EastEnders: Olympic drama
The London 2012 Olympics showcased not just some of the greatest sportsmen and women from around the world, but also the best in broadcasting and creative talent from the BBC. In this video, we see how the national fervour around the Olympic torch relay was captured within the well-loved drama.
From the dramatic opening ceremony to the thrills of 'Super Saturday', the BBC's coverage was widely praised around the world, and we have brought together our own highlights in our new collection of case study films, taking a detailed look at how the Olympics were brought to you from build-up to broadcast.
From election coverage to royal weddings and funerals, EastEnders has always tried to plug in to national events, and the London 2012 Olympics were no different. For Nick Brown, director of BBC drama production, they presented a perfect opportunity to place EastEnders at the heart of the events that were gripping the nation, with the live torch relay as the perfect vehicle for this.
"There was certainly a feeling that if we’re going to do this, we have to make it bigger." – Nick Brown
In this video, we see how the national fervour around the torch relay was captured within the drama, with the scale of the events on screen building to reflect the huge momentum sweeping the UK.
Cast, extras and the actual torch relay team all played a role in bringing it to life on screen. The show recruited over 450 extras to line the streets of fictional Walford, while 19 cameras and a 200-strong crew captured the excitement. The live relay action was interwoven with the dramatic events surrounding one of the show's key characters. The result: one of the show’s highest ever audience appreciation scores.