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Prbably old news to some, but here it is again.

EastEnders goes live to celebrate 25th anniversary

For the first time in the show's history, EastEnders will be beamed live to the nation's screens in celebration of its 25th anniversary on Friday 19 February 2010.

Over the past 25 years, EastEnders has brought some of the most notorious characters and memorable moments in British soap history to the small screen.

We've had magical matrimonies which have captured the hearts of millions of viewers, family feuds full of intrigue and menace, the joy of many surprise new arrivals and, of course, those unforgettable storylines which have tackled issues from teenage pregnancy and HIV through to the more recent mental health and child abuse storylines.

With its bold stories and colourful characters, EastEnders has always provided a talking point for the nation. And with the live episode we hope to do just the same.

EastEnders Executive Producer, Diederick Santer, says: "It's too early to discuss the exact storyline at this point, but viewers are assured that this live episode will bring them all the high drama and excitement they expect from EastEnders and then some.

"The episode will feature – amongst other things – the resolution to a big storyline which will keep the audience (as well as the cast and crew) guessing until the very last moment.

"Every time I think about this episode I get excited as well as a little nervous, but nonetheless we are all thrilled to be celebrating our 25 years on screen with a live episode. It's a big test for every member of the production here, and hopefully a big treat for the audience."

The 30-minute live episode will transmit at 8.00pm, Friday 19 February 2010 on BBC One, coming live from BBC Elstree, the home of EastEnders. This will be the culmination of a week of special episodes which will celebrate 25 years as one of Britain's best loved soaps.

EastEnders to venture online with EastEnders: E20

EastEnders is set to venture beyond the television screen as Walford takes a big step into the wider world of the web with its first online spin-off series next year.

BBC Vision Multiplatform has commissioned the EastEnders online spin-off to go live in January 2010 in the run-up to EastEnders celebrating its 25th anniversary on February 19th.

As part of the BBC's drive to develop and nurture new talent, EastEnders: E20 has been written by 13 new London writers aged between 17 and 22 who attended a summer school where they created and wrote the online drama.

The online series will follow four new teenage characters (casting to be announced) who arrive in Albert Square, each searching for an escape from their regular lives.

Online viewers will get the unique opportunity to see the much loved world of Walford from an entirely different point of view through the eyes of the young newcomers.

EastEnders: E20 will stand alone in terms of its storylines so that it can be enjoyed by viewers unfamiliar with EastEnders, but there will be crossover treats for regular fans too both in the online series and the BBC One programme.

The writers are also creating extra online material for the EastEnders: E20 characters, including video blogs and behind-the-scenes footage to enhance the whole online presence.

Simon Nelson, Controller Portfolio & Multiplatform, BBC Vision said: "EastEnders: E20 is an opportunity to develop the BBC's expertise in drama production by matching new young talent from the tv industry with the best creative new media talent.

"Together they can exploit the creative potential of the web to create new online drama experiences under the umbrella of the EastEnders brand."

EastEnders Executive Producer Diederick Santer added: "These talented writers are creating a whole new Walford, infused with their own experiences of London life. A fresh perspective on a British classic, EastEnders: E20 will – I hope – delight new audiences and EastEnders diehards alike."

EastEnders: E20 was commissioned by BBC Multiplatform Commissioning Executive Rosie Allimonos from BBC Drama Production. The series is a product of EastEnders and the BBC new talent initiative, both overseen by John Yorke, Controller BBC Drama Production & New Talent. It is produced by Deborah Sathe.

EastEnders: E20 will be available at bbc.co.uk/eastenders in January 2010.

Edited by dannigold

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I wonder if they'll have any teens run anyone over or impregnate Heather.

Barbara is one of a kind and has had many standout moments as Peggy. I will probably miss her relationship with Pat most of all.

I hope they take the opportunity to write out the Mitchells. With the possible exception of Ronnie I think they've all had their day.

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Ok I was shocked about Darren being the father. Did not see that coming at all.

The storyline I am enjoying is the Chryed storyline. Boy when this comes out this is will be one big explosive thing. The blackmailer did not see that coming espically who they say is doing to. Pay back is a bitch.

Sorry to see Barbara go because she certainly is the Queen on this show. Her character is like Grant Mitchell it just wont be the same with out her being there for me in some ways.

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Aww, Peggy is leaving? The show will survive it though, she was gone for a couple years before.

EastEnders: E20 seems like a cool idea! I like that they're using actual young writers for it. I bet they will block global viewing on the website though. :(

I think there's a tendency to look back on the 90s with rose-colored glasses. Things like Cindy arranging a hitman to kill Ian and changing her mind at the last minute but not being able to stop it were "shock" stunts. There are several times when I was watching EastEnders in the mid-90s that I remember thinking, "This is so random, characters keep changing their minds for no reason, if this were an American soap it would be torn to shred on the message boards I go to." Also characters would show up and then disappear for weeks in the 90s too, like Lloyd Tavernier.

