Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
14

Soaps News

Exclusive: 'EastEnders' character teasers from exec Bryan Kirkwood

By
Bryan Kirkwood

© BBC

EastEnders' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood recently had a chat with Digital Spy about recent storylines and future plans for the BBC's flagship show.

If you haven't done so already, make sure to read the main interview with Bryan for chat about the Beales, Chryed, Janine, Michael, and returnee Mandy Salter among other topics.

Here, though, Soap Scoop asks Bryan what the future holds for some other fan favourites, including Jack, Jean, Phil and more!

As viewers seem to agree that Scott Maslen has given some of his best performances recently, will the show be making the most of this and could we see a new direction for Jack Branning?
"Scott was magnificent in those scenes where he had to say goodbye to the baby, and he's continued to be fantastic in scenes that we've seen in recent weeks. Jack will take a bit of a back seat for a short while, but we have the best Branning story in store as we head into the autumn. I'm really excited about it."

Is the show still committed to Phil and Shirley as a couple, and could we see Phil start to treat Shirley better?
"I'm a big Phil and Shirley fan - we took a long time getting them together. I loved their non-wedding episode, and I think we saw another side of Phil and a different side to Shirley. I believe in them as a couple. That said, the dynamic between them is what got them together and it isn't necessarily going to change. Phil does love Shirley and he respects her more than he ever did - but is she Kathy, is she Sharon? They're a fantastic couple to tell stories with because they're both deeply flawed, and I think if we heal those flaws, then they become less interesting."

After coming out of the situations with Glenda and Roxy's money unscathed, some viewers are questioning whether Phil is starting to get away with too much. Do you agree?
"It's an interesting point and Phil has got an enormous appetite for danger and risk - and that's what makes him such a brilliant icon. He's got away with murder, literally, for 20 years. But that might not last forever, that's all I'll say."

Denise Parish as Diane Wicks in Eastenders
As it's seemed quite quiet for Denise and Patrick lately, are there any plans on the horizon for them?
"Yes. As I've said, we have a huge cast and I think unfortunately, there's always going to be a handful of characters who are slightly under-served at any one time. I'm very conscious of how little screen time Denise and Patrick have had lately, and that is set to change. Rudy and Di are two of my favourite actors on the show and they're going to be back on our screens in a big way very soon."

Jean's also seemed a bit quiet since her return, so will that change?
"Jean is in a story that we're filming right now. I'm aware of how loved Gillian's portrayal of Jean is, and I hope the audience enjoy the story that's coming up shortly."

Some fans would like to see Kat's softer side return as she hasn't seemed very 'warm' since her return to the Square. What are your thoughts?
"I think there is some truth in that. Kat's had a lot of life-changing things to deal with over the last year or so, but I'm as keen as anyone to see the warm-hearted 'tart with a heart' come back to the fore. Kat and Alfie are running The Vic and now they've got everything they ever wanted so I'm excited about where they go from here."

Is Grace staying in the show?
"Grace will be sticking around and we are set to see her other granddaughter - Mercy's sister Faith - arrive in the show with a bang as a precursor to the next series of EastEnders: E20."

After the Heather-centric and Dot-centric episodes, are there any more of those special instalments on the horizon?
"No, I think we've seen the last of them for now. I enjoyed both of those episodes and I was enormously proud of June Brown in the storyline where Jim went into care. I thought the Dot and Jim storyline brought us some very special episodes and they proved what a treasure June is to EastEnders."

Heather Trott in EastEnders
Could we ever see a new direction for Heather or will she always remain slightly downtrodden?
"Well, Heather is set to have a brief romance in South End with a mystery newcomer! But some characters are invented to be a type and Heather is the unlucky-in-love loser of Albert Square. She strikes a chord with an enormous number of viewers, and I think Cheryl Fergison does a great job."

After they worked so well in the Rob storyline, will we see more from Whitney and Lauren?
"Yes - I'm really proud of Whitney's storyline and one of the things that I wanted to achieve was a strong female friendship, along the lines of Sharon and Michelle and Tiffany and Bianca. Whitney and Lauren are so different as they're the chav and the emo, but actually they work so well as a friendship. We're going to see a lot more of them."

Earlier this year, there was quite an interesting dynamic building up with Jay and Ben as the possible next generation of the Mitchell brothers! Are you keen to carry that on when Joshua Pascoe returns to filming?
"Yes - I think Jay and Ben as the next generation of the Mitchell brothers have enormous potential. I'm aware that the audience may not quite have connected with Joshua's portrayal of Ben, because it was so significantly different from Charlie Jones's portrayal. We will see a softer side to Ben when he returns, but the character has evolved. The character has been brutalised in his young offenders' institute and he's also the son of Phil. He's a very complex character and we've got big plans for the Mitchell clan."

Read more of Digital Spy's exclusive Producer Season interviews:-
> Myar Craig-Brown: Holby City's series producer
> Peter Lloyd: Doctors' series producer
> Oliver Kent: Casualty's series producer
> Cameron Welsh: Home and Away's series producer

Share your thoughts on all things EastEnders using the box below! Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

You May Like

Comments

Loading...