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New Easten­ders chief Kate Oates lifts the lid on what’s next for the Square…

Soap su­per­woman Kate Oates has steered both Cor­rie Em­merdale and to tremen­dous suc­cess – with the Street scoop­ing the cov­eted gong for Best Soap at this year’s In­side Soap Awards (see p42 for the cast’s win­ning in­ter­view)! Now, just over a month into her new job – over­see­ing Easten­ders as well as Ca­su­alty and Holby City – Kate gives us a few sneaky hints on what we can ex­pect to see hap­pen in the Square, and teases some of her long-term plans for the show…

Hi Kate! How are you set­tling into life at Easten­ders?

Good! I’ve hit the ground run­ning, and couldn’t ask for a nicer team. I’m work­ing with [ex­ec­u­tive con­sul­tant] John Yorke, who I’ve ad­mired for most of my ca­reer, which is great.

Which Wal­ford res­i­dents can we ex­pect to be in­volved in some big sto­ry­lines this win­ter?

Well… There’s go­ing to be a great long story for the Mitchell fam­ily, so that’s go­ing to be ex­cit­ing, with the whole Phil, Sharon and Keanu ex­trav­a­ganza go­ing on. I’m ex­cited about the Carters too, and I want to see them tested – but that doesn’t mean not see­ing them in the Queen Vic. I like see­ing them in the pub, and I think Danny [Dyer, aka Mick] and Kel­lie [Bright, who plays Linda] are a bril­liant soap pair­ing. What else do we have? Tif­fany is get­ting her­self into a whole lot of trou­ble, and things are go­ing to get sticky for Mel around New Year!

Can you tease any new plots that are cur­rently brew­ing?

There is a story I’m think­ing of ac­tu­ally that makes me a lit­tle bit ner­vous, but I think I have the team be­hind me to tell it. I be­lieve that it will be an im­por­tant story, and it will of­fer what Easten­ders does best, which is a re­ally gritty-butrel­e­vant long-term arc. Time will tell!

Will we meet any new char­ac­ters in the com­ing months?

We’re al­ready talk­ing about some new ad­di­tions, so that’s ex­cit­ing. Gen­er­ally there’s quite a good spec­trum al­ready, and that’s as much as I’ll tease for now!

What sort of Christ­mas can we ex­pect in Wal­ford this year?

That was all planned be­fore I got here, but I know what’s hap­pen­ing. It’s pacey drama, and it’s all kick­ing off!

Is it bit­ter­sweet that Cor­rie just scooped our Best Soap gong?

I sort of feel a bit jammy re­ally, as I can en­joy Cor­rie’s suc­cess and be proud of it – and I’m also hun­gry for us to do well on Easten­ders. When I pick up a copy of

In­side Soap and flick through it, I feel as though I kind of know ev­ery­body!

Kate prom­ises plenty of drama in the com­ing months in Wal­ford Roy leads a mis­sion to find Eve­lyn’s dog… …and it ap­pears she’s re­united with her beloved pooch!

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