EastEnders has always had faults but still been great soap. Nothing I'm reading is making me think the show is off the rails.

That's great news about the Jacksons coming back!

Edited by jfung79

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Aw, I can't believe Barbra is leaving, she's always been one of EE's biggest supporters and one of the "faces" of the show when I think of it.

As if you care! :P You don't like EE, you're a Corrie fan!

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As if you care! :P You don't like EE, you're a Corrie fan!

I've kept up with EE over the years, and like many of the actors/characters, but I do prefer Corrie overall.

But don't you think... That even though... This is an end of an era... It had to happen one day?

British soaps have a much healthier relationship with their veterans and handle the exits in a much more satisfactory way. Generally speaking.

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British soaps have a much healthier relationship with their veterans and handle the exits in a much more satisfactory way. Generally speaking.

Yes, they do, with the exception of Wendy Richard. I still can't believe that exit.

Barbara left the show for a few years because of health problems so I'm not that surprised she's leaving. I just wonder what will replace her. The Mitchell family is depleted. Roxy is dead weight, Phil is dead weight, so is Billy. They've done a lot of damage to Ronnie.

jfung79, I wouldn't really disagree with you about 90s Eastenders. While I loved many of the characters and I do think they were much better at pacing stories and having good conclusions, they certainly did go for shocks, and they were also much too focused on Grant and Phil.

Since the people who ran EE in 2003-2006 did huge damage to the show (the worst mistake was killing off Kathy), I know they have had to do repair work, but the show seems somewhat hollow now. It can be entertaining, but the character integration, followthrough, and the spirit isn't there. From all the stupidity of the Nick/Dotty story, to Danielle's death and Ronnie becoming a baby-obsessed nutter, to the limp Syed/Christian story where nearly all the relationship between them takes place offcamera, to Tanya burying Max alive, Lauren running him over...they're good at these "big" moments, but I think the show doesn't have the heart, or the strong characterization, or the grit it had in the 80s.

But certainly, the show has come a long way in the past few years, in terms of viewer support.

I still prefer Emmerdale though.

Edited by CarlD2

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Yes, they do, with the exception of Wendy Richard. I still can't believe that exit.

I believe that was in part revenge, for her public comments about the show, and her character. TPTB, at the time, were not very happy with Wendy.

I just wonder what will replace her.

Don't you mean who?

Carol Jackson is returning permanently, so I assume she'll be taking Peggy's place, but not at the Mitchell family (obviously), but by expanding the Jackson-Brannings.

The Mitchell family is depleted. Roxy is dead weight, Phil is dead weight, so is Billy. They've done a lot of damage to Ronnie.

I love Roxy; she's not dead weight, yet. She's got a lot of life left in her, if they would only tap into that. She does have her very, very slow burning romance with Dr. Al,

which will morph into a love triangle with Chelsea.

How random. Plus, they've cast Ronnie & Roxy's mum, Glenda, who'll be arriving at Xmas/in the new year.

But I will give you Phil and Billy, and in part Ronnie, who is slowly being ruined, but there's still room for redemption, as long as they don't leave it too late.

Since the people who ran EE in 2003-2006 did huge damage to the show (the worst mistake was killing off Kathy), I know they have had to do repair work, but the show seems somewhat hollow now.

The damage that was done during 2003-06, has been irreparable backstage. The writers were burned pretty badly by the previous regime, so I doubt thinks will ever go back to how they were pre-2003.

Check out this blog, which details what really happened during that bad time. Eastenders: From high to low

And there were worse things to happen, than killing off Kathy. They can easily bring her back, especially as it was a random off screen death.

I favour EE over the other two, probably b/c it's the only London based soap on air. Family Affairs was also a fave (another London set soap).

Edited by Ben

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Check out this blog, which details what really happened during that bad time. Eastenders: From high to low

Fascinating! Interesting that the blog writer thinks Louise Berridge paid too much attention to pleasing the minority of the fans on the Internet message boards and to referencing character history. Kathleen Hutchison sounds like she was horrible! That's hilarious and horrifying about the writers who were all suddenly too busy to write for EastEnders under her because of the working environment and tone she set. Yay for John Yorke ...

On another note, I'm disappointed that Alan doesn't seem to be coming back with the rest of the Jacksons. Without Alan, they wouldn't *be* the Jacksons, literally.

Edited by jfung79

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Weren't people unhappy with the writing for his last return?

Santer doesn't do returns very well, so Grant may be better off gone. I love Carol but I'm concerned about how she will come across. Hopefully since the only one they got right is Bianca and Ricky, that means Carol will be the same.

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