EastEnders will return with a NEW LOOK with THIS addition to the set

EastEnders logo

Walford will be returning to our screens with a new addition...

EastEnders cast and crew have returned to filming today, but the soap will look a little different when it returns to our screens later this year as a new piece of artwork has been given pride of place in Walford.

The mural of a black woman has become a permanent backdrop to the drama in Albert Square, and was painted by British artist, Dreph.

EastEnders mural

British artist Dreph took several days to paint his mural on the eastEnders set (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes)

EastEnders studios were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, but thankfully filming is back today with social distancing measures in place.

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The new artwork, painted on the side of Ian Beale's house on Bridge Street, Albert Square, will be taking centre stage when the soap returns, and both fans and cast have taken to social media to share their thoughts...

An artist with a passion 

Nottingham-born artist, Dreph, whose real name is Neequaye Dsane, took several days to paint the amazing 5x2 metre artwork, and is best known for his large-scale murals and oil paintings that can be found across the world.

His subjects range from strangers to friends and family and are often a tribute to living unsung heroes and heroines.

Dreph’s You Are Enough project in 2017, saw the artist go London wide with a series of portraits of Black women - paying tribute to friends who were doing amazing things for their communities and society at large.

EastEnders Mural

The new EastEnders mural will provide an iconic backdrop to the usual Walford drama (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes)

Speaking about his latest accomplishment Dreph said: "The opportunity to have my art work on the set as a permanent feature, having the same impact as my work has on the streets of London, was a really exciting opportunity.

"I remember watching the very first EastEnders episode 3 decades ago, so I was really surprised to hear from the team!

"I’m so pleased that EastEnders has found a way to reflect modern day UK in a time when so many of us are finding ways to voice anti-racism and I’m so happy that my work will become the backdrop to future storylines in the show."

New Walford mural in EastEnders

EastEnders cast and crew returned to filming today with a new addition to the set (Picture: BBC)

EastEnders Executive Producer, Jon Sen added: "Dreph’s mural is an exciting and timely addition to the show that reflects events taking place in the real world.

"Anti-racism is something that the cast, crew and producers care passionately about at EastEnders and the show is well known for tackling social issues and celebrating diversity and inclusivity through its characters and storylines."

BBC One will air EastEnders: Secrets from the Square, hosted by Stacey Dooley, at 8pm on Mondays, while classic episodes of the soap will air at 7.30pm on Tuesdays.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.