'EastEnders' to kill off major character in Thames death plunge for 35th anniversary special

The Thames river is the centrepiece of the EastEnders credits (Credit: BBC)
The Thames river is the centrepiece of the EastEnders credits (Credit: BBC)

EastEnders bosses have revealed a plan to kill off a character in the Thames as part of the show’s 35th anniversary episode.

The BBC soap - which launched on February 19th 1985 - is planning a dramatic death to mark the anniversary, which will see one character lose their life in the London river when the residents of Albert Square embark on a boat party.

Danny Dyer’s character Mick Carter this week announced he is organising the Thames riverboat party with wife Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) to celebrate The Queen Vic winning London pub of the year. The Carter family will be on board, along with Ian Beale and members of the Mitchell and Branning families.

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Jon Sen, EastEnders’ Executive Producer said: “For the 35th anniversary we wanted to entertain the EastEnders audience on the iconic river which has heralded the start of the show for 35 years. This unmissable week of episodes is destined to be exciting, gripping and heart-breaking – it will be a week that will go down in EastEnders history.”

The Thames river features in the aerial shot of London that has made up the soap’s opening credits since the show began.

Ian Beale - played by Adam Woodyatt since 1985 - is set for a shock when his eldest son Peter returns, leaving his family questioning why he has come back.

With Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) going into labour during the episodes, the anniversary will see new life enter Albert Square at the same time as one character meets a grizzly end.

Sharon Mitchell is due to give birth next month on EastEnders (Credit: BBC)
Sharon Mitchell is due to give birth next month on EastEnders (Credit: BBC)

A spokesperson revealed: “As we journey out of Walford to the banks of the Thames, the week’s episodes will be set over 24 hours, with each episode telling the day’s events from a different perspective. As the party sets sail, tensions escalate for one family, causing an incident onboard and leading to disastrous consequences.

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“Following their win in the ‘Best Pub’ competition, Mick, Linda, The Queen Vic and its punters will celebrate in style with a boat party on the Thames. However, it won’t be plain sailing, as past actions and deadly secrets surface and wreak havoc. Mick and Linda are primed to lead the party and, as they struggle to keep their marriage afloat, the Carters will be faced with the toughest decisions they’ll ever have to make. Ian Beale boards the boat still challenged by his family…but as Bobby finds himself struggling with life in Walford, Ian’s eldest son, Peter, returns. But why has he come back?

“It isn’t just on the River Thames where the drama unfolds, as back in Albert Square the action continues. With the Truemans, Fowlers and Whitney Dean also set to take centre stage, Walford is anything but still-waters, as dark secrets are set to be exposed, feuds are set to be ignited and battle lines drawn for many families. More than one person will be left with blood on their hands this February and as one life ends, another begins…”

EastEnders airs on Monday, Tuesdays, Thursday and Friday evening on BBC One.