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EE boss promises "exciting" anniversary

By and Kris Green
EE boss promises
EastEnders boss Diederick Santer has revealed what viewers can expect from the soap's forthcoming 25th anniversary episodes.

Speaking in an interview with DS, the show's executive producer confirmed that he had aimed to make February's milestone instalments "active and exciting" and "not too reflective" in order to maintain a sense of realism.  

Santer commented: "There'll be those moments for some of our longer-serving characters that briefly reflect on themselves and how they've changed. The characters don't know that it's the 25th anniversary of anything, so it'd be absurd to contrive too many situations in which they're reflective on the past."  

As previously revealed, one of the main plots which has been created for the occasion is the much-anticipated wedding of Walford favourites Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) and Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer). The pair are to become engaged this Christmas and start making plans to tie the knot in February.  

Meanwhile, the anniversary week will also feature the programme's first ever live episode, which has been tipped to focus on the resolution of a forthcoming whodunit storyline surrounding the death of villain Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb).  

Santer continued: "The main engine of that week is the great stories that'll get people talking about it. That's why we're doing the live episode, which will feature a huge plot development. That's also why we're doing the soap wedding of the year - and perhaps the soap wedding of the decade - with Ricky and Bianca. The romance played against the thriller story is a great balance, which I hope the audience will be satisfied with.  

"The wedding is the perfect opportunity for us to bring back the much-loved Jackson characters - Carol, Natalie, Robbie and Billie. I don't want to go over the top with returnees because, again, it'd be contrived if loads of old faces suddenly turned up in Walford. Bianca's family I can understand, but beyond that, I'd start scratching my head a little."  

Santer, who has headed up EastEnders' production since October 2006, has previously announced that he is to stand down in the New Year. He will be replaced by former Hollyoaks boss Bryan Kirkwood.

> Click here to read Diederick Santer's Producer's Perspective 2009
> Click here to read what's to come in EastEnders in 2010 Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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