Many of us have watched soaps for years, never thinking that the chance of appearing alongside some of our favourite stars would be possible without rounds of auditions, TV agents and a new acting career.

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But for a bunch of lucky individuals, that dream became a reality as the BBC gave fans the opportunity to appear as a supporting artist in their favourite BBC programmes to celebrate 100 years of the broadcaster.

EastEnders superfan and Nottingham local George Codd was chosen to appear in the BBC One soap, and found out he had been selected via a surprise Zoom call with star Natalie Cassidy, who plays Sonia Fowler.

More than 150,000 fans applied for the opportunity to appear in a selection of the BBC’s flagship shows, including Casualty and Strictly Come Dancing.

Casualty fan Alan spent a day in Cardiff to film his scene, appearing on the show as a patient with a nasty-looking cut to the head on the episode that aired on 4th December. Meanwhile, Strictly superfan Katy took to the dancefloor to help signal that the voting lines were open on the 26th November's episode, both of which are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

As for George's EastEnders experience, he was given a tour of the iconic set before making himself at home at The Queen Vic, where he ordered a pint from Alfie and sat down to enjoy it at a table in the background of a scene featuring characters Jay (Jamie Borthwick) and Linda (Kellie Bright).

Eastenders
George on the set of Eastenders with Shane Ritchie. BBC

Speaking about it, George said: “I had the most unforgettable experience on the set of EastEnders. It felt like a dream. I feel extremely fortunate to see the magic behind the cameras, but extra fortunate to have filmed with the cast for an actual episode. It's a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

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George appears in EastEnders on tonight's episode (Monday 23rd January), which airs at 7:30pm. You can rewatch the episode on iPlayer.

The opportunity was part of the 15 Seconds of Fame campaign, which was devised by BBC Creative (the BBC’s in-house creative agency) and initially launched on The One Show on Friday 21st October with a film fronted by comedian Phil Wang.

And the beloved soap is certainly hotting up as the new year goes on, with recent EastEnders storylines focusing on Lily's termination, Zack's HIV diagnosis and Denise's heated confrontation with Ravi. Eagle-eyed viewers were also quick to spot current Love Island contestant Olivia Hawkins making a brief appearance in one of the soap's most recent episodes, too.

Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide or visit our Soaps hub.

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