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One of the most popular soaps in the United Kingdom, Eastenders focuses on the daily lives of the families and individuals who live on Albert Square, in the fictional borough of Walford, situated in the ‘East end’ district of London.
It is broadcast by the BBC via its flagship channel, BBC1 on weekdays and via BBC2 on Sundays.
Previous episodes are also available via Youriplayer.co.uk, a free on demand online service.
Albert Square is occupied by a mainly working class community, most of whom operate small businesses in the area or are employed by their neighbours.
It is close knit although conflicts and disagreements are quite common.
Its focal point is the Queen Victoria public house (popularly known as the Queen Vic) which has changed hands many times with the formidable Mitchell family being one of its most memorable owners.
The current storyline of Eastenders focuses on the efforts of single mother, Bianca Jackson in preventing her son Liam from falling in with the wrong crowd, the simmering conflict between feisty Kat Slater and an equally quick tempered Roxy and Masood’s continuous attempts to send his son Tamwar to university.
Popular and much loved characters have included, the Mitchell family consisting of tough talking brothers, Phil and Grant as well as Peggy, the strong willed family matriarch, the Brannings whose younger branch consists of Max, a successful salesman and his brother Jack, a police officer and the contentious and complicated relationship between them, as well as the Slaters and the Moons, with respective members, Kat and Alfie, becoming a firm favourite with viewers, due to their relationship as husband and wife and the struggles they faced.
First aired in 1985, Eastenders is one of the nation’s longest running soaps and is widely watched throughout the UK and in English speaking countries abroad.
It has also been the recipient of several awards including the Best Soap from 1996 to 2006 and 2008 to 2012, consecutively at the Inside Soap awards.
The show has also won 10 Best Soap at the TVChoice awards between 1999 and 2012.
The willingness of the show’s writers to address real life problems through the programme has been cited as one of the contributing factors of its popularity.
Issues such as illness, bereavement and narcotics usage have featured prominently in its storyline gaining approval from viewers but also criticism from certain professional bodies due to a perceived lack of realism in portraying these issues.
Due to its popularity a spinoff internet show, EastEnders: E20 was launched in January 2010.
Coronation Street, Brookside, Emmerdale, Neighbours.
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