EastEnders bosses ‘to move soap back to 30 minute slots’ to halt ratings drop

EastEnders bosses have said that they are aiming to return the long running soap back to five 30 minute episodes a week to attempt to halt the show’s dwindling ratings.

At the moment the BBC airs four shows a week due to Covid-19 regulations. Social distancing measures slow filming down, meaning that the show is usually on at either 7:35pm or 8:05pm.

Eastenders, which began in 1985, has been hit and bosses have admitted that the odd broadcasting times impacted their viewership.

The BBC’s drama chief Piers Wenger admitted: “It being scheduled off-junction and not being the full half-hour has impacted its audience, but we are very focused on getting the show back into its usual slot and duration.”

He went on to say that iPlayer views have also been dropping but said that bosses want longer episodes, adding: “It’s not going to happen overnight.”

One production source also claimed: “Bosses are keen to stop the slide. Ideally, fans would get uniformity and regularity rather than guessing when it is on and for how long.”

A spokeswoman for the show insisted that there were no definite plans to move the show to five episodes instead of the current four.

She stated: “There are no plans for EastEnders to air five times a week.”

EastEnders bosses have confirmed that the show will return to 30-minute episodes, which began yesterday, and three of the four weekly episodes will go back to full-length.

Recently, Eastenders Toby-Alexander Smith, who plays Gray Atkins, has welcomed a child with his girlfriend Emmerdale actress Amy Walsh.

The couple met in the audience of Strictly Come Dancing in 2019 and they posted a photo on Instagram: “Well, it’s been a busy week. Hope you’ve had a good one. Happy New Year from the three of us.”

The photo showed the happy couple looking at their newborn baby and Amy’s sister, ex-Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh, shared the photo and wrote: “This Christmas sure was one to remember. The best gift I could wish for.”

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