Middle-EastEnders? No, the BBC isn’t adding Arabic subtitles to its flagship soap

Published: 22nd Feb 2019

In brief


From October 2019 the BBC will add permanent Arabic subtitles to EastEnders, to help refugees and other migrants refugees settle in.


This isn’t correct, the story comes from a satirical news website.

A claim that the BBC will start broadcasting episodes of EastEnders with permanent Arabic subtitles comes from a satirical news website and is not true.

While most readers seemed to get that this was a joke, some Facebook users seem to have misinterpreted the article as genuine.

On its website the article’s publisher, Southend News Network (who we’ve encountered before), says: “Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about in Southend On Sea.”

Another version of the article was published a couple of years ago and said the Arabic subtitles would be introduced in October 2017 (this version says October 2019).

In addition to being a joke the article goes on to quote a Mr Clive Robinson of UK Refugee Concern, an organisation that does not exist.

This article is part of our work factchecking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as satire.

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