Saturday 10 December 2016

First look at Eastenders Irish spin-off Redwater... but have producers learned from previous 'Oirish' mistakes?

Sherna Noah & Independent.ie Newsdesk

Published 01/08/2016 | 12:18

Kat and Alfie Moon have turned up in Ireland in the first official snap of the EastEnders spin-off Redwater (BBC/PA)
Kat and Alfie Moon have turned up in Ireland in the first official snap of the EastEnders spin-off Redwater (BBC/PA)
Eastenders pair Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace have shot a new six-part spin off series in the picturesque village of Dunmore East

Kat and Alfie Moon have turned up in Ireland in the first official snap of the EastEnders' spin-off Redwater.

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Viewers will see the pair, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie, head to the tiny, fictional village in Ireland to search for Kat's long lost son.

The cast have now finished filming the six-part, BBC One drama, to be broadcast next year.

In the show, "Kat's quest for the truth uncovers secrets that the village of Redwater would rather were left buried at sea".

Danish director Jesper Nielsen, whose credits include Borgen, is directing the drama, created by former EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

"Now is the perfect time to take two of EastEnders' most beloved and enduring characters out of their comfort zone as they head to Ireland to search for answers to some very big questions," he previously said.

L to R: Maria Doyle Kennedy, Fionnuala Flanagan & Angeline Ball on set.
L to R: Maria Doyle Kennedy, Fionnuala Flanagan & Angeline Ball on set.

"My team here are very excited about creating a whole new drama that stands apart from EastEnders while taking our style of storytelling to a place of stories, myth, secrets and immeasurable beauty."

However, soap bosses have been warned to 'keep it real' this time, as their last efforts at basing the show here 19 years ago resulted in a diplomatic row which saw the Irish Ambassador to Britain describe the show's portrayal of Ireland as "worrying" and "prejudiced".

Three episodes were based here in 1997 and resulted in a huge public outcry over their portrayal of Irish life, which included wild animals on the streets and drunk and disorderly behaviour.

The episodes showed the character of Pauline Fowler travel to Ireland to meet her long-lost half-sister, but ended up angering many Irish fans.

The BBC subsequently issued an apology after hundreds of viewers filed complaints.

When news of Redwater first broke last year, former Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said that he hoped show's producers had learned from their mistake.

Actress Fionnula Flanagan
Actress Fionnula Flanagan

"Of course, we are proud of the donkeys that walk along the road in Connemara, I see them there and I think it is great. But long gone is the day where we depend on donkeys and carts to bring our milk around," he said at the time.

"I'm sure they have learned by their mistakes, they'll come over the next time and I am sure they will have a different outlook going back."

Redwater also stars Fionnula Flanagan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Ian McElhinney, Angeline Ball, Peter Campion and Stanley Townsend.

Kat and Alfie were last seen in EastEnders in January.

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