EASTENDERS fans were devastated when the BBC One soap went off air for the first time in its 35-year history after running out of episodes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But with the soap’s finale having ended with some whopping cliffhangers on June 16, what fans really want to know is when will filming resume and when will the BBC One soap be back on our screens? Here’s everything you need to know…
- Visit our EastEnders page for the latest gossip
- Find all EastEnders spoilers here
When did EastEnders resume filming?
EastEnders recommenced filming on June 29, more than three months after lockdown forced a pause in production.
Actress Tanya Franks – who plays Rainie Branning on the soap – took to Twitter to break the news.
Writing on Twitter, Tanya said: "Looking forward to working with this geezer @RickyChamp1 again next week and getting Rainie and Stuart back to some #Stainie action. #EastEnders."
The soap was forced to halt production back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of weekly episodes slashed in an effort to keep the show on air for as long as possible.
But the final pre-lockdown episode aired on June 16, forcing the soap to go off air for the first time in its 35-year history.
When will EastEnders be back on air?
In early June, a show insider suggested that the soap may not return until September.
The insider told the Mirror: "We normally work 6-8 weeks ahead of what viewers see on screen, in terms of a block of storylines, and we would look to do the same thing again when we restart work.
"Filming with the new rules and regulations will take longer and so we could be back on screen at the end of August but that is being optimistic and it may take longer than that, which would mean the soap returning in September."
And EastEnders star Dayle Hudson may have inadvertently confirmed that the soap won’t be returning until September by sharing new scripts on his Instagram page, one of which had a transmission date which read September 8.
On EastEnders: Secrets from the Square, it was hinted that when the soap returns there will be a potentially explosive twist between couple Ben Mitchell and Callum Highway.
Ben might be forced to reassess who is most important to him: his boyfriend Callum or dad Phil.
Tony Clay said to Stacey Dooley: "Callum is just very, very focused on trying to get into the police now, and he doesn't want that derailed by Ben trying to impress his dad again".
The good news is that the BBC previously confirmed that when the soap does return, it'll be back to four episodes a week – but each episode will be 20 minutes each instead of the usual 30.
The news will be a relief for viewers, who have been left hanging after the finale on Tuesday, June 16, ended on a huge cliffhanger.
Fans were left speechless as Sharon Mitchell and Ian Beale swooped in to buy the Queen Vic, leaving Sharon's ex-husband and prospective buyer Phil Mitchell raging and setting the scene nicely for the soap’s famous doof doof theme tune.
What can fans watch instead of EastEnders?
With EastEnders on hiatus, BBC One has been giving fans their weekly Walford fix with some of the most iconic episodes in the show’s history including Sharongate and Amira and Syed’s wedding.
In addition, fans can take a trip down memory lane by watching old episodes from 2008 on BBC iPlayer.
Four consecutive episodes began airing on BBC Four a week in June – before being added to iPlayer.
Along with the classic episodes, BBC One is airing spin-off series Secrets From The Square every Monday at 8pm.
Hosted by Stacey Dooley, the series’ first episode kicked off with Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright spilling some great behind-the scene-secrets as well as teasing what’s in store for their characters when the soap returns later this year.
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