Wednesday 20 September 2017

Co Waterford plans to cash in on EastEnders spin-off

Kat and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie, on the set of EastEnders spin-off Redwater in Co Waterford (BBC/PA)
Kat and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie, on the set of EastEnders spin-off Redwater in Co Waterford (BBC/PA)

Tourism chiefs are planning to cash in on an EastEnders spin-off that was filmed in Ireland.

Redwater, which centres on Albert Square favourites Kat and Alfie Moon, was shot in Dunmore East in Co Waterford when the country was bathed in weeks of near unbroken sunshine last June.

And Tourism Ireland are lining up a publicity blitz to capitalise on the expected millions of soap fans in Britain who will tune in for the latest twists in the couple's roller coaster lives.

The agency's half a million social media followers over the Irish Sea will also be targeted as the six-part series shows the sunny south-east living up to its name.

"It's another great way to highlight the beautiful scenery of Ireland to millions of people across Britain, inspiring them to put Ireland on their holiday 'wish list' for 2017," a spokeswoman for Tourism Ireland said.

BBC One's Redwater tells the story of Kat and Alfie, played by soap stars Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie, after they arrive in the tiny, fictional seaside village in Ireland to search for Kat's long lost son.

It is due to air in the spring.

While the producers have remained tight-lipped over the storyline it is billed as a quest for truth that the locals would rather remained buried.

Danish director Jesper Nielsen, whose credits include Borgen, is directing the cameras while the series was written by former EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

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

And the producers are understood to be conscious not to portray Ireland as a backwater, after a mistake almost 20 years ago on one of the few occasions when EastEnders was taken out of Albert Square.

Three episodes were based here in 1997 and led to hundreds of complaints and a near diplomatic fallout over images of wild animals on the streets and drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Press Association

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