EastEnders to add a gay bar in bid to diversify BBC One soap

EastEnders

EastEnders will add a gay bar to Albert Square in a bid to diversify the long running BBC One soap.

New boss Kate Oates - who was previously running Coronation Street on ITV - has unveiled big plans for the series.

They include the opening of a new gay venue, described as a "hip alternative" to the Queen Vic.

"I’m really interested in bringing some more LGBTQ characters in," said Kate. “We’re looking at opening a gay bar on the Square which will be a super-cool precinct where gay and straight characters can all just hang out.

“It should be something really exciting, really fun, really visual and feel really true to multi-cultural London.”

A source shared to The Sun newspaper: “The gay bar will be a great new filming venue for the show and provide dozens of interesting plot lines. Producers plan to use it as a new space and backdrop to film scenes and base drama.

"Kate is keen that the bar won’t just be for gay and bisexual characters, but for everyone. It will offer a different feel to the traditional pub vibe of the Queen Vic.

“It’s an important move for the show to authentically reflect modern London life.”

Meanwhile, Kate has also teased the return of some classic EastEnders characters.

She said during a Q&A on Twitter: "We've got some great returnees planned. You already know that Lola [Pearce]'s coming back so I'm looking forward to seeing her in the Square.

"We've got a couple more secret returnees coming as well which I won't tell you too much about now but I will tell you that there's one coming back in spring that I'm really super excited about.

"It's going to be for a fairly short stint but i think it's going to have a really huge impact so they're part of my big plans for 2019."

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