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Sean O’Connor announces his departure from EastEnders

This article was last updated on 8 August 2017.

Sean O'Connor has announced today he is to leave the show after a year in the role. 

Sean O'Connor was appointed executive producer of EastEnders in June 2016 after Dominic Treadwell-Collins stepped down from the role to pursue other projects. O'Connor had previously worked on The Archers.

Today, the BBC have released a statement explaining that Sean O'Connor has decided to step down from his role and leave EastEnders so that he can focus on his feature film career.

Speaking of his decision to leave, Sean O’Connor said: “I’ve had an amazing time at EastEnders. Working with the editorial staff, cast and crew at Elstree has been an absolute privilege. They are the kindest, most loyal and hard-working team in the business. But my heart lies in feature films and I’m hugely excited as my film projects are now reaching production. When the BBC asked me to take over at EastEnders, my plan was to stay until the end of 2017 but with production starting on these films sooner than anticipated, I must –-with a heavy heart- bid farewell to Albert Square. I’ll enjoy watching EastEnders go from strength to strength but will miss everybody enormously. Elstree really is a place where you make friends for life”

John Yorke will be stepping in as Creative Director on a temporary basis, while the process for the permanent replacement takes place. Yorke was previously executive producer of EastEnders from 2000 until 2003.

During his tenure, John introduced the Slaters and was responsible for huge storylines such as “Who Shot Phil”, Ethel Skinner’s death and Kat Slater’s revelation to her daughter Zoe that she was her mother.

EastEnders continues next week on BBC One. 

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Alfie Sheldon