EastEnders cancelled: BBC soap taken off air tonight as show replaced in schedule shake-up

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EastEnders fans will have to wait an extra day for their latest dose of drama from the Square as it will not be airing on Monday night. Usually, the now 30-minute episodes broadcast from 8pm until 8:30pm before three more instalments of action from Walford plays out over the rest of the week. However, with the football season in full motion at the moment, the bosses at the BBC have taken the decision to allow for coverage of the game over the weeknight serial drama.

The coverage of the match between Manchester United and Aston Villa will begin at 7:30pm, just after The One Show has aired.

Presenters in the studio will be analysing what they expect from the game for 25 minutes before the game commences at 7:55pm.

This means the slot usually filled by EastEnders will be taken up by the first half of the 90-minute competition which will run until 10pm.

There is no chance for the episode to air anywhere on the evening’s schedule but viewers need not fear as they will not miss out on any of the four episodes planned for this week.

Instead of missing Monday altogether, a double-bill of the Walford-based drama will be broadcast on Tuesday night before Holby City.

Having brought back three of the four episodes airing per week to 30 minutes, Monday’s episode will air at 7:30pm before wrapping up at 8pm.

Tuesday episodes are going to remain at around 20 minutes so this instalment will air from 8pm until 8:20pm which is when the latest episode of Holby City will be broadcast.

It is not unusual for the weeknight serial drama to take this approach on doubling up to ensure viewers don’t miss out on any content.

Just before Christmas, Tiffany Butcher’s (Maisie Smith) exit was featured as part of a double-bill, with fans heartbroken by the end of the 50-minute ordeal.

There is likely to be more interruptions to the schedule over the coming weeks as the FA Cup continues but the coverage switches between the BBC and ITV.

Been an incredibly challenging year

Jon Sen

On Friday night, Coronation Street was replaced on the Friday night schedule by coverage of the game between Manchester City and Swindon.

However, viewers will be in for an action-packed double-bill on Tuesday night as last week’s start to the New Year continues to have ramifications on the local residents.

Harvey Monroe (Ross Boatman) is thrown into the thick of the drama as he tries to protect his family from Far-Right extremists.

As Aaron Monroe (Charlie Wernham) finds himself in serious danger, will his father be able to save him from the enemy?

Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) isn’t having the best time either as her scheming was finally exposed on Christmas Day and her loved ones haven’t been unable to forgive her.

With no one to turn to and with no roof over her head, it seems Dotty is going to be in for a tough start to the New Year.

Whereas Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams) will try to keep up appearances so her husband, Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith) doesn’t end up killing her.

In the second episode of the evening, it seems Dotty could have a saviour in the form of her on/off lover, Vinny Panesar (Shiv Jalota).

As he tries to help the young woman rebuild her life, Bobby Beale (Clay Milner Russell) will become extremely concerned about Aaron’s behaviour.

Sharing his theories with his girlfriend, Dana Monroe (Barbara Smith), will Bobby be pushed to the side by his lover or will she believe what he’s saying about her brother?

Following the hate crime attack which led to Ash Panesar’s (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha) exit from the Square, the rest of the residents caught up in the heinous crime will continue to suffer.

With Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) taken back into his past after seeing his husband Callum Highway (Tony Clay) beaten up, he will begin to withdraw.

Callum will call on his father-in-law, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) to take it easy of his son after he said Ben would have to take over the family business.

It’s yet to be seen whether or not the gangster will support his son through a dark chapter in his life or pile on the pressure.

Normal service will resume on Thursday and Friday night as two more 30-minute episodes will air in their usual slot on the schedule.

The show has been returning to 30-minute episodes for the first time since September 2020 in the last few months but it is now planned for the foreseeable there will be three hair hour instalments a week.

Praising the efforts of the cast and crew during the pandemic, former executive producer Jon Sen said last year: “It’s been an incredibly challenging year for us all, but we have continued to make the show. We’ve got through COVID and lockdowns and the pingdemic and we’re still making the show.

“The cast and crew have been amazing, they’ve learnt new techniques, the cast have been completely revolutionising the way they work, they now work acting to tennis balls like you would do in a Marvel movie and it’s been amazing to watch.

“The crew have done the same, they’ve changed the way they work beyond recognition, so I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together and now we’re just looking forward to working our way to more normal circumstances as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

EastEnders continues Tuesday at 7:30pm on BBC One.

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