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BBC 'planning new EastEnders spinoff'

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The BBC is planning an EastEnders spinoff centred around the Mitchells, according to the News of the World today.

Filming of the weekly series, which has a working title The Mitchells, could begin in nine months' time.

"Steve McFadden, who plays Phil, is taking a year off from the soap, so he'd be perfect for the show," an insider told the tabloid. "Also Barbara Windsor (Peggy) is sadly ill so she'd find a weekly show easier. Another family favourite, Billie Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) will do guest appearances and there are plans to bring back other Mitchells too."

This is not the first time an EastEnders spinoff has been rumoured to be in the pipeline. Last summer it was reported that actor Mike Reid would be reprising his role as Frank Butcher for a new series called The Frank Butcher Experience, whilst other reports hinted that Dan Sullivan (played by Craig Fairbrass) would be the star of a series set in the Costa Del Sol. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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