It looks like EastEnders fans will be able to fill their boots with grimness when the soap's Irish spin-off thriller Redwater premieres next month. 

Redwater's executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, has shared a sombre new photo for the six-part series, showing EastEnders favourites Shane Richie (Alfie) and Jessie Wallace (Kat) alongside their Irish co-stars.

Redwater tells the story of what happens when Kat and Alfie visit the Kellys and Dolans in the fictional Irish village of Redwater in search of Kat's long-lost son.  

Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie filmed Redwater in Ireland last summer

Downton Abbey's Maria Doyle Kennedy, Lost's Fionnula Flanagan,The Commitments' Angeline Ball and Ian McElhinney from Game of Thrones are among the cast of the drama, which is a co-production with Dublin company Element Pictures. 

The series was filmed in Dunmore East, Co Waterford and Co Wicklow over five months last year and will be shown on BBC and RTÉ next month. 

The mean and moody photo released on Thursday is in keeping with star Richie's promise that the show is a "dark psychological thriller" - and far removed from the soap's infamous 1997 visit to Ireland.

Speaking on the Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 last month, Richie said Redwater would offer something "very different" from EastEnders.

"It's interesting because looking back on the show now, we don't mention Walford, we don't mention the Queen Vic, we don't mention Albert Square," he explained.

"I'm the only one calls her Kat - everyone else calls her Kathleen. And the only reference I make to the history of Kat and Alfie is when we go into a bar and Stanley Townsend, the wonderful actor who plays the pub landlord, says, 'Alfie, do you know your way 'round the pub?' And I give Kat a look and I go, 'Yeah, kind of'. That's the only reference we make to Alfie's history." 

"We don't mention Walford, we don't mention the Queen Vic, we don't mention Albert Square"

Richie described Redwater as "a standalone story - even without Kat and Alfie in it".

"It's about this Irish family that are living in this fictitious town of Redwater that have this dark secret," he continued. "And Kat and Alfie kind of turn up in the middle of their story.

"The only thing I can compare it to right now is... Imagine Kat and Alfie turning up in Broadchurch with a bit of [The] Wicker Man thrown in for good measure"

Richie said the aim is for Redwater to find an audience beyond Albert Square regulars.

"I'm hoping fans of Kat and Alfie will tune in for the mere fact that they are fans of Kat and Alfie and fans of EastEnders!" he laughed. 

"I think what the BBC have been very clever about is to try and crossover and find people who are fans of serious drama that won't necessarily watch EastEnders."

"And, of course, we've got people like Fionnula Flanagan, Stanley Townsend, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy, all these wonderful actors that have got a profile in America.

"So they've been very clever to use a lot of these Irish actors who do have a profile in America, and hopefully it'll get shown in the States"

Richie, whose parents hail from Dublin, reassured listeners that Redwater has nothing in common with the fiasco that was EastEnders' 1997 Irish sojourn, which drew the wrath of viewers here and in the UK. 

"Quite rightly," he said. "I wasn't in the show then, trust me, if I had've been... Wild donkeys running up and down the street and everybody just being drunk and the Gardaí getting calls!

"But the flipside of that is, back in the day, EastEnders had become a cliché - all the Cockneys [adopts Cockney accent] and talking like that and being gobby.

"And, of course, if you're on the outside looking in it can be fairly derogatory and anybody living in the East End knows that's not a true representation of East London - pretty much the same that wasn't a true representation of Ireland at the time. So this is very different; this is very different."

Redwater is "very different" from the goings on in the Queen Vic

Richie, who is back in Ireland this month for the thriller Not Dead Enough at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, said that he had the "best time ever" filming Redwater in Dunmore East. 

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"It's one of the best kept secrets, I personally think, in that part of Ireland," he enthused.

"When we left it was kind of we opened up the floodgates and listen, God willing, this show Redwater's a success and the town of Dunmore East make a few quid out of the tourists. Hopefully the Americans [will be] flocking in their millions. [Adopts American accent] 'Yeah, I was born right here. I think my great great-grandfather was a fisherman right here!'"