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Sunday 20 Apr 2014

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EastEnders: E20 welcomes four new faces to the Square

Naz (Emaa Hussen), Soloman (Tosin Cole), Asher (Heshima Thompson) and Stevie (Amanda Fairbank-Hynes)

The second series of the BBC's online soap EastEnders: E20 hits screens in September 2010 and welcomes four new faces to the Square.

Series one of the online soap had over 3.3 million requests across the EastEnders website, BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button. It has since been shown on BBC Three and received over a million viewers.

The 10-part series will transmit via the EastEnders website (running time 14 minutes each) followed by a weekly omnibus on BBC Three.

Bryan Kirkwood, executive producer of EastEnders: E20, commented: "EastEnders: E20 made a real impact the first time round and this second series is set to do the same.

"The show is a fantastic platform for young, aspiring writers and actors to set the agenda. The audience are in for a real treat as these four exciting new characters will arrive in Albert Square with a bang."

John Yorke, executive producer of EastEnders: E20, commented: "I'm really proud of the fact that E20 has pioneered the training of aspiring writers and actors from different backgrounds. It's made big steps in getting a whole new generation into the industry – and a whole new audience to the internet and television, too."

The show welcomes four brand-new faces to the Square: Naz (Emaa Hussen), Stevie (Amanda Fairbank-Hynes), Asher (Heshima Thompson) and Sol (Tosin Cole).

Bad boy Ash and brother Sol need a place to crash. Naz needs a place to escape and Stevie is abandoned in the middle of Walford. One by one the strange quartet find themselves under one roof. All have something to hide and something they're desperate to get away from.

Solomon Levi (played by Tosin Cole)

Sol has been looked after by his older brother ever since he can remember and is struggling to establish an identity of his own. Falling for Naz, a psychopathic mother, and a fearsome temper threaten his one chance of happiness.

Tosin Cole has previously been seen in a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, set in urban London, with the theatre company Intermission. Tosin said: "It's a privilege to work on something so big but so different. Everyone is fantastic to work with – I'm really excited."

Asher (played by Heshima Thompson)

Ash is fresh out of jail and looking for a chance to redeem himself – but his brother and his mum, and his inability to say no to easy money, make life much more complicated than he might wish.

Heshima Thompson's past projects include The Bill and Spooks. He says: "It's a great project to be a part of and I get to dance so this is going to be fun."

Naz (played by Emaa Hussen)

Naz is a girl torn between two worlds. To her friends she's a fun-loving party girl – at home she's the apple of her Turkish father's eye. Then she meets Sol and the two worlds collide – with terrible consequences.

Newcomer Emaa said: "This is the first thing I've done professionally so it's a really exciting place to start my career. I'm from east London and a big fan of EastEnders, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do the show."

Stephanie "Stevie" Dickinson (played by Amanda Fairbank-Hynes)

Stevie is utterly clueless when it comes to real life. Abandoned by her rich parents for travelling and eternally unlucky in love, Ash turning up looks like the answer to her prayers. The only problem is, Ash has brought three people with him.

Amanda has previously been seen in the Oscar-nominated film An Education. She says: "It all happened so quickly but I'm really excited to be working on EastEnders. It's an amazing group of people and they are great to work with."

Pippa (played by Roxanne Mckee)

Former Hollyoaks actress Roxanne Mckee will feature in a few episodes as Pippa – the rich attractive sophisticated partner of Stevie's ex. However, Stevie soon discovers that Pippa isn't what she seems.

Roxanne said about the role: "I'm excited and proud to be part of this production."

Viewers will also get the chance to see Britain's Got Talent dance act Flawless, and Avant Garde will also make an appearance.

Deborah Sathe, producer of EastEnders: E20 series two, said: "I am delighted that E20 is going again and proud of what the writers have achieved. This time around the E20 writers have created four new faces for the Square, and their reaction to Walford life is really exciting.

"It's got all the ingredients of E20, but is bigger, faster, braver and even more fun."

Naz (Emaa Hussen), Soloman (Tosin Cole), Asher (Heshima Thompson) and Stevie (Amanda Fairbank-Hynes)

Notes to Editors

EastEnders: E20, series two will premiere online on the EastEnders website later this year bbc.co.uk/eastenders

The show will run for 10 episodes, each 14 minutes long. The first episode will TX on 7 September and will TX every Tuesday and Thursday for five weeks. On Monday evenings there will be an omnibus on BBC Three.

For those who prefer to view their E20 via TV, it will also be screened in five omnibus editions on BBC Three.

Series one figures information: between 8 January 2010 and 18 February 2010, EastEnders: E20 attracted over 3.3 million requests across the EastEnders website, BBC iplayer and BBC Red Button. It has since been shown on BBC Three and received over a million viewers.

Pictures are available at bbcpictures.com.

JM3

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