EastEnders to return with shorter episodes
EastEnders will soon shorten its episodes to 20 minutes, due to issues around the Covid-19 pandemic.
The usual half-hour episodes of the BBC One soap, produced before the virus brought filming to a halt in mid-March, will run out next week.
The show will go off-air, but filming is expected to continue this month, using social distancing guidelines.
When it returns, episodes will be 10 minutes shorter, though the show will air four times a week once again.
At present, EastEnders has been shown only twice a week, to help producers fill the gap.
“Resuming production is incredibly exciting and challenging in equal measure,” executive producer Jon Sen said.
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“Since we postponed filming we’ve been working non-stop trialling techniques, filming methods and new ways of working so that we can return to screens four times a week – as EastEnders should be.”
He added: “Filming will inevitably be a more complex process now, so creating 20-minute episodes will enable us to ensure that when we return, EastEnders will still be the show the audience know and love.”
Once the show goes off-air after next week, classic episodes will be re-run, and a regular new spin-off featuring Stacey Dooley will be broadcast from 22 June.
Dooley will host EastEnders: Secrets From The Square on Monday nights, from the Walford East restaurant, alongside two members of the cast who will reflect on their time on the show and tease what’s to come, while showing viewers behind the scenes.
Letitia Dean, Adam Woodyatt, Danny Dyer, Diane Parish, Tameka Empson and Kellie Bright are among those taking part.
The classic episodes, which will be shown on Tuesday evenings, will include “two-hander between Den and Angie, Sharongate and the explosive reveal of Max and Stacey’s affair”, said the show’s producers.
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