EastEnders planning Queen Vic pub blaze

Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) in the Queen Vic Barbara Windsor announced last year she was leaving the show

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EastEnders scriptwriters have revealed the Queen Victoria pub will be burned down as part of a major storyline later this year.

The scenes will spell the end of the current pub set ahead of the soap's move to high definition in the autumn.

It has not been announced whether any characters will die in the blaze, although several are being written out, including landlady Peggy Mitchell.

Actress Barbara Windsor is leaving the BBC One soap after 16 years.

In October, Windsor revealed she planned to leave the show, saying she would be "so sad to leave Peggy behind".

"EastEnders has been wonderful to me and it's no secret that it changed my life all of those years ago," she said.

Since then it has also been announced that Minty Peterson, played by Cliff Parisi, taxi driver Charlie Slater (Derek Martin) and student Libby Fox (Belinda Owusu) are also being written out.

In April, Lacey Turner - who plays Stacey Branning, announced she would also be leaving the soap.

The Queen Vic has been the scene of many memorable EastEnders moments, including the recent demise of Archie Mitchell.

In 1986, Den Watts famously handed divorce papers to wife Angie in the pub and in 1994 Grant Mitchell exposed his brother Phil's affair with Sharon to customers.

This year, EastEnders marked its 25th anniversary with a live episode.

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