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BBC1’s EastEnders to take a break in July

EastEnders stopped filming in March

Long-running BBC1 soap opera EastEnders will temporarily go off air next month after filming was postponed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK pubcaster stopped filming EastEnders in March, when coronavirus-related restrictions were first enforced in the UK. This resulted in the number of episodes broadcast per week being reduced to two from four, in order to spread episodes that had already been recorded across a longer period.

Filming on the soap is due to resume at the end of this month, but the show will be taking “an inevitable break” until new episodes are ready to air, the BBC said.

In place of Mondays’ episodes, BBC1 will air a weekly behind-the-scenes series called EastEnders: Secrets From the Square, in which media personality and journalist Stacey Dooley will sit down with members of the cast. The series will premiere on June 22.

Replacing Tuesdays’ episodes will be a selection of iconic episodes from the show’s history.

Kate Phillips, controller of BBC Entertainment, said: “EastEnders has been at the heart of BBC1 since its inception 35 years ago. While going off air was never in their plan, we and the EastEnders team knew straight away that this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the show and look back on cherished memories of all those momentous episodes while taking a look around Albert Square – and they may just give us some teasers as to what’s to come when they return.”

In related news, BBC1 Daytime is launching a new consumer affairs series offering advice and guidance to viewers during the coronavirus crisis.

Presented by Matt Allwright and Kym Marsh, One Day Live (working title) will cover questions relating to holidays, health, work and home, featuring tips from consumer experts.

The show, which will adhere to social-distancing guidelines, will broadcast live every weekday morning for three weeks from June 15.

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