Friday 25 May 2018

Redwater axed as Kat and Alfie's Irish quest fails to grip viewers

Kat and Alfie, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie
Kat and Alfie, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie

RTE drama Redwater will not return for a second series after being axed by the BBC.

The EastEnders spin-off followed soap favourites Kat and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie, as they searched for Kat's estranged son in Ireland.

Despite EastEnders' enduring popularity with viewers, Redwater failed to hold fans' attention.

RTE confirmed there were "no current plans" for another series, but said it would continue to work with the BBC on a variety of projects.

"As the BBC has announced, there are no current plans for a second series of Redwater. RTE was a minority co-funder on the series, which was developed in-house by the BBC," said the national broadcaster.

"RTE is continuing to work with the BBC on a range of programming, from drama and comedy to documentaries and music.

"Young Offenders, a new six-part series, is one such example. It was recently shot in Cork and will be broadcast on RTE2 next year.

"RTE looks forward to bringing viewers more great new drama, with Acceptable Risk beginning on RTE One this Sunday and Striking Out in the new year."

Meanwhile, the BBC said the move came about in order to "increase the range of new original drama" on the channel.

Speaking on ITV chat show Lorraine, Wallace (45) was asked if there would be another series, and said: "I don't think there will be."

The cancellation will come as a blow to the actress, who left EastEnders for Redwater.

She first appeared on East-Enders from 2000 to 2005 before returning in 2010.


"I miss Kat. I miss the scripts with the great one-liners. I do miss my friends there," she said.

"Of course I miss working with Shane. We bonded straight away when we met. I miss my friends at EastEnders."

When asked if Kat is still alive, the actress played coy and said: "I don't know."

Redwater debuted on a high but struggled to retain viewers.

The first episode on RTE was watched by 495,000, but this had dropped to 447,000 by the second, with a more significant drop to 389,000 for the third.

However, RTE said at the time it was "very happy with how the show is performing".

Redwater saw a similar shedding of viewers in the UK, deb- uting with 4.9 million before dropping to 2.1 million.

Set in Co Waterford, the six-part series featured a cast of well-known Irish actors including Fionnula Flanagan, Angeline Ball, Peter Campion, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Ian McElhinney.

It drew a mixed reaction from viewers, with some praising the storyline while others felt the show presented a stereotypical portrayal of rural Ireland.

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