EastEnders’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has revealed that the prospect of the upcoming ‘live week’ of episodes fills him with terror.
When asked in the new issue of Radio Times whether he’s mad for taking on such a task, he replies: “Yes, you have to be. But doing it live means we can keep all our secrets. It’s terrifying, though. All I can do now is hand the work over to actors I trust.”
Next week sees the BBC mark the 30th anniversary of EastEnders with a special week of instalments, all of which will feature live footage. The question of who killed Lucy Beale will be answered, while a flashback will trace Ian’s daughter’s final movements before she met her maker. On Friday 20 February, the soap will also broadcast a fully live 30-minute episode.
Asked about his reasons for going live, Treadwell-Collins comments: “I was charged by Ben Stephenson [BBC controller of drama commissioning] with beating the 25th anniversary live episode. Originally, I said we were just going to tell really good stories. He humoured me for a while, but eventually he turned round and said, ‘OK, what else are you going to do?’ And that’s when I came up with the idea of the live week.”
You can read more about the ‘live week’ of EastEnders, including the anxieties of many of the cast, in the new issue of Radio Times (out Tuesday)
Photograph of Dominic Treadwell-Collins by Ian Derry – copyright Radio Times 2015