EastEnders legend to appear on First Dates – and you’ll never guess who their date is

Get ready for the soap crossover you never saw coming

First Dates

by Marianna Manson |

Soap fans have been waiting their entire telly-watching careers for a soapland crossover and suddenly we’ve got loads at once.

This time Coronation Street’s Steve Mcdonald is wining and dining EastEnders’ Janine Butcher as they meet for a romantic date overseen by Maître D’ Fred Sirieix.

Wait, what?

Before you get too excited, Janine isn’t making her way to Weatherfield, nor is Steve about set foot in Albert Square. Instead the iconic characters are meeting at the First Dates restaurant in Manchester and their dalliance will be filmed for BBC’s Children in Need, which is airing on November 19th.

Steve McDonald Corrie
steve is set to meet janine ©ITV


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As fans of either or both soaps will know, Steve and Janine are some of the most iconic characters on the ‘box and each has an, er, colourful relationship history.

Janine has recently returned to Walford to reconnect with her daughter Scarlett, whose father, Michael Moon, Janine murdered in cold blood.

And she’s certainly earned her stripes as one of EastEnders most notorious villains as she also killed first husband Barry Evans and attempted to murder second husband Ryan Malloy and David Wicks.


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CREDIT: Channel 4

Sarah Jayne Dunn (Hollyoaks)

Sarah recently left her role as Mandy Richardson after Hollyoaks bosses called her in for a meeting about her decision to join X-rated subscription site OnlyFans.She insisted she wasn't going to quit the website, meaning producers gave her the boot. A spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement which read, "Hollyoaks is a youth-facing drama with many young viewers, who follow our cast very closely, both in the soap and outside of it. We take our responsibility to our young audience very seriously and therefore the show does not allow any Hollyoaks cast members to be active on certain 18+ websites."We had hoped we could reach a resolution with Sarah that would allow her to remain in her role as Mandy, but we respect her choice to continue to produce content on OnlyFans. In the past four years since her return to the show her legacy character has been an integral part of some our most important storylines and we will be very sad to see her go."

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Meanwhile, Steve’s relationship history is not as murderous but no less elaborate, having been married SEVEN times to five different women and last year finding out he had a secret child in the form of Fiona Middleton’s daughter Emma Brooker.

In a short clip released ahead of the full ‘episode’ airing, we see Janine and Steve meet at the famous First Dates bar and poured drinks by barman Merlin Griffiths. They quickly realise they’ve got stuff in common when Steve tells Janine that he runs a cab company and used to run a pub – just like Janine’s dad Frank did.

Prolific screenwriter Daren Little penned the sketch who’s written over 100 episodes of both Corrie and EastEnders.

Janine Butcher EastEnders
janine in the queen vic ©BBC

It’s the second soap crossover news this autumn after it was revealed that a number of huge soaps – including Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, and Holby City, among others – would be popping up in others as part of a cross-channel campaign to raise awareness of the climate emergency.

Emmerdale’s executive producer Jane Hudson came up with the idea and teased, "Never before have all five soaps and both continuing dramas come together and united in telling one story. And we certainly haven't seen characters pop up in other shows before. This is a real treat for our audience, whilst also allowing us to get across a very important message."

Kate Oates, head of continuing drama for BBC Studios, said: "I'm thrilled that our soaps and serial dramas have all come together to help highlight the issue of climate change amongst our millions of viewers. We're grateful to the teams that made this happen, and hugely look forward to seeing the talent from our own shows popping up in other iconic programmes."

"It has been great to work together on an engaging way to, hopefully, inspire conversations about issues that are so important," added Hollyoaks executive producer Lucy Allan.

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