EastEnders 35th anniversary: Director reveals filming secrets

They had to shoot some scenes twice

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The 35th anniversary episodes of EastEnders will be “dark, complicated and heart-wrenching”, but also feature plenty of comedy.

That’s according to director David Kester, who helmed the epic eps, which will play out from tonight (Monday February 17).

He also said shooting the scenes was a challenge as they had to ensure continuity – and some things had to be filmed twice.

The boat party is a bit up and down (Credit: BBC)

Read more: EastEnders fans convinced Tina Carter will die

He said: “Like every great episode of EastEnders, they’re dark, complicated but also heart-wrenching in parts as well.

“There are also some hilarious moments as well, there’s a lot of comedy in there.”

He went on to add that all the stories told across the week are “big” and the first three episodes tell “the same story, told through the eyes of a different set of characters.”

He said: “You see bits and pieces as the week goes along, then it all reaches a massive crescendo on the Friday.”

EastEnders trailer shows Linda trapped underwater for death episodes
Linda is one of the characters who ends up under water (Credit: BBC)

The main drama will take place on the River Thames when the Carters host a boat party, and David revealed some of the underwater scenes had to be shot in a tank.

The crew had to film those segments in two different weather conditions because they didn’t know what the elements would be like on the Thames.

He added to Digital Spy: “We were out on the Thames at night for quite a long time, filming the on-location scenes. There was also an element of underwater filming, which involved shooting separately in a tank.

“We didn’t know what the weather was going to be like on the Thames, so we had to film two versions of everything in the tank so we could match it to the conditions we found on the river.”

Ian Beale on the boat EastEnders 35th Credit: BBC/YouTube
Things get very dramatic and the boat looks like it could sink (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

EastEnders star Kellie Bright – who plays Linda Carter on the soap – recently teased the 35th anniversary celebration episodes are the “most epic” she has ever been involved in.

She said during an interview on This Morning: “It’s the most epic episode I’ve ever been involved with.

“I’m really excited to see it … that says a lot.

“It centres around a party on a boat, on the Thames, and I get wet.”

EastEnders Kellie Bright This Morning Credit: ITV
Kellie Bright says the episodes are “epic” (Credit: ITV)

It’s known one of the characters will meet their maker this week.

When it was suggested it could be Linda who dies, she replied: “It might be.”

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