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EastEnders to air spiking storyline with digital spinoff series

:Headline: EastEnders to air spiking storyline with digital spinoff series:
Anna Knight will be spiked in an upcoming EastEnders storyline, with a digital miniseries furthering the story.
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Anna Knight (Molly Rainford) will be spiked in an upcoming episode of EastEnders, it has been revealed, with a digital miniseries furthering the storyline.

The incident occurs while Anna is on a night out with friends at Peggy's - and when she starts behaving strangely, her mates initially put it down to alcohol before it becomes clear that it's something more serious.

In a show first, viewers will be able to scan a QR code which appears on screen during the episode, allowing them to view a five-part miniseries that shows the incident from Anna's perspective and the perspective of her friends.

"With incidents of spiking rising at alarming rates across the UK in recent years, we chose to explore this issue with Anna Knight who represents the demographic most affected by spiking," said exec producer Chris Clenshaw.

"It was imperative for us to work alongside organisations to accurately present, and sensitively portray this storyline, and Molly's performance has thoughtfully demonstrated the dangerous realities of spiking as we look to raise awareness of the warning signs and symptoms to look out for after an individual has been spiked."

Fiona Campbell, the BBC's controller of youth audiences, added: "Following the success of the recent digital collaboration with EastEnders, which saw them move into scripted content in the vertical digital format for the first time – we're incredibly excited to step further into this innovative area with a storyline that has great public relevance.

"For the first time, EastEnders will incorporate a QR code within the main show, taking viewers to the spin off which will be available across multiple digital platforms reaching wider audiences, and those most affected by spiking.

"EastEnders is one of the BBC's highest performing shows for young audiences and driving its awareness on short form video platforms where these audiences find much of their daily content diet is a priority for us."

The episode will air on BBC One and iPlayer on Tuesday, July 16.

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