News, Culture & Society

EastEnders’ iconic Queen Vic pub nears completion after undergoing a transformation

EastEnders’ brand new £87 million set in Borehamwood is almost complete following months of work to create a replica of the original set-up.

And amid the huge renovation, the BBC soap’s iconic Queen Vic pub took centre stage after undergoing an impressive transformation, with its infamous red exterior shining bright amid Albert Square following the removal of scaffolding. 

Albert Square had previously been a pile of rubble but the well-loved area now looks dramatically different as work continued in new images released on Wednesday.

New look: EastEnders’ Queen Vic pub took centre stage after undergoing an impressive transformation, with its infamous red exterior shining bright amid Albert Square

The Queen Vic plays a central role in the soap, with the watering hole playing host to plenty of rows, huge fights and the airing of dirty laundry from the Walford residents.

And after being covered in scaffolding, the updated red-walled tavern has now been unveiled with a fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors.

The newly-built building was first revealed in May, and saw the roof painted a white colour as it neared its final stages to match the original inn.

Amid the new pictures of the set being unveiled, it’s said that the Black Lives Matter mural, which was painted on the side of Ian Beale’s house and unveiled in June, didn’t make the transition to the new set. 

Transformation: EastEnders' brand new £87 million set in Borehamwood is almost complete following months of work to create a replica of the original set-up

Transformation: EastEnders’ brand new £87 million set in Borehamwood is almost complete following months of work to create a replica of the original set-up

The new set was littered with workmen as they continued to work on building a replica of the old set, which was built in 1987.

Earlier this year, images showed the set buzzing with activity as work continued amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Construction sites were able to work ‘if it is done safely’ yet the project may not have been, to some, classed as ‘essential’.

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

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

Much better: After being covered in scaffolding, the updated red-walled tavern has now been unveiled with a fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors

Much better: After being covered in scaffolding, the updated red-walled tavern has now been unveiled with a fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors

Looking good: Albert Square had previously been a pile of rubble but the well-loved area now looks dramatically different as work continued in new images released on Wednesday

Changes: The Queen Vic has been given a fresh update amid the building of the new set

Looking good: Albert Square had previously been a pile of rubble but the well-loved area now looks dramatically different as work continued in new images released on Wednesday

Centre of drama: The Queen Vic plays a central role in the soap, with the watering hole playing host to plenty of rows, huge fights and the airing of dirty laundry from the Walford residents

Centre of drama: The Queen Vic plays a central role in the soap, with the watering hole playing host to plenty of rows, huge fights and the airing of dirty laundry from the Walford residents

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’.

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’.

Update: And after being covered in scaffolding, the updated red-walled tavern has now been unveiled with a fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors

Update: And after being covered in scaffolding, the updated red-walled tavern has now been unveiled with a fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors

Improvements: The newly-built building was first revealed in May, and saw the roof painted a white colour as it neared its final stages to match the original inn

Improvements: The newly-built building was first revealed in May, and saw the roof painted a white colour as it neared its final stages to match the original inn

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’.

A BBC spokesman said at the time: ‘We strongly reject the notion that there has been any complacency in managing this project.

‘Like any building work of this scale, there have been challenges along the way including construction market issues beyond our control and working on a brownfield site.’

The extended sound stage sees a new railway line and block of flats in place, replicating the soap’s original set up.

Current pub: The old pub featured a deep red paneling around the building with gold detailing and lettering, it is currently unclear whether the watering hole will be exactly the same or undergo a revamp.

Original: The famous red-walled Queen Vic pub pictured on the original set 

Missing: Amid the new pictures of the set being unveiled, it's said that the Black Lives Matter mural, which was painted on the side of Ian Beale's house and unveiled in June, didn't make the transition to the new set

Missing: Amid the new pictures of the set being unveiled, it’s said that the Black Lives Matter mural, which was painted on the side of Ian Beale’s house and unveiled in June, didn’t make the transition to the new set

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

As well as an extension of the famous Albert Square, EastEnders’ new set will feature a brand new block of flats to house all manner of colourful characters.

It is being perfectly built to replicate the old set, which had been in use since the soap first began.

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

EastEnders: Real-life partners as body doubles, CGI trickery and kissing through Perspex screens… bosses have revealed the secrets to filming during COVID-19 crisis as soap returns

EastEnders: Real-life partners as body doubles, CGI trickery and kissing through Perspex screens… bosses have revealed the secrets to filming during COVID-19 crisis as soap returns

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.

The HD set’s buildings are made entirely out of brick, however the crew are working diligently to ensure they appear identical on camera to the buildings that viewers are familiar with.

The long-running drama is currently on a 12 week break after it ran out of episodes while filming was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

Transition: EastEnders are trying to alter their filming and production to follow the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines proved to be the biggest challenge

Transition: EastEnders are trying to alter their filming and production to follow the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines proved to be the biggest challenge

After almost three months off air, BBC bosses joked that they ‘can’t wait for series two’, after the soap previously ran uninterrupted for 35 years.

EastEnders is set to return to screens on Monday, September 7, with filming techniques updated to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Bosses have ‘cheated’ the social distancing rules with CGI trickery and have drafted in the help of stars’ real-life partners as body doubles for intimate scenes

While Perspex screens have also been used during passionate kissing scenes.

Back to work: When EastEnders returns to screens next month episodes will be just 20 minutes long, which bosses credited to longer filming times with new measures in place

Back to work: When EastEnders returns to screens next month episodes will be just 20 minutes long, which bosses credited to longer filming times with new measures in place

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.