EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins makes “gut-wrenching” decision to quit the soap

The Archers editor Sean O’Connor will take over as Treadwell-Collins tells fans “all will be good, don’t worry”

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Dominic Treadwell-Collins is stepping down as executive producer of EastEnders, the BBC has announced.

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Treadwell-Collins has been running the ship for two and a half years and has been a part of some of the soap’s biggest storylines, including the epic EastEnders live week to mark its 30th anniversary.

Sean O’Connor, current editor of The Archers, has been lined up to take over in due course. Treadwell-Collins will first oversee Dame Barbara Windsor’s final ever episode as Peggy Mitchell, as well as the highly anticipated return of Ross Kemp, who’s heading back to the Square as Grant Mitchell.

Treadwell-Collins began working on the show in 2005 as senior story editor, before becoming story producer in 2006. He left the show in 2010 to work at Kudos’ Lovely Day as Head of Development, developing the series Grantchester to greenlight before returning to EastEnders in August 2013 as Executive Producer.

Of his decision to leave, he said:

“My love for EastEnders is no secret and so the decision to leave Walford has not been one I have taken lightly. When I commit to something, I always give it my all – and after two and a half years of giving my blood to Walford, it is time for me to move on to other things – and keep EastEnders creatively refreshed, something that it has to do to stay at the top of its game. I made the decision to leave back in the summer but decided to stay longer for two reasons.

“Firstly, to oversee Peggy’s last episodes, which will air in May. When Dame Barbara comes to you to produce her final episodes, you cannot say no. I left EastEnders with Peggy last time when she burnt down her Vic and it feels fitting that we will now leave permanently together. Secondly, I needed to find the right person to take over from me. This is an incredible all-consuming show and in Sean, I know that we have found someone who already has Albert Square in his bones and who adores EastEnders as much as I do.

“It’s going to be gut-wrenching to tear myself away from everyone at EastEnders. It’s an utterly unique place to work, with everyone working so hard and with such passion – and I am so so proud to have led that brilliant team over the past couple of years. I know that EastEnders will continue to thrive under Sean and I’m looking forward to watching the show as a viewer again.”

Treadwell also took to Twitter to reassure fans “all will be good, don’t worry”.

Charlotte Moore, Controller of TV Channels and iPlayer, added: “Dominic has done an extraordinary job. He has transformed EastEnders over the last few years and brought such flair, creativity and modernity to the show, not to mention an impressive array of awards. His passion and commitment to make everything the best it can be is inspiring and it’s testament to his great talents that he created a piece of television history with the 30th Anniversary, which broke records with over 20 million people watching across the week. EastEnders owes Dominic so much and we will miss him greatly. He is a creative force in television and I want to wish him all the very best in his next role. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Sean O’Connor who I’m very excited to start working with.”

As for the new arrivial, Sean joined The Archers as editor in September 2013, having previously worked as a producer on the programme between 1999 and 2001. 

He admitted it’s a real “wrench” for him to leave Ambridge, but is excited about the new role.

“Dominic hands over EastEnders in robust health. It’s a testament to his endless commitment, infectious enthusiasm and rich imagination that the programme remains BBC1’s flagship drama. I’m thrilled to be back in Walford and particularly delighted to work once more with many dear friends and colleagues both backstage and on screen. I loved my time working at EastEnders previously; there’s nothing quite as challenging nor as rewarding. So I feel very honoured to be asked back to lead the wonderful cast, crew and production team at Elstree.

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“At the same time, it is a real wrench for me to leave Ambridge. The Archers is an extraordinary programme – a jewel at the heart of the BBC and in the hearts of the British public. Working on it, with the extraordinary cast, writers and production team in Birmingham has been an absolute privilege. The Archers has been a part of my life for much of my life – and though I’ll be away from Borsetshire, I’ll continue to listen to the villagers of Ambridge, who feel to me – as they do for millions of listeners – like family.”

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Watch  60-second rundown of next week’s EastEnders spoilers below: