EastEnders’s famous street market is to be threatened with closure in an upcoming episode of the BBC1 soap.
In scenes to be shown on Friday, tough new market inspector Aleks Shirov (Kristian Kiehling) will tell assistant Tamwar Masood (Himesh Patel) that the future of the stalls could be in doubt.
“We’re being merged with Spring Lane,” Aleks tells Tam. “Only one side will stay open. The question is, which?”
Tamwar is then told to keep the news away from the stall-holders and that the secret must stay with them.
However, the following week, Tamwar inadvertently reveals to sister Shabnam (Rakhee Thakrar) that the market could be closed down, raising the possibility that word will spread around the Square. Pretty soon, Bianca (Patsy Palmer) is confronting Aleks about the future of her stall.
The market on Bridge Street has been a feature of EastEnders since the opening episode in 1985 during which Pete Beale was seen running a fruit and vegetable stall. In 2004, the residents were seen celebrating 100 years of the market.
Speaking to Radio Times last week, the soap’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins revealed that the look of Albert Square had to move with the times:
“It should feel more like London. It’s been frozen in aspic for too long,” he said. “Sharon said recently that she’s looking to be a landlady and as a result you’ll see the edges of Shoreditch creeping into EastEnders. It’s got to reflect the modern world.”