Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey stars join Kat and Alfie EastEnders spin-off

Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie will be in good company when they head to Ireland for new EastEnders drama series Redwater

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Kat and Alfie Moon are heading to Ireland – and they’ll have some famous faces along with them for new EastEnders spin-off Redwater.

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The BBC1 six-part drama series sees Kat and Alfie (Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie) arrive in the small Irish village of Redwater, searching for Kat’s long-lost son.

Game of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney joins the cast, along with fellow Irish stars Fionnula Flanagan (Lost) and Maria Doyle Kennedy, who played the vicious ‘original’ Mrs Bates in Downton Abbey and has also featured in Orphan Black and Dexter.

Angeline Balle, Peter Campion and Stanley Townsend also join the all-star Irish cast.

“It was our intention from the start to create a new contemporary ensemble drama set in Ireland and we are so thrilled and lucky to have such a talented team on board for Redwater,” said Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, who also praised the show’s director and writers.

The director for the series is Danish director Jesper Nielsen, who also made hit BBC4 drama Borgen. “We have a really important and fantastic story to tell,” he said. “About how one woman’s search for a lost child opens Pandora’s box; revealing the terrible lies and secrets in the little village of Redwater.

“A story about how the strong bonds of love in a family can hold everything together, and yet at the same time – destroy everything. It has echoes of a Shakespearean drama, told in a rich cinematic style, loaded with humour and suspense. I cannot wait to start the shooting and see the characters coming to life.”

Kat and Alfie briefly returned to EastEnders this Christmas, but this new series is the main focus for actors Wallace and Richie. “I walked into the drama readthrough to a table full of wonderful Irish actors and it was thrilling,” Jessie Wallace said. “They all made me feel so very welcome as we started to read the first script. It’s going to be a roller coaster!”

Filming has already begun in Ireland, with the series set to air on BBC1 in 2017. 

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You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s EastEnders episodes below.