EastEnders spin-off adds 3 famous Irish ladies to cast

For those that may not have heard, EastEnders are planning an Irish spin-off, starring Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie, who will be reclaiming their roles as Kat and Alfie for what will be a six-part series set in Waterford.

Fans of the soap will know that the couple left Albert Square in February with plans to head to Ireland to find Kat's long-lost son, who she gave birth to alongside her daughter Zoe but, eh, somehow didn't remember having twins, which is totally believable... obviously.

The spin-off will be set in Waterford in a fictional village called Redwater with hundreds of locals attending casting sessions in the city recently for a role as an extra. It's also emerged today that there are a few famous Irish faces on board too as Downton Abbey's Maria Doyle Kennedy, Lost's Fionnula Flanagan and The Commitments' Angeline Ball have all joined the cast.

While Game of Thrones' Ian McElhinney, The Tunnel's Stanley Townsend and Brooklyn's Peter Campion will also appear in the series, alongside Oisín Stack, Stephen Hogan, Susan Ateh and Ian Toner.


A very promising ensemble there, but will it live up to expectation?

We chatted to Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie a couple months ago when they were over for their Bord Gais play The Perfect Murder, who promised that it would be nothing like that EastEnders fiasco back in the nineties when the Fowlers came over to our fair isle and every cultural cliche in the book was used;

"I'm from a big Irish family, and even I went 'oh feck off'," Richie said of that episode. However he went on to say that EastEnders' current producer Dominic Treadwell Collins has a lot of family from Cork and would have no interest in portraying Ireland in a negative light.

On the show itself, Shane said; "When I read the first script, I thought, Kat and Alfie shouldn't be there, It was uncomfortable to read, yet riveting and dark and sinister, but also had the warmth and charm that Kat and Alfie bring."

If the six-part series goes well, the pair said they would be happy to set up here permanently, but could this really be the next Irish show we're all glued to? It's starting to sound like it.



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