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EastEnders boss Sean O'Connor steps down after a year in charge

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EastEnders boss Sean O’Connor is leaving the soap after a year in charge.

Sean O’Connor has announced today he is stepping down as Executive Producer of EastEnders after taking control last Spring.

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Sean O’Connor, who previously worked on the soap as a producer and director between 2001 and 2005, is quitting to concentrate on his feature film career at Camberwell Productions.

Speaking of his decision to leave, Sean O’Connor said in a statement: “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.”

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Following Sean’s decision, John Yorke steps in as Creative Director on a temporary basis.

He will lead the editorial vision for the show and will shortly appoint an executive producer to oversee the day to day management to work alongside him. The recruitment process for the permanent replacement will then follow.

Oliver Kent, Head of Continuing Drama Series, BBC Studios said: “On behalf of BBC Studios, I would like to thank Sean O'Connor for all his excellent work on EastEnders.

"John Yorke is a Walford legend and I am thrilled that he will be joining us for a short period to oversee the show and to help us build on Sean's legacy while we recruit a long term successor.”

Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama added: “I want to thank Sean on behalf of the BBC for the work he’s done on EastEnders, and we wish him all the very best for the future.

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"John Yorke is a creative force in the industry who is passionate about EastEnders, he brings a wealth of experience to the show and will ensure it’s in safe hands while we start the process to recruit a permanent replacement.”

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights on BBC One.

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