Royal Baby: BBC Soap 'EastEnders' to Celebrate Newborn in Tuesday Episode

6:41 AM PST 07/23/2013 by Georg Szalai
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The long-running drama, which has also celebrated other events and current affairs, shot a scene for the occasion on Monday night.

LONDON -- Long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders will celebrate the arrival of the royal baby in its Tuesday night episode with a scene shot for the occasion on Monday night.

The BBC announced the decision on the show's blog on Tuesday.

The scene, ordered last-minute, will show characters Dot Cotton (June Brown) and Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) discussing the baby news.

EastEnders is about the lives of people in the fictional borough of Walford in London's East End.

"It's a boy! And to join the country in celebrating, we have filmed a special scene to mark the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby boy," the show blog said.

It quoted a spokeswoman for the soap as saying: "This is such a momentous occasion for the royal family, the country and of course the residents of Walford that we felt it should be marked in EastEnders history."

BBC One will air the episode at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night. It wasn't immediately clear if the BBC would push back the airing of the episode if Kate Middleton, Prince William and their newborn leave the hospital Tuesday night and the BBC decides to cover that news live.

Mid-day Tuesday, royal sources had announced that the royal couple and their baby would leave after 6 p.m. or early on Wednesday.

EastEnders, which started its BBC run in 1985, has also celebrated other events of importance to British audiences over the years.

"This isn’t the first time we’ve burnt the midnight oil to mark historical or topical moments," the show's blog said. "Over the years, we’ve filmed lots of special scenes that have been inserted into episodes, for example the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, references to World Cup matches, the Olympics and most recently Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon!"

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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