When will EastEnders return after Queen Vic cliffhanger?

EASTENDERS has gone off air for the first time in its 35-year history after running out of episodes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The soap's finale ended with some whopping cliffhangers left unresolved as Sharon and Ian swooped in to steal the Vic from Phil. So what fans really want to know is when will the BBC show return to our screens? Here's everything you need to know…

  • Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest spoilers, pictures and gossip from Albert Square

When will EastEnders return to our screens?

Earlier this month, a show insider suggested that the soap may not return until September.

The insider told the Mirror: "We normally work 6-8 weeks ahead of what viewers see on screen, in terms of a block of storylines, and we would look to do the same thing again when we restart work.

"Filming with the new rules and regulations will take longer and so we could be back on screen at the end of August but that is being optimistic and it may take longer than that, which would mean the soap returning in September."

EastEnders star Dayle Hudson may have inadvertently confirmed that the soap won’t be returning until September by sharing new scripts on his Instagram page, one of which had a transmission date which read September 8.

Will there be any EastEnders schedule changes?

EastEnders episodes will be 20 minutes long when the show returns instead of the usual half-hour.

Social distancing restrictions means the running time has been slashed, but soap bosses have confirmed the show will still air four times a week. 

EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen said of the changes: "Resuming production is incredibly exciting and challenging in equal measure.

"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.

"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.”

What can EastEnders fans watch in the meantime?

In the meantime, BBC One will be giving fans their weekly Walford fix by airing some of the most iconic episodes in the show’s history. 

On Tuesday, June 23, BBC One will be airing the most-watched episode of any UK soap ever, which saw Den Watts serve his wife Angie divorce papers on Christmas Day.

EastEnders have confirmed that the classic episodes, which will be shown every Tuesday evening in EastEnders' slot, will also include Sharongate and the explosive reveal of Max and Stacey’s affair.

Along with the old episodes, BBC One will also be airing spin-off series Secrets From the Square.

Hosted by Stacey Dooley, the series will kick off on Monday, June 22 at 8pm and will offer viewers a unique chance to get a sneak peek into life behind the scenes. 

EastEnders fan Stacey said of her new hosting role: “I’m delighted to be hosting Secrets From the Square. I grew up watching EastEnders, so walking on to Albert Square was a surreal experience as well as taking a trip down memory lane and interviewing some of the legends of Walford has been great, I’ve loved every minute of it!”

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