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Sunday 4 December 2016

EastEnders coming here for new spin-off series as Lord Mayor opens up Mansion House

Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) in EastEnders. The pair are tipped to star in the new spin-off which is to be set in Ireland
Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) in EastEnders. The pair are tipped to star in the new spin-off which is to be set in Ireland

EastEnders is coming to Ireland. Two of the soap’s most tumultuous characters will be leaving Albert Square behind to arrive on our shores later this year for filming.

However, soap bosses have been warned to ‘keep it real’ this time, as their last efforts at basing the show here 18 years ago resulted in a diplomatic row that saw the Irish Ambassador to Britain describe the show’s portrayal of Ireland as “worrying” and “prejudiced”.

It has been announced that a spin-off six-part series will be filmed here later this year, which will focus on Walford’s favourite couple Kat and Alfie Moon. It has not yet been established what part of the country the London show will temporarily relocate to, but actors Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace said they are  “absolutely thrilled”.   

Richie, who plays the loveable Alfie, described the move from London’s east-end as an “amazing opportunity”.

Three episodes were based here in 1997 and resulted in a huge public outcry as it showed drunken revellers and what appeared to be wild animals roaming the streets.

The BBC subsequently issued an apology after hundreds of viewers filed complaints.

Junior Tourism Minister Michael Ring yesterday described the announcement as “great news”, but said he hopes the country will be depicted in a more positive manner this time around.

Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke said he will have the kettle on for the cast in the Mansion House.

“Long gone is the day where we depend on donkeys and carts to bring our milk around. I’m sure they have learned by their mistakes,” he said.

EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said the couple will “head to Ireland to search for answers to some very big questions”.

hnews@herald.ie

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