At this week's press conference, along with talking about the future of EastEnders and upcoming plots, Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins talked about casting and the Carters.
"With the Carters, we love them. And we needed to do something a bit audacious. When we were here last we brought Ronnie and Roxy into the Vic. We needed to shake up the Vic. Kat and Alfie have a big story next year and they needed to lose money. They needed to be brought down in order to tell stories to bring them up. And with the Vic, what I did when I got the job was that I went back to Tony Holland and Julie Smith’s book about the origins of EastEnders and how they put the show together. How Tony Holland had looked at his family. Linda and Mick had been in my head for about a year and a half. I talked about them at the wedding to Alex. And they’re influenced a bit by my mum and dad. Which my mum will eventually kill me for! And so we’re putting them in the Vic, giving them secrets.
"We’ve got massive stories for them. For Danny, Kellie, Sam, Maddie, Louisa Bradshaw-White and, most importantly, Linda Henry, who is, in Shirley Carter - one of the first characters we created the last time we were here - a soap icon. And she hasn’t been used as much as she should have been. And her stories are going to provide loads and loads of exciting stories for The Square. But her family will make us understand Shirley a lot, lot better. What makes her tick and why she walked out on her kids years ago. That’s a little teaser there."
"We’ve trimmed down the cast a bit. That’s to bring in new characters, but I also firmly believe every character has to fight for their place on the show. I have said to the cast “You will all play Hamlet, but you will all play spear carrier number three. This is a company of actors, so one day you’re going to be having the big monologue, the next day you’ll be saying I want a packet of crisps.
"And that’s the way this show is going to work. I love our extras, but I want to see the characters I know more. I want to see those characters in The Vic. And that’s what we’re getting back to."
Summarising, Dominic repeats his promise that there's more to come. "I think we’ve got our strongest ever cast, and there’s more to come. We want to reinvigorate our older cast. We want some older people. We don’t want too many young people. When I see younger characters I want to see them through the eyes of their parents, perhaps not through the eyes of their children. It’s a fine line. We’ve got Timothy West we’ve got Annette Badland - and more to come. Julia Crampsie our casting director, I have driven her to a breakdown by shouting a lot: “Ask that person! Ask Danny Dyer!” And things like that work sometimes. "
See more from this week's press conference with Dominic Treadwell-Collins: