The final movements of EastEnders murder victim Lucy Beale are to be shown in a specially written flashback episode that will air as part of the BBC1 soap’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
Former show stars including Hetti Bywater (Lucy), Jamie Lomas (Jake Stone) and Tanya Franks (Rainie Cross) will all return to help fill in the blanks and answer questions that have been left hanging ever since Ian’s daughter was killed off over Easter 2014.
During the week of EastEnders’s birthday, there will be live elements to all the episodes, including a live 30-minute edition on the anniversary date itself of 19 February.
Speaking of his plans for the flashback (which is to be penned by Jesse O’Mahoney), executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: “When we first created the Who Killed Lucy Beale storyline, we knew that we had to flash back to the night that she died on screen. So much happened on Good Friday 2014 after viewers saw Lucy leave her home and walk off into the night – and this flashback episode will fill in the pieces for the rest of that night, before she was killed.
“This also gives us the opportunity to have some fun with other characters, with new twists appearing in old storylines as secrets from the year before are revealed. With the added live element for some scenes, this is going to be an extremely special episode and the pearl within our week of celebratory episodes for EastEnders’s 30th birthday.”
Hetti Bywater – who did previously return as a spirit for a Children in Need sketch in November last year – added: “It’s great to be part of the conclusion and find out what really happened the night Lucy Beale died…”
Jamie Lomas as original murder suspect Jake Stone
Those who have been following the case since its beginning will know that alcoholic sous-chef Jake Stone was one of the early police suspects, with the revelation that he was innocent prompting him to leave Walford behind.
But the reappearance of Jake as part of this look back at past events suggests that his story is far from over. And as actor Jamie Lomas reveals, it was always the idea that he make a comeback to help wrap up the story: “It is an honour and a privilege to be part of the 30th anniversary celebrations. It was always part of the plan between Dominic and myself that I would come back for this special episode that will fill the blanks in for the viewers.
“I always loved my time at EastEnders so I can’t wait to get back and start filming these scenes.”
The return of prostitute Rainie also throws up more questions, especially seeing as she supposedly spent the fateful evening with Ian. So will Tanya Franks’s scenes cast fresh doubt on Ian’s alibi for the night Lucy was killed? “If you want to find out if Rainie was really with Ian Beale on the night Lucy Beale died, then all will be revealed!” promises the actress.
You can read all about the motives and alibis of the 14 Lucy Beale murder suspects here
And read the 10 questions that need answering in the flashback episode here
Adam Woodyatt (Ian) with Tanya Franks (Rainie) and below with screen daughter Hetti Bywater (Lucy)
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below: