EastEnders cast ignored social distancing and partied in pubs for St Patrick’s Day hours before set shutdown

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Max Bowden, Lorraine Stanley and Shona McGarty donned St Patrick’s Day hats as they sank pints on Saturday night amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The EastEnders cast ignored social distancing and partied at the pub at the weekend

Max, who plays Ben Mitchell in the BBC soap, shared a snap of himself with his co-stars and his girlfriend Danielle on Instagram on Tuesday.

The group beamed at the camera as they posed in a pub garden, with Lorraine holding Danielle’s leg in the air while pulling a funny face.

Max captioned the shot: “Amongst all the madness, happy St Patrick’s day!”

Lorraine, who plays Karen Taylor in Albert Square, also shared a slew of snaps of the foursome having a whale of a time.

Max Bowden, Lorraine Stanley and Shona McGarty sank pints at the pub on Saturday

She wrote: “Sat night giggles for Paddy’s day with my good friends.”

The group’s wild night comes before EastEnders announced on Wednesday that it has stopped filming and is cutting down to showing two episodes a week.

Episodes will air on Monday and Tuesday, halving its regular run with Thursday and Friday showings removed from the telly schedule.

They donned St Patrick’s Day hats for their wild night out

A statement from the soap reads: “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice.

It comes after reports Coronation Street could be ‘forced down to two episodes a week’ because of coronavirus.

The pandemic is currently gripping the nation and ITV bosses have held talks about how to cope with it and keep the shows on our screens.

Their partying was before EastEnders stopped filming and announced it’s cutting down to showing two episodes a week

Both soaps air six times a week and are shot a number of weeks in advance, but bosses are working to put a plan in place in case cast members get struck down by the sickness.

One Coronation Street cast member has already self-isolated over virus fears after returning from holiday earlier this month.

However, the unnamed actor has since been cleared to return to filming on the Cobbles.

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