Former 'EastEnders' exec criticises shifting timeslots around Women's World Cup football

·Contributor
Adam Woodyatt (L) and Dominic Treadwell-Collins attend the BAFTA Nominees Party at The Corinthia Hotel on April 22, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Adam Woodyatt (L) and Dominic Treadwell-Collins attend the BAFTA Nominees Party at The Corinthia Hotel on April 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Former EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has criticised the decision to move the show around Women’s World Cup matches.

The popular BBC soap has been shunted around the schedule in recent weeks, owing to live coverage of events from the football tournament, which has seen England’s Lionesses progress to a semi-final clash against the USA.

Read more: June Brown says she won’t stop smoking and drinking

On Thursday, the show received the lowest ratings in its history, pulling in just 2.4 million viewers.

EastEnders was moved to 7pm, clashing with ITV soap Emmerdale, in order to accommodate coverage of England’s 3-0 victory over Norway.

ITV won that particular ratings battle, as their show earned twice the audience, with 4.9 million viewers tuning in.

Treadwell-Collins, who served as executive producer on EastEnders between 2013 and 2016, blamed scheduling movement for the show’s struggles.

He said: “Every time EastEnders starts starts to rebuild its viewers’ loyalty after a fallow period, it’s moved around in the schedules for the bloody football.

“Move the football around EastEnders. It’s en fuego at the moment.”

Read more: Adrian Edmondson joins EastEnders

Veteran soap actor Natalie Cassidy, who plays Walford resident Sonia Fowler, shared the producer’s sentiments, retweeting his message to her followers.

The BBC has announced that there will not be an episode of EastEnders tonight, as the semi-final match is being broadcast live from 7.30pm.

Read more: Daytime strippers appear in EastEnders

In a statement regarding the schedule changes, an EastEnders spokesman said: "With the growing popularity of this year’s Women’s World Cup, it was decided that BBC One viewers should have the opportunity to watch as many of the matches as possible.

"Although this meant a late schedule change for EastEnders this week, we are confident that our audience know they can watch EastEnders on BBC iPlayer as we have already seen a significant number of viewers watching this week’s episodes."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting