EastEnders bosses have unveiled a stunning new addition to the soap’s set in the form of a mural by artist Dreph, as filming resumed on Monday.
The mural of a Black woman has been painted on the side of the Beale house opposite the Queen Victoria pub, which will be a permanent new backdrop to Walford life.
Dreph is best known for his large-scale murals and oil paintings, which are often a tribute to living unsung heroes and heroines.
The You Are Enough project in 2017 saw the artist create a series of portraits of Black women that paid tribute to friends who were contributing to their communities and society at large.
Dreph said: “The opportunity to have my artwork 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 three 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.”
An EastEnders spokesperson said the mural had been inspired by a real person, but said they would not be revealing her identity.
The BBC soap’s 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.”
The mural, which measures 5×2 metres in size, was painted over several days before cast and crew returned to work.
Some of them were pictured posing in front of the new piece of art ahead of filming resuming on Monday.
Production on the soap was closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, and it went off air for the first time in its 35-year history earlier this month when it ran out of pre-filmed episodes.
In its place, the BBC has been airing a special behind-the-scenes show fronted by Stacey Dooley, as well as repeats of classic episodes from yesteryear.
EastEnders is expected to return to BBC One in the autumn.