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BBC confirms EastEnders break, announces new show

BBC confirms EastEnders break, announces new show
© BBC
The BBC confirms that EastEnders will air its final pre-recorded episode on June 16, with a new show called Secrets From The Square launching in its place the week after.

The BBC has confirmed that EastEnders will air its final pre-recorded episode in just 12 days' time and could be off air until September.

The news will mark the first time that the soap has not been part of BBC One's weekly schedules since it first aired more than 35 years ago.

Filming on the show shut down in mid-March as the UK entered coronavirus lockdown and is not due to start up again until the end of this month, despite ITV rivals Emmerdale and Coronation Street having already managed to restart production.

After the BBC airs the last episode of EastEnders it has on the shelf on Tuesday, June 16, a new series called Secrets From The Square will take over the soap's Monday night slot from June 22.

Fronted by Stacey Dooley, the new show will feature socially-distanced interviews with cast members including Letitia Dean, Adam Woodyatt, Diane Parish, Tameka Empson, Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright from the set of Ian Beale's restaurant Walford East.

On Tuesday nights BBC One will broadcast classic episodes from the EastEnders archive, including the Den and Angie two-hander, Sharongate and the reveal of Max and Stacey's affair at the Christmas dinner table.

"Although the drama from Albert Square will be off our screens for a short time, we are thrilled that fans will have a unique opportunity to see from the cast themselves just what it is like to be part of EastEnders when they see Secrets From The Square," said exec producer Jon Sen.

"As the cast look back - as well as forward - we can relive some of their most memorable moments and to add a selection of iconic episodes into the mix means viewers will be able to get their regular Walford fix until the drama returns."

Earlier this week BBC drama chief Piers Wenger insisted that EastEnders will not "dwell" on the issue of coronavirus when new episodes are filmed.

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