Belfast Telegraph

Irish tourism to benefit from EastEnders Kat and Alfie's spin-offadventures

Tourism chiefs are planning to cash in on an EastEnders spin-off that was filmed in Ireland.

Redwater, which centres on Albert Square favourites Kat and Alfie Moon, was shot in Dunmore East in Co Waterford when the Republic was bathed in weeks of near unbroken sunshine last June.

Tourism Ireland is lining up a publicity blitz to capitalise on the expected millions of soap fans in Britain who will tune in for the latest twists in the couple's rollercoaster lives.

The agency's half-a-million social media followers over the Irish Sea will also be targeted, as the six-part series shows the sunny south-east of Ireland living up to its name.

"It's another great way to highlight the beautiful scenery of Ireland to millions of people across Britain, inspiring them to put Ireland on their holiday 'wish-list' for 2017," a spokeswoman for Tourism Ireland said.

BBC One's Redwater tells the story of Kat and Alfie, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie, after they arrive in the tiny, fictional seaside village in Ireland to search of Kat's long lost son.

It is due to air in the spring.

While the producers have remained tightlipped over the storyline, it is billed as a quest for truth that the locals would rather remained buried.

Dane Jesper Nielsen, whose credits include Borgen, is directing the cameras, while the series was written by former EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

Redwater also stars homegrown stars such as Maria Doyle Kennedy, Fionnula Flanagan, Ian McElhinney, Angeline Ball, Peter Campion and Stanley Townsend.

And the producers are understood to be conscious not to portray Ireland as a backwater, after a mistake almost 20 years ago on one of the few occasions when EastEnders was taken out of Albert Square.

Three episodes were based in the Republic in 1997, and led to hundreds of complaints and a near diplomatic fall-out over images of wild animals on the streets and drunk and disorderly behaviour by the locals.

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