Coronation Street replaces Alan Halsall as Tyrone Dobbs for kissing scene with Ruxandra Porojnicu's Alina Pop

CORONATION Street has lifted the lid on a secret filming trick amid the coronavirus pandemic as Tyrone Dobbs and Alina Pop appeared to share a kiss tonight.

Soap stars Alan Halsall and Ruxandra Porojnicu – who play Tyrone and Alina in the ITV show – were replaced with a real-life couple as body doubles in order to adhere to the UK’s strict social distancing guidelines.

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In tonight’s episode, Tyrone and Alina shared a smooch on the bench in Victoria Gardens as the soap kicked off their affair storyline.

But now Corrie bosses have revealed that, in order to stick to pandemic-related filming restrictions, Alan and Ruxandra were never actually seated on the bench together. 

Instead, the actors were shot having the conversation separately, while Corrie extra Alex Mulvaney and his wife Hannah were drafted in to film Tyrone and Alina’s kiss.

“My agent said that Coronation Street needed extras who were in a support bubble and because I used to be an extra three times a week and they knew half of my family had done extra work on the show it worked out perfectly,” Alex explained.

“My partner, Hannah, hadn’t done any extra work before, but my agent knew she had dark hair like Alina’s so I asked her if she wanted to do it. Hannah was nervous at first, but she is a big Coronation Street fan. I had been on set many times before, and I was able to talk her through what to expect and she was a bit starstruck when she saw the actors.”

To make sure Alan and Ruxandra had the correct eyeline, a pair of sunglasses were taped onto a car aerial to give the illusion of Tyrone and Alina gazing into one another’s eyes.

Speaking about the filming trick, Alex added: “I thought it was a really inventive idea, especially the sunglasses on the car aerial to keep the actors’ eyeline. Given what is going on in the world this was the best way to do it safely. It was a really enjoyable day and it was clear that all the cast and staff follow COVID rules strictly.  The organisation and care taken is second to none.”

Ruxandra Porojnicu, who plays Alina, said: "Filming the kissing scene under the covid restrictions where we had to keep two metres apart was definitely a challenge, but one as an actress I really enjoyed. It was difficult not being able to look into each other's eyes for the emotion of the scene but Coronation Street came up with a clever way to cheat that with sunglasses on an ariel.

"Everything that's been said in the scene leads to the kiss which is very important for Alina because it is the first time that she has said out loud to Tyrone that she is falling for him."

Corrie producer Iain MacLeod added: “For the most part, our brilliant writers, cast and crew have cleverly worked around the inability of our characters to get within two metres of each other. We have therefore told the same stories throughout the pandemic that we would have told in “normal” times.

"But it just felt wrong to tell a story of an illicit liaison, where someone betrays their partner based on lust and sexual attraction, only for us not to see any of the chemistry and closeness. Hence the smoke and mirrors here!”

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