Kat and Alfie: Redwater popular among fans

Kat and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie
Kat and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie
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Viewers compared EastEnders spin-off Kat And Alfie: Redwater to Broadchurch after the show made its debut on Thursday.

The new six-part drama saw Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie reprise their roles as Kat and Alfie Moon, as they moved to Ireland to find the long-lost son Kat gave up for adoption at the age of 14.

It was conceived by the BBC1 soap's former executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins and launched on Irish TV channel RTE1 last week.

But viewers who tuned into the scenes of rolling green and grey countryside for the first time on Thursday described the show as the BBC's answer to Chris Chibnall's popular ITV drama starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman.

David Weller posted on Twitter: "JW #Redwater Ep1. Was not expecting that. Could this be the new Broadchurch?"

"Absolutely hooked like Broadchurch. #Redwater," commented Lee Collins, while Tracey suspected: "Writers of #Redwater have been watching too much #broadchurch."

Martin Cabble-Reid summarised: "So #Redwater is basically the #bbc 's version of #broadchurch cracking first episode though. Enjoyed it!"

It was a successful start in general for Redwater, with some claiming it was even better than the original 30-year soap.

"Wish Eastenders was as good as Redwater - it used to be and I miss it," said Mrs Skinner on Twitter.

Welcoming Kat and Alfie back to the screen, Chris Tibble tweeted: "Good opening episode of Redwater tonight roll on next week. Also it's great to see Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie on TV again #redwater."

Meanwhile, hopeful Jo-Jo commented: "Really enjoyed #Redwater @realshanerichie @JessieWallaceUK Was glued from the start... Its gonna be so good, can tell xx"

Wallace became a fan favourite when she arrived on Albert Square as the no-nonsense, leopard print-clad Kat Slater back in 2000.

Richie joined in 2002 as Alfie, and the two later married to become one of the most beloved soap couples of all time before they departed EastEnders in early 2016.

::Kat And Alfie: Redwater continues on BBC1 next Thursday.