She’ll be looking after Casualty and Holby City for the beeb too after being appointed ‘Senior Executive Producer’ for the three shows.
At EastEnders she replaces John Yorke, who was drafted in to oversee the struggling show in June 2017 following the swift moving on of Sean O’Connor who had presided over a number of unpopular storylines and characters.
“Working across EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City is an amazing opportunity for me to have creative input into three of the UK’s leading dramas. I’m excited about meeting the teams and talent behind each show and can’t wait to get stuck in and tell some unmissable stories.” – Kate Oates
Oates comes to the BBC after more than five years running soap operas for ITV; first Emmerdale between 2013-2016 and then Coronation Street until earlier this year. She is currently producing the second series of Bancroft for ITV.
Her time at Corrie was, it’s fair to say, divisive with some viewers – and famous fans such as Michael Parkinson and Paul O’Grady – suggesting that the plots were too dark. Conversely, the programme has garnered praise for its socially aware storylines with ratings remaining strong for the Salford based production.
“Kate’s track record for making continuing drama the nation’s most talked about TV is unrivalled and we are thrilled to welcome her dynamic creative leadership to EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty. Working closely with John Yorke in the coming months, we are particularly excited to see Kate unveil her plans for the residents of Albert Square. She’s going to be brilliant.” – Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama
Oates started out as Germaine Greer’s editorial assistant before becoming a Script Editor on Carlton Television’s revival of Crossroads. After which she worked as a producer on Radio 4 staple The Archers between 2003-2010 before joining Emmerdale as Story Editor and then Coronation Street as Assistant Producer in 2012. She returned to Emmerdale in the role of Series Producer in 2013.
On the dales-based saga she was responsible for the spectacular helicopter disaster episodes and powerful stories such as Gennie’s murder and the Woolpack siege, Robert Sugden’s repressed sexuality, Laurel’s alcoholism, Alicia’s sexual assault and the love triangle involving Debbie and brothers Pete and Ross Barton.
She moved to Corrie in 2016 where she oversaw the Victoria Street set extension, the introduction of a sixth episode and plots such as Bethany Platt’s grooming hell and serial killer Pat Phelan.
“Kate Oates is a really thrilling appointment; she has a real passion for soaps and I have no doubt that her experience, creative flair and dynamism will excite the next generation of BBC One soap fans. I would like to thank John Yorke for everything he has done over the last year on EastEnders and I look forward to seeing Kate take over the creative baton.” – Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Director of Content
Kate will report into Oliver Kent, Head of Continuing Drama Series and takes up her role in October.