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'EastEnders' to broadcast in HD

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BBC soap EastEnders will broadcast in high definition for the first time in the autumn, it has been announced.

The Walford serial's switch to HD ties in with the BBC's plans to simulcast "the majority" of BBC One programming before the end of the year.

Other programmes scheduled to make the transition include Holby City, Casualty and The One Show.

Last year, former executive producer Diederick Santer revealed that some parts of the Albert Square set didn't "pass muster" in the high quality filming format.

He said: "Until we've either completely refurbed the exterior set or moved the programme somewhere else and built it from scratch, then we're not going to be going HD."

Preparations are currently afoot at the soap's home at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Herts, ahead of its move to HD production within the next few months.

In September, EastEnders revamped its title sequence, replacing the old blue, green and grey map with a three-dimensional version, for HD broadcast.

Hollyoaks became the first of the Big Four UK soaps to air in HD in June 2008.

On Monday, Coronation Street makes it debut on ITV HD with its stripped week of 9pm editions featuring Tony Gordon's prison break and factory siege. ITV recently unveiled new-look titles ahead of its first transmission.

Emmerdale is expected to begin shooting in HD in the first quarter of next year when the £5m studio refurbishment work completes

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