BBC Studios appoints Chris Clenshaw as EastEnders Executive Producer

BBC Studios has announced that Chris Clenshaw will become the new Executive Producer for EastEnders.

Chris previously worked on the show as a storyliner, script editor and story producer between 2015-2019. He has also worked on fellow BBC Elstree production Holby City as a producer.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to Walford to work with the hugely talented team on a British institution that, for more than three decades, has given us some of the most memorable moments in popular culture. Becoming the custodian of one of Britain’s greatest dramas is a huge honour.” – Chris Clenshaw

Jon Sen is moving on from the soap after three years to take up the reins on BBC medical drama Casualty and has also been tasked with bringing to screen ‘two new high-end drama projects’ for the corporation.

He was announced as the executive producer of EastEnders in January 2019.

Jon’s tenure at EastEnders saw the drama tackle subjects such as the domestic violence between the characters of Chantelle and Gray Atkins, the non-recent sexual abuse storyline involving Mick Carter, and Linda Carter’s alcoholism.

Albert Square also welcomed its first ever Sikh family to Walford and there was an epic boat crash for its 35th anniversary.

The Beeb note that he has “championed diversity on and off screen” as well as nurturing new talent across all departments at BBC Elstree.

However, Jon has been much-criticised by fans for his visual and audial experimentation and for killing off popular characters such as Mel Owen, Tina Carter and Kush Kazemi.

Viewers have also been turned off by the absurd nature of several storylines including Sharon Watts’ attempted murder of her close pal Ian Beale, Gray Atkins transition from wife-beater to serial killer, and Linda Carter cheating on her beloved husband Mick with Max Branning.

“The time has come to bid my farewell to Walford. It has been the honour of a lifetime to helm this amazing show for three years. I want to give a heartfelt thanks to Kate and rest of the wonderful team at Elstree for the brilliant work we’ve achieved together. I wish Chris every success in his new role.” – Jon Sen

BBC Studios’ Head of Continuing Drama, Kate Oates, will oversee executive producer duties at Elstree on the show until Clenshaw joins EastEnders in January 2022.

“It is with great excitement that we look forward to Chris Clenshaw arriving back in Albert Square, this time at the helm of the show. His love for the programme runs deep, and I know he’s already looking forward to telling fresh and exciting stories and celebrating the very best of our iconic characters.

“I would like to thank Jon Sen from the bottom of my heart for all he has done for the show, especially in his creation of some brilliant new characters, and pioneering new ways of shooting during the pandemic.

“‘While I am sad he has taken the decision to leave EastEnders to take on new creative challenges, I am delighted to continue working with him in the future.” – Kate Oates

Piers Wenger, Director of Drama for the BBC, added: “Chris will be a fantastic creative leader for the series – his understanding of what makes EastEnders unique and his instinct for a great soap story make him a natural and outstanding choice for the role.”

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