EastEnders live week: everything you need to know

The EastEnders cast go live for the first of four episodes this week celebrating the soap's 30th anniversary. Here's everything you need to know

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And EastEnders is live in 3… 2… 1…

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The soap’s 30th anniversary ‘live week’ starts this Tuesday, with three special episodes all featuring live elements before the completely live episode on Friday night.

Here’s everything you need to know about each episode, plus what all the cast think of “going live”.

Tuesday, 7:30pm BBC1

Radio Times reviewer David Brown previews the opening episode…

“Since its earliest days, EastEnders has always loved a whodunnit. Who killed Reg Cox? Who’s the father of Michelle’s baby? Who shot Phil? Who murdered Archie Mitchell? And, for the past ten months, the question on everybody’s lips: who killed Lucy Beale? Sustaining the tension in a murder mystery for the best part of a year was a gamble, but the BBC1 soap has managed to pull it off, largely thanks to some classic Agatha Christie-style misdirection, a couple of killer twists and the odd spooky trailer.

“Expect the case to be closed in later 30th-anniversary special episodes, but first we have Barbara Windsor, who totters back into view as Peggy Mitchell – and clashes with Danny Dyer’s Mick Carter in the process. Richard Blackwood makes his debut as a new Walford villain. And Samantha Womack (who, let’s face it, has had the easiest job in the acting profession since New Year’s Day) also gets her fair share of scenes as the doctors prepare to turn off Ronnie’s ventilator.”

Read more: Peggy’s back! Barbara Windsor talks about her Walford return


Wednesday, 8pm BBC1

The live episodes continue as Dot heads to the hospital, where she asks her family for forgiveness – then makes a shocking confession about Nick…

EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins admits he finds the live episodes “terrifying”, saying he’s mad to take on the challenge “Yes, you have to be,” he says. “But doing it live means we can keep all our secrets. It’s terrifying, though. All I can do now is hand the work over to actors I trust.”

Read more: Himesh Patel to live tweet 30th anniversary week as Tamwar


Thursday, 7:30pm BBC1

30 years to the day when EastEnders first began, the soap plans to recreate its very first scene – except this time, it’ll be Nick Cotton rather than Reg Cox who will be found dead.

Using the actual sound effects from that episode, as well as references to that memorable dialogue, viewers will see three characters kick down the door to No 23 – the exact same house where Arthur Fowler, Den Watts and Ali Osman found Reg Cox shortly before he died.

Watch the scene below, and find out more about how it will all work here.


Thursday, 9:30pm BBC1

By now, we will know who killed Lucy Beale, but the drama doesn’t end there. This flashback episode traces her final night, as we see just how she met a sticky end.

Read more: how has EastEnders changed in 30 years?


Friday, 8pm BBC1

Here it is, the fully live episode! As Radio Times reviewer David Brown put it, “with episodes like this, everyone is playing Spot the Blunder.”

The EastEnders talk continues after the credits roll, with Zoe Ball interviewing members of the cast from 8:30pm on BBC1 and 9pm on BBC3.

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Will they have saved one last surprise for Friday night’s 30-minute special? What do you think?

Read more: Who killed Lucy Beale? The EastEnders stars name their suspects