EastEnders' former set is torn down

EastEnders’ former set is torn down as workmen strip away old buildings deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ after show moved to new £87m location

The cast and crew of EastEnders have finally moved onto the show’s new £87million set as work begins to tear down the old one.

Workmen were spotted on the old set used for Albert Square on Thursday to begin  the long removal process.

The famous Queen Victoria pub looked bare as the sign out front was gone along with the foliage.

Old set: The cast and crew of EastEnders have finally moved onto the show's new £87million set as work begins to tear down the old one

Old set: The cast and crew of EastEnders have finally moved onto the show’s new £87million set as work begins to tear down the old one

Boards were strewn on the ground outside the old betting shop and Beales Fish Bar while a building alongside a fictional discount store appeared to have been cleared out.

Fences were placed near The Argee Bhajee Indian restaurant while there were also several cranes going through the market. 

The BBC spent millions on building a brand new set for EastEnders after the old site was deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ back in 2016, and despite sparking fury with the vast sum, will finally appear on screen in the spring.

EastEnders bosses recently unveiled their first glimpse at the brand new set as filming finally commenced on the site ahead of being broadcast in the spring. 

Tearing down: The famous Queen Victoria pub looked bare as the sign out front was gone along with the foliage

Tearing down: The famous Queen Victoria pub looked bare as the sign out front was gone along with the foliage

After sparking fury over licence fee payers’ value for money, the new set is finally up and running, with first look images showing the brand spanking new Queen Vic pub, with a fresh lick of red paint.

The old set was built in 1984, with the intention of only being used for two years. The new set has been erected right next to the old set, based in Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.

What began as a rubble patch of land adjacent to the show’s original set has been transformed into the fictional East London enclave, after builders returned to work following a disruption prompted by the Covid outbreak and Britain’s subsequent lockdowns.

Many of Albert Square’s most iconic landmarks have been recreated for the new set, including the Queen Vic pub, Mitchell brothers’ mechanics garage, the Beale’s fish and chip shop and Ruby Allen’s night club.

Changes: Workmen were spotted on the old set used for Albert Square on Thursday to begin the long removal process

Changes: Workmen were spotted on the old set used for Albert Square on Thursday to begin the long removal process

Out with the old: A building alongside a fictional discount store appeared to have been cleared out

Out with the old: A building alongside a fictional discount store appeared to have been cleared out

Show: Fences were placed near The Argee Bhajee Indian restaurant while there were also several cranes going through the market

Show: Fences were placed near The Argee Bhajee Indian restaurant while there were also several cranes going through the market

The investment in the BBC’s longest-running TV serial drama enables improves HD experience for the audience and enhanced filming options.

EastEnders production are now able to explore new areas on screen and writers, producers and directors have greater freedom to drive further creativity.

Back in 2018, the BBC was accused of ‘outrageously overspending’ licence fee cash after it emerged that EastEnders’ new set would cost £86.7million.

That was £27million over the original budget – and the project was expected to be nearly five years late.

The BBC was accused of ‘complacency’ over the astonishing £87 million bill for its new EastEnders set in March 2020.

Locations: The BBC spent millions on building a brand new set for EastEnders after the old site was deemed 'not fit for purpose' back in 2016

Locations: The BBC spent millions on building a brand new set for EastEnders after the old site was deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ back in 2016

Upcoming: Despite sparking fury with the vast sum, the new set will finally appear on screen in the spring

Upcoming: Despite sparking fury with the vast sum, the new set will finally appear on screen in the spring

Production: The old set was built in 1984, with the intention of only being used for two years

Production: The old set was built in 1984, with the intention of only being used for two years

The massive build, nicknamed E20 after the soap’s fictitious postcode, went £27 million over budget and was not expected to be fully completed until May 2023, nearly five years late.

MPs said BBC bosses ‘badly’ managed the construction and that they made ‘a serious error’ by failing to consider what project management skills they needed. The public accounts committee said they secured a contract poorly, drastically increasing costs.

The committee also found that contract negotiations took six months longer than planned, partly because of discussions about what bricks to use for the set. Meanwhile, the corporation spent £50,000 on samples.

MPs added that they were ‘disappointed by the BBC’s complacency in managing this project, particularly in its early stages’.

New location: The new set has been erected right next to the old set, based in Elstree Studios in Borehamwood

New location: The new set has been erected right next to the old set, based in Elstree Studios in Borehamwood

And they said the BBC ‘underestimated the scale and complexity of the project, including how it would age the new sets so that they either exactly replicate what viewers are used to, or look realistic where there are new locations’.

The set consists of a ‘front lot’ – a brickwork replica of the current set – and a ‘back lot’, which will provide extra locations to ‘better reflect modern East End London’.

EastEnders’ brand new set was first announced five years ago when it was also revealed that the show’s old 1984 set was in poor condition.

According to The Telegraph, ongoing maintenance issues on the old set hampered the show’s filming schedule and presented health and safety concerns.

Walford: What began as a rubble patch of land adjacent to the show's original set has been transformed into the fictional East London enclave

Walford: What began as a rubble patch of land adjacent to the show’s original set has been transformed into the fictional East London enclave

The updated set will allow the crew to film the programme in HD as bosses feared filming above standard definition on the current set would allow viewers to notice that the fronts of the Queen Vic and its surrounding buildings are made of plaster and plywood.

Projected to be completed in May 2023, the finished build is 17 months early.

The new build comes after fans were devastated after it was revealed by The Mirror that Danny Dyer will be stepping down from the soap this year.

A friend of Danny, has said that ‘he feels the time is right to explore other roles’, after he renounced his character of Mick Carter on the show.

Delays: Builders returned to work following a disruption prompted by the Covid outbreak and Britain's subsequent lockdowns

Delays: Builders returned to work following a disruption prompted by the Covid outbreak and Britain’s subsequent lockdowns

Recreated: Many of Albert Square's most iconic landmarks have been recreated for the new set, including the Queen Vic pub, Mitchell brothers' mechanics garage, the Beale's fish and chip shop and Ruby Allen's night club

Recreated: Many of Albert Square’s most iconic landmarks have been recreated for the new set, including the Queen Vic pub, Mitchell brothers’ mechanics garage, the Beale’s fish and chip shop and Ruby Allen’s night club

New and improved: The updated set will allow the crew to film the programme in HD

New and improved: The updated set will allow the crew to film the programme in HD

Taking to Twitter, fans of the soap were quick to voice their concerns as they claimed that 2022 was off to a disappointing start following his departure.

One Twitter user penned: ‘Danny Dyer has really ruined 2022 for me already’ at they attached a crying GIF.

Another added: ‘Danny Dyer quitting the most depressing thing of 2022.’

After the soap saw the return of scheming Janine Butcher, some wondered if she would be the person to take over the legendary Queen Vic pub.

Janine (played by Charlie Brookes) recently shocked Mick with proof that his wife, Linda (Kellie Bright) was drinking again as she made it her mission to end his marriage once and for all.

One fan attempted to predict the plot as she suggested that viewers could see Mick murdered by Janine, in another of her wicked schemes.

Ahead of schedule: Projected to be completed in May 2023, the finished build is 17 months early

Ahead of schedule: Projected to be completed in May 2023, the finished build is 17 months early

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