The flagship saga has been struggling for the past year or so with storylines failing to win over viewers. EastEnders has also suffered from a number of high profile departures with actress Jo Joyner recently bowing out while Scott Maslen and Gillian Wright are due to leave later this year.
A number of cast members have taken time out from the serial in recent months such as Charlie Brooks, June Brown, Patsy Palmer and Lindsay Coulson further affecting the quality of its output. With ratings down and the press keen to publish the woes of the London based soap its little wonder that the new BBC One controller is keen to see EastEnders return to its former glory.
“EastEnders is incredibly important to us and some viewers come to the BBC for it and nothing else. I want it to be the best drama on TV. We want to make sure it’s water cooler TV – a mix of gritty real life that still has humour as part of its rich mix.” – Charlotte Moore
At the end of July it was revealed that Lorraine Newman was stepping down as Executive Producer on the series after just a year in the role. The BBC also announced that former story producer on the saga, Dominic Treadwell Collins, was being drafted in as a replacement with the corporation keen to highlight his previous successes on the soap.
Treadwell-Collins worked on the show between 2005 and 2010 overseeing memorable storylines such as Max and Stacey’s affair and Who Killed Archie?
EastEnders is hoping the return of some old faces will see its fortunes improve with Michael French set to reprise his role of David Wicks alongside Samantha Womack as Ronnie Mitchell, while Barbara Windsor is briefly reprising her role of matriarch Peggy Mitchell. The soap is also looking to the future with new characters such as alcoholic Jake Stone played by former Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas, salon owner Sadie (Kate Magowan) and a love interest for Bianca played by comedian Terry Alderton.