EastEnders’ executive consultant John Yorke has revealed he is staying in the role for a year, having initially only signed for three months.
Yorke, who was executive producer between 1999 and 2002, and oversaw the soap as part of senior roles within BBC drama from 2005 to 2012, returned in June after the departure of Sean O’Connor, whose tenure as executive producer was met by a mixed response from fans and critics with a slowburn, ‘back-to-basics’ approach and controversial decisions including killing off the Mitchell sisters and recasting Michelle Fowler.
Speaking at a screening of EastEnders’ much-anticipated Christmas Day episode this week, Yorke revealed: “I came for three months at the end of June which quickly extended to six, and I’ve now now agreed to stay for a full year.
“Arguably because it’s central to public service EastEnders is one of, if not the most, important programmes on the BBC. But personally it is really important to me – I’d forgotten this is the best soap on television and I want to be here to make sure that happens. If I can help in any way reaching that very high bar, I’m delighted to do so.
“There is something about this show that gets under your skin.”
Teasing the festive period, where Yorke’s editorial vision will come into its own, he revealed more of what’s in store beyond Max Branning’s revenge plot and the departure of Lauren and Abi Branning, and the return of Mel Owen.
“There’s a baby, a shooting, a new mate for Mick and a love interest for Whitney, a grave robbery, a heist, and a final comeuppance for Wilmott-Brown – all the ingredients for a classic EastEnders Christmas and New Year.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of all next week’s drama on EastEnders below. Beneath that, there’s our exclusive Week in Walford review show.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.