Outgoing EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins has called for greater unity between the BBC and ITV as they face competition from online streaming services.
Speaking about the competitive scheduling that saw ITV sometimes schedule hour-long episodes of Emmerdale against EastEnders during 2015, Treadwell-Collins says in the new issue of Radio Times:
“It made me so angry. It’s not good sportsmanship and it’s the audience that loses out. It’s not the right thing to do. As Netflix and Amazon get bigger, the BBC and ITV need to stop trying to blow each other out of the pool. Because they’re both endangered species.”
Dominic Treadwell-Collins’s last EastEnders storyline will see Barbara Windsor exit the BBC1 soap
With recent reports suggesting that the government is about to impose greater restrictions on when the BBC can schedule its favourite shows, as well as being in favour of cutting back on the corporations’s entertainment content, Treadwell-Collins also has this to say about the future of EastEnders:
“EastEnders fulfils everything that the corporation is made for. Raising awareness is key to everything we do. We’re such a diverse show, without being patronising – which is what could happen with programmes like this. So I don’t think you need to justify EastEnders being on the BBC.”
The executive producer is about to see his final episodes of the soap broadcast with his exit storyline set to feature Barbara Windsor bowing out as matriarchal Peggy Mitchell. On the topic of EastEnders’s ability to unite TV audiences and whether it can continue to do so, Treadwell-Collins adds:
“With so much choice, people do dip in and out, but I think they still like a shared experience. They want to tune in to witness these events and see big characters like Peggy, Grant and Sharon ageing as we’re ageing. So I don’t think that soaps are dying yet.
“Though I do feel that they need to stick together and not fight each other. We’re all on the same side.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all of the latest news, interviews and spoilers.