With the 30th anniversary of EastEnders fast approaching, the BBC has announced that it will be marking the occasion with a raft of special programmes from Monday 16 to Friday 20 February. And, of course, it will also be the week in which we finally find out who killed Lucy Beale!
There will be live elements in the week’s drama from Albert Square, and a fully live episode of the soap on Friday. This will be followed by a backstage show, in which Zoe Ball will be given exclusive access to the set and cast immediately after the live episode comes off air. Alongside presenters Ore Oduba and former Walford resident Joe Swash, Zoe will gauge the reactions from some of Albert Square’s most famous faces as well as revealing how the episodes were put together from start to finish. Also, the cast and crew will talk about the lead-up to the live week and there will be special guest appearances, iconic EastEnders moments from the last 30 years and lots of other surprises.
The special week of episodes will also see the return of Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell, as well as Jo Joyner and John Partridge, who will reprise their roles as Tanya Cross and Christian Clarke to attend the wedding of Ian and Jane.
To top it all off, there’s also a flashback episode, recounting the events of the fateful night that Lucy Beale was murdered, which will see Hetti Bywater reprise her role as Ian’s tragic daughter, Tanya Franks as Rainie Cross and Jamie Lomas as Jake Stone.
Alongside the unmissable drama, there’s also The Graham Norton Show EastEnders special in which the chat-show host meets stars of the soap, including June Brown, Adam Woodyatt, Letitia Dean, Kellie Bright and Danny Dyer, all in front of a studio audience filled with past and present cast members.
EastEnders Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we have set ourselves an enormous challenge – a week of live scenes, a form-breaking flashback, a live episode, story twists that will leave a lump in the throat and a few moments that will elicit genuine gasps from our audience. Having the week bookmarked with some of our most iconic characters on Graham’s sofa and Zoe’s live aftermath show coming direct from Albert Square as the dust is just settling, elevates this into the biggest week ever for EastEnders fans old and new.”
The Graham Norton Show EastEnders special, Monday 16 February, BBC1, 10.45pm
EastEnders, with live elements, Tuesday 17 February, BBC1, 7.30pm
EastEnders, with live elements, Wednesday 18 February, BBC1, 8.00pm
EastEnders, with live elements, Thursday 19 February, BBC1, 7.30pm
EastEnders, flashback episode, Thursday 19 February, BBC1, 9.30pm
EastEnders, fully live episode, Friday 20 February, BBC1, 8.00pm
EastEnders: Backstage Live, Friday 20 February, BBC1, 8.30pm (continued on BBC Three at 9.00pm)
Viewers have already seen Hetti return to our screens appearing as a ghostly Lucy in a creepy trailer to promote the history-making week of drama. Watch it here.