The Sunday Times reports that Eastenders has dipped below one million viewers for the third time this month - “ratings to make BBC bosses quake” - and quotes former producers, writers and directors describing it as in “terminal decline”; “unsalvageable”; “toast”.
The problem with pulling the plug though is that the BBC overspent to the tune of £86.7 million on a new set, which one former executive calls “the broadcaster’s HS2”.
What's the issue? Well, here are some suggestions from the Sunday Times report:
There is a disconnect between the audience and those making EastEnders. One called it “a series for Brexit Britain written by Remainers”. He says: “There are too few people sympathetic to the concerns and experiences of characters in the show — they don’t know what it’s like to sign on or do a manual job.” Another former producer adds: “EastEnders is no longer a show reflecting audiences lives back to them . . . It has lost its identity. It’s also sensationalised.”
I did watch it for the first ten years then gave up because it was so miserable - which, to be fair though, it always had been.