Where Did EastEnders Come From?


Way back in 1983, BBC executive David Reid, had the idea of a night time soap opera to air on BBC One. They enlisted the honor of creating the soap to Tony Holland, and Julia Smith.

The pair sat down and created 24 characters, based on Tony's own family and people they both remembered from their private lives.

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They wanted it to be an East End drama and Granada Television gave the unrestricted access to the Coronation Street production to get an idea in how to structure the soap.

Elstree Studios had an empty lot which was available, the planning started and the set was built!

Everything on the set was made to last just six months, most of which still stands today, an impressive 32 years later.


After seeking out the actors, the characters were finally real. The iconic theme tune was produced and the soap which was then called East 8, was in production. The pair soon disliked the name and when Julia explained that the soap was about real East Enders, the show was born, althought Julia did not like the way Eastenders looked writted down, hence two capital letters in the name, she thought it looked more sophisticated.

EastEnders first aired on 19th February 1985 with two episodes a week, this increased to three episodes a week in 1992 and then four times a week in 2001.

There you have it, a little look back into the creation of one of Britain's most iconic soaps.

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