First Look at EastEnders £87m brand new set

EastEnders: FIRST LOOK at the soap’s £87m set as construction continues amid coronavirus pandemic… including a brand new Queen Vic, flats and extended railway line

  • The revamped studio is being built to perfect replicate EastEnders’ old set, which is based just feet away
  • The Elstree set will feature all of Albert Square’s staples, including the Queen Vic pub and the Walford East station
  • EastEnders first announced plans to build a new studio in 2013, and was planned to be completed in August 2018
  • In October 2017 the plan was revised, with the BBC saying the set will cost £86.7 million and not be fully completed until 2023
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

EastEnders have revealed a glimpse of their revamped set, as it continues to take shape amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The extended studio – based mere feet away from the old set – includes a brand new Queen Vic pub, railway line and block of flats to replicate the soap’s original setting, and is thought to have cost an eye-watering £87 million.

EastEnders’ brand new set was first announced four years ago when it was also revealed that the show’s old 1984 set was in poor condition.

New look: EastEnders have revealed a glimpse of their £87 million revamped set, as it continues to take shape amid the coronavirus pandemic

As well as an extension of the famous Albert Square, EastEnders’ new set will feature a brand new block of flats to house all manner of colourful characters.

The set will also boast an extended railway line for the famous Walford East tube station, as well as the legendary Queen Vic pub, which has housed many a soap drama.

EastEnders’ new set has been perfectly built to replicate the old East End set, which had been in use since the soap first began in 1984.

Hard at work: The new set – which is based mere feet away from the old studio – has been in the works for several years at the soap’s studio in Elstree

Big changes: The brand new set (pictured) features all of Albert Square’s staples, as well as a brand new version of the Queen Vic pub, a block of flats and a railway line

Transformed: The old set (left) had been used since the soap’s beginning in 1984, and in 2013 BBC revealed plans to build the new set (right) after the old one fell into poor condition

According to The Telegraph last year, ongoing maintenance issues on the old set hampered the show’s filming schedule and presented health and safety concerns.

The updated set will allow the crew to film the programme in HD as bosses feared filming above standard definition on the current set would allow viewers to notice that the fronts of the Queen Vic and its surrounding buildings are made of plaster and plywood.

The HD set’s buildings are made entirely out of brick, however the crew are working diligently to ensure they appear identical on camera to the buildings that viewers are familiar with. 

Challenging: According to The Telegraph last year, ongoing maintenance issues on the old set (pictured) hampered the show’s filming schedule and presented health and safety concerns

Investment: The updated set will allow the crew to film in HD as bosses feared filming above standard definition on the current set (pictured) would allow viewers to notice that the fronts of the some buildings were made of plaster and plywood

Controversial: The new and improved Walford has not come without its detractors, however, as The Sun previously reported that neighbors were left disgruntled by the loud noises of builders working on the set

The new and improved Walford has not come without its detractors, however, as The Sun previously reported that neighbours were left disgruntled by the loud noises of builders working on the set.

The BBC said in response: ‘We are extremely mindful of the neighbouring properties and have ensured residents are regularly updated. We keep all out-of-hours work to an absolute minimum.’

In 2013 the BBC said the new set would cost £59.7million to be completed in August 2018.

However in October 2017 this was revised, with the broadcaster saying the set will cost £86.7 million and not be fully completed until 2023.

Scary: Construction for the brand new set (pictured) also continues as filming for all of the UK’s biggest soaps has been thrown into doubt amid the coronavirus outbreak

Still a long wait: In 2013 the BBC said the new set would cost £59.7million to be completed in August 2018. In October 2017 this was revised, with the broadcaster saying the set will cost £86.7 million and not be fully completed until 2023

The BBC said in a statement: ‘The set of EastEnders was built in 1984 and only intended for use for two years. Over 30 years later, the show remains one of the BBC’s flagship programmes and yet is filming from a set that is no longer fit for purpose.

‘The new set will be suitable for HD filming for the first time and extend Walford to better reflect modern East End London.’

Construction for the set also continues as filming for all of the UK’s biggest soaps has been thrown into doubt amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the members of the public avoid any social contact, and those who are particularly vulnerable ordered to remain at home for at least 12 weeks. 

EastEnders continues on Tuesday at 8pm on BBC One. 

Back soon: EastEnders continues on Tuesday at 8pm on BBC One

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