for one cook to finish before stepping in.
However, an example of how seriously producers took the health concerns was the absence of Leong from the episode. She revealed that she had sinusitis and went to the doctors, before being cleared and returning to the set for future episodes.
Endemol Shine Australia, which produces the show, this season titled MasterChef: Back To Win, said, “MasterChef Australia has always employed the highest standards of food safety and hygiene, and we now have an even keener focus on that. All recommendations outlined by Federal and State government health authorities are being followed. Under the current circumstances, we are introducing new measures for the foreseeable future.”