'EastEnders' announces return date with storylines set to reference coronavirus

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
Undated handout file photo issued by BBC of the EastEnders logo. The BBC One soap is set to resume filming by the end of June, a BBC boss has said.
Undated handout file photo issued by BBC of the EastEnders logo. The BBC One soap is set to resume filming by the end of June, a BBC boss has said.

EastEnders is returning to BBC One on Monday 7 September and will be addressing the coronavirus in its storylines, it has been confirmed.

The long-running programme has been off air since June after the show had to suspend filming back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It had been reduced to two episodes a week in order to make the pre-filmed instalments last longer.

Executive Producer Jon Sen said: “From the moment we turned the lights out in the Queen Vic our ambition was to come back with a bang and this autumn certainly does that.

Read more: EastEnders stars wish Barbara Windsor a happy birthday

"As soon as Albert Square reawakens the drama returns at a pace and, although working within social distancing guidelines has certainly given us some new challenges, I am incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved. The show is looking fantastic and we can’t wait for “series two” to begin…”

The EastEnders set in Elstree North London pictured in March after the BBC announced filming has been suspended due to the Coronavirus. (Photo by Chris Gorman/Getty Images)
The EastEnders set in Elstree North London pictured in March after the BBC announced filming has been suspended due to the Coronavirus. (Photo by Chris Gorman/Getty Images)

The soap has teased the upcoming storylines viewers can expect after the residents of Albert Square have had to deal with COVID-19.

The last viewers saw, Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) and Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) had managed to buy the Queen Vic from the Carters to the displeasure of Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

When the programme returns, viewers will see the pub back open after having closed due to lockdown. Meanwhile, Ian is still harbouring the secret of his involvement in Sharon's son's death and it seems it might not be too long before she finds out the truth.

Elsewhere in Walford, Chantelle (Jessica Plummer) has been isolating with her her abusive husband Gray (Toby-Alexander Smith) which has made her determined to get herself and her children away from him for good.

The storyline will reflect the situation for many people in real life after charity Refuge reported "huge spikes" in those seeking support for domestic abuse during lockdown and as restrictions ease.

EastEnders is returning on Monday 7 September. (BBC)
EastEnders is returning on Monday 7 September. (BBC)

Other plots include Stacey Slater's (Lacey Turner) return to Walford, Denise Fox's (Diane Parish) past catching up with her and some big secrets between Mick (Danny Dyer) and Linda Carter (Kellie Bright).

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The soap will now return to broadcasting four nights a week, however, the episode length has been reduced from 30 minutes to 20.

While EastEnders has been off air, BBC One has been airing classic episodes as well as behind-the-scenes interviews in Secrets From the Square as hosted by Stacey Dooley.