Eastenders stars are said to be furious and terrified over changes that will see the biggest shake-up to the top-rated soap since it first aired over 25 years ago.
The show's new production team have warned cosseted stars that they will have to "up their game significantly" if they are to survive the forthcoming torrid time planned round Albert Square way.
An actor, who can't be named, has revealed the contents of a leaked memo from the show's top brass, that states from July cast members will no longer be appearing in 10 second scenes to deliver simple and easily memorised lines like "gotta go" or "whass gahin on?". It's understood that new guidelines have been given to scriptwriters requesting they write scenes that could last up to at least two minutes, and it's no secret that this will tax some of the young stars on the show to the absolute limit of their abilities.
Not a bit of wonder then that the show's darling and Carry-on veteran, Barbra Windsor, is hanging up her beer towel soon. A show insider told reporters:
"Well, bless her, but at her age the schedule is all getting a bit too much, and with these longer scenes in the offing, then it just makes sense for her to quit when she's still at the top of her game".
It's understood that producers intend to run with the new style show for a few months, but then those who can't hack the new longer scenes format, will most likely be culled in an Emmerdale style blockbusting bloodbath.