EastEnders stars Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie, who play estranged husband and wife Kat and Alfie Moon, are to get their own Enders spin-off drama next year.

Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said the two characters would temporarily leave Albert Square for a period of soul-searching and adventures in Ireland, which would be a six-part series.

We saw that soul-searching start on Good Friday, after Kat kissed Alfie goodbye then tried to kill herself, with Alfie coming to her rescue.

“In the next few weeks on EastEnders, viewers will witness several huge twists for Kat and Alfie that will change their lives forever,” says Dominic.

“Now is the perfect time to take two of EastEnders’ most beloved and enduring characters out of their comfort zone as they head to Ireland to search for answers to some very big questions.”

Dominic added: “My team here are very excited about creating a whole new drama that stands apart from EastEnders while taking our style of storytelling to a place of stories, myth, secrets and immeasurable beauty.”

Shane added: “Jessie and I are absolutely thrilled to be given this amazing opportunity. To have a whole drama focused on Kat and Alfie is a huge honour for us both and we just can’t wait to start filming.”

EastEnders, BBC1