The current Casualty creative said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be taking up the role.
Jon’s appointment was announced by BBC Studios today who note that he has almost fifteen years’ experience in writing, directing and producing continuing drama, with input into Holby City, Casualty and EastEnders.
He has written for all three shows, directed episodes of both medical sagas, and is currently a story producer as well as director on Casualty. He notably directed Casualty‘s groundbreaking, critically acclaimed ‘one shot’ episode (i.e. filmed in one continuous shot) which concluded the show’s 30th anniversary series in 2017.
“EastEnders has been a huge part of my life since I was a kid and has given us some of the most iconic TV water-cooler moments in living memory so I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Kate and the amazing EastEnders team at this exciting time in the show’s history. I can’t wait to get started in bringing bold, unmissable, state of the nation stories to a new generation of EastEnders fans.” – Jon Sen
Other directing credits include Frances Tuesday, starring Tamzin Outhwaite, for ITV; Waterloo Road for BBC One; Stan for BBC Four and the award-winning landmark British Asian drama Second Generation for Channel 4.
“Jon’s background in writing, directing and story producing makes him a really exciting appointment for EastEnders. I’m looking forward to working alongside him to create some unmissable drama in Walford.” – Kate Oates, Senior Executive Producer, BBC Studios
Having lost ground on its ITV rivals in the ratings, EastEnders has been having a tough time across 2017 and 2018. The beeb announced earlier this year that Kate Oates was joining the soap as a senior executive producer. She has previously worked on Crossroads in the story lining department and as top boss of Emmerdale and Corrie.
“If it had been on ITV with the kind of ratings its pulling in currently, it would have been taken off quicker than Pat Butcher could drop her knickers. Hopefully Kate Oates and Jon Sen can boost the fortunes of the saga, Kate of course knows failure, she was part of the team that managed to take Crossroads from 3 million viewers in 2002 to under a million in 2003.” – Vivian Summers
Produced by BBC Studios at their Elstree site, EastEnders has been on air for over three decades. The Beeb boast that, in its previous top form, the series was known for ‘much-loved characters, realistic treatment of sensitive topics, and flair for creative storylines’. Episodes air four times a week, and in the past the series has won a number of awards including nine BAFTA gongs and four RTS awards for ‘best Continuing Drama’.
In recent years its become equally as famous for dull storylines, bad script editing and go-nowhere scenes.
“I think ‘enders problem at the moment is they think they’re ‘Merchant of Venice’ when actually they’re ‘dodgy stock via Camden street trader’.” – TV Critic Vivian Summers