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EastEnders ratings rise despite tabloid report


EastEnders ratings rise despite tabloid report

A recent tabloid report claims that EastEnders is on the wane, ten months ago they may have been right, but currently the BBC One saga is on the up…

Fans have generally been pleased with the programmes storylines since Chris Clenshaw took over in January 2022, and BARB figures show that it is the only soap that has seen its ratings rise after years of decline.

However, one tabloid attacked the show last week, criticising its ‘woke’ storylines and suggesting its appeal was fading. In the report, a historic low of 1m viewers was highlighted – but the author neglected to mention that the episode in question was moved to BBC Two due to sport.

Additionally, the show performs well on iPlayer, with episodes dropping at 6am on the day of the later TV broadcast.

The Radio Times observed ‘Rumours of EastEnders’ near-demise are not just greatly exaggerated – in fact, they’re just not true.’ The publication went on to note, ‘The flagship BBC One soap has returned to its roots with a sense of community, riveting characters and a rotation of engrossing but always character-first storytelling.’

The BBC Elstree production, which began in 1985, was also praised by Digital Spy recently after winning Best Soap at The British Soap Awards with the site noting that ‘tighter continuity, better scripts and a much stronger sense of community spirit’ had set it back on track.

If the tabloid, that ran the headline ‘Is it the end of ‘Enders?’, took a proper look into the ratings figures they’d actually find the Beeb saga isn’t the one struggling to hold on to its viewers. The final week of June saw Coronation Street pull in 4.67m, more than EastEnders‘ 3.56m, but down 260k year-on-year.

The overall picture for across June shows EastEnders on 3.4m – an increase year-on-year of 160k – while Coronation Street is at 4.62m, down 490k year-on-year. ITV’s other soap Emmerdale has its June average of 4.05m; this is also down 160k year-on-year.

The average for January-June 2023 versus the same period last year also puts EastEnders in a stronger position than the others, with the show level on 3.57m. Coronation Street is down 550k to 4.76m and Emmerdale is down 580k to 4.17m.

“If the year on year fall continues for the ITV serials, it is their future that is in question not that of EastEnders. It is ridiculous of the newspaper to compare to 10 or 15 years ago, all programmes due to streaming have lost massive audiences.” – TV Critic Vivian Summers

BARB figures include devices and pre-transmission viewing.

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