EastEnders' former boss slates BBC for shifting soap to show Women's World Cup

EASTENDERS' former boss has slammed the BBC for shifting the soap to air the Women's World Cup.

The show has faced major disruption over the past few weeks, with last-minute changes seeing EastEnders clash with other popular programmes.

Dominic Treadwell-Collins was executive producer of the show until 2016, and has admitted that the soap has gone through a "fallow" period but was just starting to win back fans.

Taking to his Twitter account, the TV producer wrote: "Every time EastEnders 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 [on fire] at the moment."

And it appears that the cast agree, with Sonia Fowler actress Natalie Cassidy retweeting and adding: "Absobloodylutely".

EastEnders suffered its lowest ratings in its 34-year history on Thursday, pulling in just 2.4million viewers when it went against Emmerdale at 7pm in a last-minute change.

Emmerdale received 4.9million viewers at that time.

The show usually airs at either 7.30pm or 8pm, with many fans being left unaware by the changes as the World Cup pushes it to either a later or earlier slot.

Viewers were also left fuming last week when they were forced to choose between Love Island and EastEnders as they went head-to-head at 9pm.

Unimpressed fans flocked to social media to slam the decision, with several saying that they'd chosen to prioritise the ITV2 dating show – and were gutted they'd missed Jack Branning being stabbed in the soap.

A spokesperson for the soap 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."

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