EastEnders returns on Monday 7th September after three months off the air, the BBC has confirmed.
The channel's flagship soap was forced into a transmission break due to filming being halted as a result of the UK lockdown in March. Transmission was reduced from four to two nights a week and the last episode completed before production paused was shown on 16th June.
Cameras started rolling again at EastEnders' Elstree set on 29th June, and now fans finally have an official date in the diary for the drama to begin again this autumn.
Speaking about the news soap lovers have been waiting for, executive producer Jon Sen said: "From the moment we turned the lights out in the Queen Vic our ambition was to come back with a bang and this autumn certainly does that.
"As soon as Albert Square reawakens the drama returns at a pace and, though working within social distancing guidelines has certainly given us some new challenges, I am incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved.
"The show is looking fantastic and we can't wait for 'series two' to begin…"
As previously announced EastEnders will resume its usual pattern of four nights a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Initially each episode will be 20 minutes long instead of 30, to accommodate production taking longer due to new government guidelines and protocols in place for the TV and film industry.
The September return was accidentally revealed in June by cast member Dayle Hudson, aka Peter Beale, who posted a picture on social of a script with the transmission date clearly visible. EastEnders refused to confirm it at the time, and it is only now we have the exact date 100 per cent verified.
Viewers will rejoin the Walford residents in real time meaning three months have passed since the last episode. Sharon Watts and Ian Beale are the new owners of the Queen Vic, Mick and Linda Carter are making a new start away from the pub, and among the other storylines in store we can expect tragedy to hit one family, secrets from the past to impact a new couple's future, and the explosive return of Stacey Fowler.
Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks also remains off the air as they ran out of completed material before returning to the studios, but will return in September on an as yet unconfirmed date. ITV continuing drama counterparts Coronation Street and Emmerdale managed to avoid disappearing from the schedules as they managed to get back to work with enough episodes in the can to carry on.