Fire to mark last orders for Eastenders' Queen Vic

One of the UK's most famous pubs will go up in flames as EastEnders' Queen Vic is destroyed by fire later this year, TV bosses confirmed today

The Albert Square landmark - the scene of so many celebrations, rows and recriminations - will be burned to the ground after being the BBC1 drama's hub for a quarter of a century.

Walford chiefs have not revealed whether anyone will die in the blaze, although several characters are set to leave the soap.

Veteran Barbara Windsor is bowing out of the show after 16 years playing former Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell.

In April, it was announced that six characters are being written out, including mechanic Minty Peterson, played by Cliff Parisi, taxi driver Charlie Slater (Derek Martin) and student Libby Fox (Belinda Owusu).

The dramatic scenes will spell the end of the current pub set ahead of the soap's move to high definition in the autumn.

A EastEnders spokeswoman confirmed the pub will be destroyed by a blaze.

The explosive storyline comes in a big year for British soaps. EastEnders bosses marked 25 years of the programme with a live episode in February, and Coronation Street is preparing to celebrate its own 50th anniversary milestone in December.

The Queen Vic has been the scene of many memorable moments during EastEnders' quarter-century.

Den Watts famously handed divorce papers to wife Angie in the Vic in 1986.

Grant Mitchell exposed his brother Phil's affair with Sharon to stunned punters in 1994, and Archie Mitchell was bludgeoned to death with a bust of the Queen Victoria in the pub last Christmas.