The Queen Vic EastEnders

EastEnders SPOILERS: Queen Vic takes over Albert Square for its beer garden

It's all change in the Square

EastEnders’ Queen Vic is taking over Albert Square by turning it into a beer garden.

The pub is now owned by Sharon Watts and Ian Beale and they are adapting according to new pictures taken from above the set.

Albert Square is being turned into a beer garden (Credit: BBC)

Pictures published in the Sunday Mirror show tables and chairs set up in the gardens on the Square.

There is also a large sign up declaring it a ‘Beer Garden’.

It is the first confirmation that the BBC soap will explicitly reference the pandemic and its effects in the show.

Read more: EastEnders star Tameka Empson reveals birth of second baby

The soap went off air in June after running out of pre-recorded episodes during the shutdown.

Filming recently resumed but new episodes won’t be broadcast until September.

And even then – it will be all change for the show’s fans.

The soap will return with shorter episodes of just 20 minutes long – but it will air four times a week.

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

“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.

Sharon bought the Vic from under Phil (Credit: BBC)

“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.”

Due to BBC One not having adverts, the programme typically airs longer episodes than other soaps.

The temporary measure will mean the eps will actually be in line with the likes of Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. These soaps usually run for around 23 minutes, not including ad breaks.

Where did we leave Walford?

The closing moments of the last episode revealed how Sharon Watts had out-manoeuvred ex Phil Mitchell to buy the Vic.

She was forced to act when Mick Carter told her he needed to get alcoholic Linda out of the pub.

Read more: EastEnders viewers call for Laurie Brett to return as Jane Beale

Phil was the only one with the cash available to buy it in the immediate future – or so fans thought.

Sharon drafted in her friend Ian to give her the money to swoop in and buy the pub.

The closing scenes saw Sharon asking Phil what he wanted from the bar – and set up an exciting new rivalry between the former couple.

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