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Half a million people in Ireland tuned in to watch EastEnders spin-off Redwater – now it’s Britain’s turn

*spoiler alert

Half a million people in Ireland have already tuned in…

The hotly-anticipated EastEnders spin-off series set in Ireland starts in Britain on Thursday, May 18.

Episode one of six airs on BBC One at 8pm. The Irish premiere on RTÉ One saw almost half a million viewers tune in on Sunday, May 14.

In Ireland 495,000 people watched Albert Square favourites Kat and Alfie Moon – played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie – visit Redwater, a small Irish village, in search of her long-lost son.

Kat goes in search of her long lost son in Ireland Picture: BBC/Patrick Redmond

Here’s what viewers thought…

Alfie Moon looks to be embracing all that Ireland has to offer (Picture: BBC/Patrick Redmond)

What to expect from episode one…

Kat, Alfie and Tommy arrive in Redwater, where celebrations are in full flow for a lively annual fundraiser.

Twenty years ago, however, a boating tragedy ripped the heart out of this village’s close-knit community.

The deaths of Iris Dolan and her niece Aoife appeared to be an accident – but the truth was left buried at the bottom of the harbour.

Episode one promised plenty of action (Picture: BBC/Patrick Redmond)

Kat Moon is in search of her son, a twin taken from her at birth without her knowledge and a cryptic postcard has led her to Redwater to find him, with her husband Alfie in tow.

Despite promising Alfie that she will keep a low profile, Kat can’t rest –and is on the hunt for her son.

Maria Doyle Kennedy stars in the new series of Redwater (Picture: BBC/Patrick Redmond)

Andrew (Peter Campion), son of Roisin (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Padraig (Stephen Hogan) and wife of local Garda Bernie (Susan Ateh), seems the perfect fit.

Local tongues soon start wagging and conspiracy theories form, as people begin to wonder if the Moons really are visiting just for a holiday.

Fionnula Flanagan stars as Agnes, pictured here with Oisin Stack, who plays Dermott. (Picture: BBC/Patrick Redmond)

As Kat relentlessly pursues her quest for confirmation that Andrew is her long-lost son, she ruffles feathers with Andrew’s mother Roisin at their family farm, further fueling the rumour mill – until Agnes (Fionnula Flanagan) intercepts and sends Kathleen politely on her way.

Alfie once again has to play peacekeeper, pulling Kathleen into line and making peace with the locals.

But distracted by her quest, Kat fails to notice that Alfie is hiding his failing health from her.

Ebony O’Toole Acheampong stars as Adeen in the new BBC series, which was filmed in Co Waterford. (Picture: BBC/Patrick Redmond)

Where is the fictional village of Redwater actually set?

Redwater was filmed in the Co. Waterford village of Dunmore East.

To mark the Irish premiere the village host a live outdoor screening of the first episode of the six-part BBC series, with included many local people both as crew and extras.

Filming in Dunmore East, which has a population of 1,559, took place from May to July 2016.

The fictional Redwater village centres around Dunmore East’s The Strand Inn.

The local hotel features as five separate locations throughout the series – a tourism office, pub exterior, surf shop, restaurant and sushi bar.

The nearby Spinnaker Bar and Restaurant was used for pub interior shots.

The village’s Blue Flag beach will also appear extensively as will the local Church of Ireland.

The cast, and up to 100 crew members, stayed in the village itself and the nearby Faithlegg House Hotel and Golf Club.

Redwater airs on BBC One on Thursday, May 18 at 8pm.

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