EastEnders launches brand new BBC soap gameshow hosted by Martin Fowler star James Bye

EastEnders has launched its first-ever gameshow for the BBC One soap called Albert Squared.

The new series, which will consist of ten weekly episodes, is hosted by Martin Fowler star James Bye and includes a mix of E20 trivia and games.

Albert Squared's first episode launched on Wednesday at 6pm on the EastEnders official YouTube channel and Facebook page with teams the Walford Warriors and the East End Defenders battling it out.

Leading the Walford Warriors was Natalie Cassidy and she was joined by Brian Conley and Gurlaine Kaur Garcha.

While Tameka Empson headed up the East End Defenders with Max Bowden and Lacey Turner.

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The game show consists of several rounds, including the Well’ard Round, "Get Into My Pub!", "Air Your Dirty Laundry" and "Plaice Your Orders".

Talking about being host, James, 37, said: "I really enjoyed it. I’ve never done anything like this before. We were told to have fun, have a laugh and show viewers what our relationships are like off-camera and that’s exactly what we did.

"There are ten episodes of us just having a giggle. It really lifted everyone’s spirits when we needed it with all the news around at the moment just before Christmas and I hope that comes across on screen."

It comes after actress Kellie Bright was confirmed to make a brief return over the Christmas episodes as her character Linda Carter goes face-to-face with Janine Butcher.

Actress Kellie, 45, is currently on maternity leave from the BBC One soap after welcoming her third child — son Rudy — with husband Paul Stocker in July.

And now she is set to make a brief return to EastEnders over the festive episodes as her character Linda is tracked down by Janine in dramatic festive scenes.

Soap fans will recall that Linda was last seen in September where she fled Albert Square with newborn Annie in a bid to keep the truth about her baby's real father, Max Branning, from being revealed to Walford.

At the time, Linda's husband Mick Carter helped her to escape but he soon returned to The Vic alone, much to the confusion of others…

In the upcoming scenes, which will air on Tuesday 28 December, Linda's marriage will go through the "ultimate test" as Janine’s manipulation "knows no bounds".

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Determined to know what is really going on between Linda and Mick, Janine tracks Linda down and in "true fashion" she is determined to use it to her advantage.

Will Janine get her own way and will she discover the truth about why Mick returned alone?

Albert Squared continues each Wednesday at 6pm for the next ten weeks on the BBC EastEnders Facebook and YouTube pages.

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