EastEnders' 30th anniversary week programmes to "expose Lucy Beale's killer"
PUBLISHED: 11:11 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:11 16 February 2015
BBC One celebrates the 30th anniversary of soap EastEnders with a series of special programmes this week.
EastEnders first appeared on BBC One on February 19, 1985.
And the channel is marking the occasion by going live all week, with an explosive week of drama, special shows, plus a flashback episode all scheduled.
With shocking revelations twists, it’s going to be a week that will change Albert Square forever.
There will be a series of live elements in all the episodes this week, with the fully live half-hour episode on Friday night at 8pm.
Tonight (Monday, February 16) there will be an EastEnders special of The Graham Norton Show at 10.45pm, with guests including June Brown, Shane Ritchie and Danny Dyer.
Tuesday’s EastEnders episode at 7.30pm will include live inserts, as will Wednesday’s half-hour programme from 8pm.
Thursday’s hour show from 7.30pm will reveal Lucy Beale’s killer, and will be followed at 9.30pm by the flashback episode.
EastEnders’ executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: “As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we have set ourselves an enormous challenge – a week of live scenes, a form-breaking flashback, a live episode, story twists that will leave a lump in the throat and a few moments that will elicit genuine gasps from our audience.
“Having the week bookmarked with some of our most iconic characters on Graham’s sofa and Zoe’s live aftermath show coming direct from Albert Square as the dust is just settling, elevates this into the biggest week ever for EastEnders fans old and new.”
Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, said: “BBC One will mark the 30th anniversary of its flagship series with the most ambitious week of live television drama ever attempted.
“The truth will out as Lucy Beale’s killer is finally exposed to the nation.
“Alongside the unmissable drama, we have a Graham Norton special and Zoe Ball will present a live backstage show with Ore Oduba and Joe Swash to complete proceedings – it’s going to be off the scale.”
The Graham Norton Show EastEnders special kicks the week off tonight (Monday) and will give a nod to the past and welcome the future.
Joining him for a bumper line-up of stars will be June Brown, Pam St Clement, Adam Woodyatt, Letitia Dean, Kellie Bright, John Altman, Richard Blackwood, Jessie Wallace, Shane Richie and Danny Dyer – all in front of a studio audience filled with past and present cast members.
With storylines culminating and momentous events happening, the EastEnders 30th anniversary will also see the return of some of the show’s most iconic characters.
Barbara Windsor will reprise her role as Peggy Mitchell for one episode, where she makes a visit to her beloved Queen Victoria.
Jo Joyner and John Partridge will also reprise their roles as Tanya Cross and Christian Clarke to attend Ian and Jane’s wedding as part of the celebrations.
Viewers will also discover who killed Lucy Beale, and have an opportunity to see exactly how and why it happened as, on Thursday, the soap will take the audience back to the night she was murdered in a flashback special at 9.30pm.
This episode will fill in the blanks and answer questions that have been haunting the residents of Walford since last year.
Hetti Bywater will be reprising her role as Lucy Beale, as will Tanya Franks (Rainie Cross) and Jamie Lomas (Jake Stone).
You can also join Zoe Ball backstage live at 8.30pm on Friday, as she is given exclusive access to the cast and set immediately after the EastEnders’ fully live episode comes off air.
Alongside presenters Ore Oduba and Joe Swash, Zoe will be getting instant reactions from some of Albert Square’s most famous residents, as well as revealing how the nightly anniversary episodes were meticulously put together, from their conception right through to the rolling credits.
Cast and crew will talk about the unique preparation and secrecy they’ve had to endure in the lead-up to the live week, and there will be special guest appearances, iconic EastEnders moments from the last 30 years and other surprises along the way.