BBC Studios has announced that Chris Clenshaw will become the new Executive Producer for EastEnders.
Jon Sen, who has overseen the show for the last three years has taken the decision to leave and lead continuing drama stablemate Casualty. As well as taking the reins of the BAFTA-winning Cardiff-produced medical drama from December, Sen will also develop two new high-end drama projects greenlit by BBC Studios.
Clenshaw, who has produced BBC continuing drama Holby City, previously worked on EastEnders for four years, starting as a storyliner in 2015 before going on to script edit and story produce the London-set drama. He has worked across a multitude of TV shows and genres for thirteen years and was most recently working in development at Vertigo Films and Rope Ladder Fiction and a co-producer for ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund. His stint as story producer on EastEnders included hard-hitting storylines dealing with topics such as knife crime and character Ruby Allen’s (Louisa Lytton) sexual consent. Clenshaw was also part of the story team responsible for writing Stacey Slater’s postpartum psychosis and, in 2016, he storylined soap’s greatest matriarch, Peggy Mitchell’s final farewell.
Sen’s tenure at EastEnders saw the drama tackle subjects such as the domestic violence between characters Chantelle and Gray Atkins, the non-recent sexual abuse storyline involving Mick Carter, and Linda Carter’s alcoholism. Albert Square also welcomed its first ever Sikh family to Walford and there was an epic boat crash for its 35th anniversary. He has championed diversity both on and off screen and has nurtured exciting new talent across all departments.
BBC Studios’ Head of Continuing Drama, Kate Oates, will oversee executive producer duties at Elstree on the show until Clenshaw joins EastEnders in January 2022.
Kate Oates, Head of Continuing Drama at BBC Studios says: “It is with great excitement that we look forward to Chris Clenshaw arriving back in Albert Square, this time at the helm of the show. His love for the programme runs deep, and I know he’s already looking forward to telling fresh and exciting stories and celebrating the very best of our iconic characters. I would like to thank Jon Sen from the bottom of my heart for all he has done for the show, especially in his creation of some brilliant new characters, and pioneering new ways of shooting during the pandemic. While I am sad he has taken the decision to leave EastEnders to take on new creative challenges, I am delighted to continue working with him in the future.”
Chris Clenshaw commented: “I’m thrilled to be returning to Walford to work with the hugely talented team on a British institution that, for more than three decades, has given us some of the most memorable moments in popular culture. Becoming the custodian of one of Britain’s greatest dramas is a huge honour.”
Piers Wenger, Director of Drama for the BBC, added: “We are thrilled that Chris is returning to Elstree to executive produce EastEnders. Chris will be a fantastic creative leader for the series – his understanding of what makes EastEnders unique and his instinct for a great soap story make him a natural and outstanding choice for the role. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jon Sen for all of his brilliant work on the series. Next year will be an exciting one for EastEnders. I can’t wait to see Chris’ vision for the show make its mark on Albert Square.”
Jon Sen says: “The time has come to bid my farewell to Walford. It has been the honour of a lifetime to helm this amazing show for three years. I want to give a heartfelt thanks to Kate and rest of the wonderful team at Elstree for the brilliant work we’ve achieved together. I wish Chris every success in his new role.”
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