Children In Need: See soap stars Janine Butcher and Steve McDonald on 'First Dates'

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 10:00:01 on 10/11/2021 - Programme Name: BBC Children In Need 2021 - TX: 19/11/2021 - Episode: Children In Need First Dates (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS), Fred Sirieix, Steve McDonald (SIMON GREGSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC
Janine has a lot to say to Steve on this special edition of First Dates (BBC)

The UK soaps are crossing the streams like never before in 2021.

First we had the climate change awareness storyline that saw Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders,Hollyoaks, Casualty, Doctors, and Holby City crossing over for the very first time. Now we've got two iconic soap characters appearing on First Dates together in a new sketch for Children In Need.

EastEnders’ Janine Butcher — played by Charlie Brooks — is looking for love and turns to Channel 4’s hit dating show First Dates to help with her search.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 10:00:01 on 10/11/2021 - Programme Name: BBC Children In Need 2021 - TX: 19/11/2021 - Episode: Children In Need First Dates (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS), Merlin Griffiths, Steve McDonald (SIMON GREGSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC
First Dates mixologist Merlin Griffiths watches Janine and Steve meet for the first time (BBC)

In an unexpected twist, she comes face to face with Coronation Street’s Steve McDonald — played by Simon Gregson. Steve, who has been married 7 times, unwittingly finds himself on a date with fiery Janine.

Read more: Why Peter Beale deserves more on EastEnders

The pair are also greeted by First Dates' French maître d'hôtel Fred Sirieix who is on hand to watch the tempestuous blind date play out.

Written by BAFTA Award-winning and EMMY nominated British television writer Daran Little — who has written for Coronation Street and EastEnders in the past — the sketch will be part of the BBC Children in Need appeal show on BBC One from 7pm on Friday, 19 November.

Janine returned to Albert Square earlier this year after leaving EastEnders in 2014, and has already been making waves with a series of explosive storylines. Simon Gregson, who has played Steve McDonald on Corrie since 1989, is rumoured to be taking part in I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here this year, but that remains unconfirmed by ITV.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 10:00:01 on 10/11/2021 - Programme Name: BBC Children In Need 2021 - TX: 19/11/2021 - Episode: Children In Need First Dates (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS), Steve McDonald (SIMON GREGSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Andrew Cartmell
Behind the scenes of First Dates for Children In Need with Charlie Brooks and Simon Gregson (BBC/Andrew Cartmell)

Supporting BBC Children in Need this year is easier than ever. To learn more about the charity or make a donation to help transform the lives of children and young people across the UK, visit: bbc.co.uk/pudsey.

  • You can also call 0345 7 33 22 33 and make a donation over the phone. (Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply).

  • You can donate on the phone or on the BBC Children in Need website. Use your debit or credit card, or your PayPal account.

  • Pay in your fundraising money at all major banks, building societies, or the Post Office.

  • Send a cheque or postal order to BBC Children in Need, PO Box 648, Salford, M5 0LB.

Watch: Charlie Brooks talks to Kate Thornton about her love for Janine