'EastEnders' to return four nights a week but with shorter episodes

Julia Hunt
A sign for Albert Square

EastEnders will return to its four nights a week schedule when it comes back from its lockdown break, but the episodes with be shorter than usual.

The BBC soap had to stop filming in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and has aired two episodes a week since then, but the pre-filmed instalments have now run out.

It was recently confirmed that the programme will not air from 16 June.

Read more: Dame Barbara Windsor asks Boris Johnson to help dementia patients

However, fans will be thrilled to hear that when they do get to catch up with their Walford favourites, it will be four times a week.

One thing that will change though, will be the length of each instalment from Albert Square.

Episodes will now be 20 minutes long, around 10 minutes shorter than usual.

This is because filming is now more complicated as a result of the social distancing measures the cast and crew have to adopt.

Executive producer Jon Sen said: "Resuming production is incredibly exciting and challenging in equal measure.

The Queen Vic (PA)

"Since we postponed filming, we’ve been working non-stop trialling techniques, filming methods and new ways of working so that we can return to screens four times a week – as EastEnders should be.

Read more: British Soap Awards cancelled due to coronavirus

"Filming will inevitably be a more complex process now so creating 20 minute episodes will enable us to ensure that when we return, EastEnders will still be the show the audience know and love.”

Filming is expected to resume in the coming weeks.

While EastEnders is off air, a new programme about the much-loved soap and old episodes are set to take its place.