Dominic Treadwell-Collins is set to leave EastEnders after two and a half years in the role of Executive Producer. During his tenure, Dominic has led EastEnders to some of the biggest successes in the show’s history including EastEnders Live week, which was part of EastEnders’ 30th anniversary celebrations.
Under Dominic’s reign, EastEnders has become the viewers’ favourite soap, winning numerous awards including Best Soap at the National Television Awards for two consecutive years as well as taking home eight awards at last year’s British Soap Awards.
During his second stint at EastEnders, Dominic has created many iconic characters including the Carter family, headed up by Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright, and has brought back fan favourites including Lacey Turner and Scott Maslen as well as creating many bold storylines and tackling big issues that will go down in EastEnders’ history, including the award winning ‘Who Killed Lucy Beale’ plot.
Before Dominic leaves Walford, he will oversee Dame Barbara Windsor’s final ever episodes as Peggy Mitchell, as well as the hotly anticipated return of Ross Kemp who will reprise his role as Grant Mitchell.
Dominic has had a long career at EastEnders. He began working on the show in 2005 as senior story editor, before becoming story producer in 2006. He left the show in 2010 to work at Kudos' Lovely Day as Head of Development, developing the series Grantchester to greenlight before returning to EastEnders in August 2013 as Executive Producer
Taking over from Dominic at EastEnders will be Sean O’Connor, who is currently the Editor of the world’s longest running soap opera, The Archers, which celebrated its 65th anniversary in January 2016.
Speaking of his decision to leave, Dominic said: “My love for EastEnders is no secret and so the decision to leave Walford has not been one I have taken lightly. When I commit to something, I always give it my all - and after two and a half years of giving my blood to Walford, it is time for me to move on to other things - and keep EastEnders creatively refreshed, something that it has to do to stay at the top of its game. I made the decision to leave back in the summer but decided to stay longer for two reasons.
"Firstly, to oversee Peggy's last episodes, which will air in May. When Dame Barbara comes to you to produce her final episodes, you cannot say no. I left EastEnders with Peggy last time when she burnt down her Vic and it feels fitting that we will now leave permanently together. Secondly, I needed to find the right person to take over from me. This is an incredible all-consuming show and in Sean, I know that we have found someone who already has Albert Square in his bones and who adores EastEnders as much as I do.
"It's going to be gut-wrenching to tear myself away from everyone at EastEnders. It's an utterly unique place to work, with everyone working so hard and with such passion - and I am so so proud to have led that brilliant team over the past couple of years. I know that EastEnders will continue to thrive under Sean and I'm looking forward to watching the show as a viewer again.”
Charlotte Moore, Controller of TV Channels and iPlayer said: “Dominic has done an extraordinary job. He has transformed EastEnders over the last few years and brought such flair, creativity and modernity to the show, not to mention an impressive array of awards. His passion and commitment to make everything the best it can be is inspiring and it’s testament to his great talents that he created a piece of television history with the 30th Anniversary, which broke records with over 20 million people watching across the week. EastEnders owes Dominic so much and we will miss him greatly. He is a creative force in television and I want to wish him all the very best in his next role. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Sean O’Connor who I’m very excited to start working with.”
Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning added: “I want to thank Dominic for everything he has given EastEnders. He has gripped the nation over the last few years with his brilliant creative vision and I will be very sad to see him leave. It’s exciting to confirm Sean O’Connor as the new executive producer, I know he will bring something very special to BBC One’s flagship show. He is passionate about EastEnders with a wealth of experience from running The Archers to his time as story producer on EastEnders. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Mark Freeland, Controller of Fiction and Entertainment, BBC Production said: “Dominic and the whole of his team, on screen and off could not have given a bead of sweat more in making EastEnders the very essence of what thrilling continuing drama can be. It's on the agenda and in our hearts. Enormous thanks from the audience at home goes to Dominic for helming such a vibrant, exciting and essential EastEnders. With Sean's arrival, the lights in The Queen Vic will not dim, I'm certain.”
Sean is a producer, writer and director and has worked in theatre, radio, television and film. He produced Terence Davies’ film version of Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hidddleston. Sean’s book, Handsome Brute about 1940s murderer Neville Heath was published to great acclaim in 2013 and is currently in development as a feature film. His Shakespeare adaptation, Juliet and her Romeo, re-opened Bristol Old Vic starring Dame Sian Phillips and was directed by Tony-award winning Warhorse director, Tom Morris.
Sean will be returning to EastEnders after an eleven year gap, having previously worked on the programme as director, producer and story producer. He story-lined the award winning Kat and Zoe Slater story, the domestic violence storyline between Little Mo and Trevor as well as the courtship of Dot Cotton and Jim Branning.
Sean joined The Archers as Editor in September 2013, having previously worked as a producer on the programme between 1999 and 2001. Since his arrival in Ambridge, Sean has placed farming at the heart of The Archers, with several of the key farmers articulating new visions for the 21st Century. At the same time, he has overseen a raft of compelling storylines beyond the farmyard, reflecting many of the challenges of modern life: Peggy’s grief over the loss of her husband Jack Woolley, the jilting of Kirsty Miller on her wedding day, the flooding of the village, the disappearance of Lynda Snell’s dog Scruff - and his return at Christmas. The story of villainous Rob Titchener and his wife Helen has ignited intense debate in the media and in kitchens up and down the country. In his time in Ambridge, Sean has also produced three star-studded special dramas linked to The Archers: Dead Girls Tell No Tales about the death of Grace Archer and standalone Christmas plays Blithe Spirit and Calendar Girls.
Speaking of his new role and leaving The Archers, Sean said: “Dominic hands over EastEnders in robust health. It’s a testament to his endless commitment, infectious enthusiasm and rich imagination that the programme remains BBC1’s flagship drama. I’m thrilled to be back in Walford and particularly delighted to work once more with many dear friends and colleagues both backstage and on screen. I loved my time working at EastEnders previously; there’s nothing quite as challenging nor as rewarding. So I feel very honoured to be asked back to lead the wonderful cast, crew and production team at Elstree.
“At the same time, it is a real wrench for me to leave Ambridge. The Archers is an extraordinary programme – a jewel at the heart of the BBC and in the hearts of the British public. Working on it, with the extraordinary cast, writers and production team in Birmingham has been an absolute privilege. The Archers has been a part of my life for much of my life - and though I’ll be away from Borsetshire, I’ll continue to listen to the villagers of Ambridge, who feel to me – as they do for millions of listeners - like family.”
Gwyneth Williams, Controller of Radio 4 said: “The Archers is a much loved British institution and Radio 4 been blessed with the ambition and creativity of its editors for the last 65 years, each bringing unique talent and commitment to the programme. Sean has been brilliant, a significant and literary figure in the Radio 4 firmament and his storylines are among the best I’ve heard. Crucially, he has stayed true to The Archers’ farming and countryside traditions. He will be much missed by all of us, including the cast and the excellent production team behind the show. We are pleased to be keeping him at the BBC and wish him the best of luck in his new role.”