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EastEnders to return in autumn with new 20-minute episode format

EastEnders to return in autumn with new 20-minute episode format
© BBC
EastEnders will return this autumn with shorter, 20-minute episodes, the BBC announces.

EastEnders will return to BBC One this autumn with shorter episodes as production of the soap gears back up after a coronavirus-enforced break.

The long-running drama halted filming in mid-March as the UK entered lockdown, with the last of the pre-recorded new episodes due to air next week.

As a result EastEnders is likely to be off air until August or September, but the BBC has now announced that when it does return, it will be with four slightly shorter episodes per week.

Executive producer Jon Sen said: "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."

Cast and crew are expected to return to work at the end of this month once the Elstree set has been adapted to comply with health and safety guidelines.

Meanwhile, rival ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale have already resumed filming and will avoid having to go off air this summer.

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Max Bowden as Ben Mitchell in the March 23, 2020 episode of EastEnders
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