When is EastEnders back on TV? And what happened in the last episode?

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EastEnders is off air for the foreseeable, but when will it be back on our screens? Here is everything you need to know...

EastEnders fans have gone into mourning after their favourite soap went off air for the first time in 35 years yesterday.

Viewers were treated to an action packed episode that saw the new owners of the Queen Victoria pub revealed, leaving Phil Mitchell's (Steve McFadden) nose well out of joint.

But sadly it was the last episode for a while thanks to a break in filming due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharon and Ian EastEnders BBC

Sharon and Ian made sure the last episode of EastEnders went out with a bang (Picture: BBC)

TV studios were forced to shut down filming, leaving fans will a skeleton schedule of soaps and other dramas.

But thankfully production at EastEnders starts again at the end of June, meaning we will soon have some new episodes.

When is EastEnders back on TV?

While there hasn't been a confirmed return date for the soap, filming will resume in the next few weeks.

Sadly for fans, it is likely that EastEnders will be off air for the majority of the summer.

It is thought it's unlikely we will get any new Walford drama until the end of August, possibly September.

Bex and Sonia EastEnders BBC

We will have to wait a few months before finding out how Sonia's search for her dad pans out (Picture: BBC)

With new safety measures being put into place, filming and production is likely to take longer than usual.

An EastEnders insider told Digital Spy: "Inevitably there will be a jump in time when the episodes resume following the on-screen break, but that doesn't mean all of the storylines have been scrapped.

"Some stories will obviously have to be tweaked, but this is purely down to filming being halted due to the pandemic."

There will also be another difference when EastEnders finally returns, and that is shorter episodes.

We're used to watching four times a week for 30 minutes an episode, but it's been announced that while we should get back to four episodes a week EastEnders will return with episodes lasting 20 minutes.

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What happened in the last episode of EastEnders?

The last episode of EastEnders shown before the break aired on Tuesday 16th June, 2020.

Fans have watched Phil desperately trying to get his hands on the Vic in a bid to win back Sharon Watts.

Phil Mitchell EastEnders BBC

Phil has been desperate to get his hands on The Vic (Picture: BBC)

The pair separated after Sharon's affair with Keanu Taylor came to light, but they reunited over their shared grief over Denny's death.

But things took a sour turn once again when Sharon decided she couldn't live without her baby son, Kayden.

Phil refused to raise Kayden along with Sharon, and the pair split after Phil delivered some nasty home truths.

Sharon and Ian EastEnders BBC

Sharon got the last laugh by beating Phil to boring The Vic (Picture: BBC)

But in a typical Phil way, he was still determined to buy the Vic, but this time it was just to spite Sharon.

However, the deal seemed to be off when Linda (Kellie Bright) refused to sell her beloved boozer to Phil after the hurtful things he said about Kayden.

Not only did this leave Phil fuming, but also Mick (Danny Dyer) at a loss now they were back at square one.

But Sharon got the last laugh when she and Ian Beale were revealed to be the new owners of the pub.

Sharon and Ian EastEnders BBC

Ian loved every moment of getting one up on Phil (Picture: BBC)

While Sharon smugly stood behind the bar, Ian couldn't hide his glee at getting one over on his life-long nemesis.

What will be shown while EastEnders is off air?

Thankfully for EastEnders fans bosses have come up with a way for everyone to get their Walford fix by putting together a series called EastEnders: Secrets from The Square.

Stacey Dooley on the set of EastEnders

Stacey Dooley will be presenting Eastenders: Secrets from The Square (Picture: BBC)

The Monday night show will be hosted by Stacey Dooley and feature chats with members of the cast.

Meanwhile, classic episodes will air on Tuesdays, meaning fans can relive the biggest moments in Albert Square.

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.