EastEnders star expose soap schedule like a factory with 18 hour days

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Ex EastEnders star Jamie Foreman has spoken out about the gruelling schedule on set.

He spoke about how stars have to work 18 hour shifts in the week as well as weekends.

The 64-year-old played Derek Branning from 2011 to the following Christmas when he was eventually killed off with a heart attack.

The Mirror reported in an exclusive interview that he was asked for his most ­memorable moment on the BBC soap, Jamie said: “I was too tired to pay attention to an anecdote.

"’I'd need to get in at seven in the morning and finish at eight at night. By the time I got home I was doing 18 hours a day.

"I looked at my lines for the next day before going to bed. God.

"I’ve never worked so hard in my life, it was like a factory when you worked on EastEnders.

“You didn’t get a chance to do anything else.

"When I started they said, ‘You do the occasional Saturday.’ I was in the studio every single Saturday in the 13 months I was there.

"Anyone in the acting business who thinks about EastEnders, you try to do it. It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do."

Even though the work was gruelling, he spoke about how he looks back at his time on EastEnders 'fondly' and how he learnt a lot, even with his years of experience.

He praised co-star the late Barbara Windsor for advising him on set.

He said: “Barbara was a very good friend and she was very helpful in directing me in the right direction and get me going.

“The best advice she gave me was to go to a stage school and told me what I needed to do to get in. This was when I was 14.

“Then once I auditioned for Italia Conti stage school, she gave the best advice… and I pass this on to any young aspiring actor or actress, dancer, singer. Barbara said, ‘Now you’re on your own.’ And that’s what you are.

“You don’t have anyone to go find you work, you have got to audition, study hard and learn the game and trade, and fortunately 49 years later I’m still here doing it. She told me to believe in ­yourself. She was amazing.

“She deserves all the accolades she received.”

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  • Eastenders

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