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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Has EastEnders lost its appeal?
Kat (Jessie Wallace) and Alfie (Shane Richie) in EastEnders
EastEnders executive producer Louise Berridge has left the BBC One soap after two years in the role.

Between the beginning of the year and June, ratings for the show fell from an average of 13 million to 11 million.

Ms Berridge defended the soap in July after a Mirror newspaper survey found that 57% of viewers thought it had lost its appeal.

Unofficial overnight ratings for Tuesday showed audience figures had slumped even further - EastEnders had only 6.2m viewers compared to Emmerdale's 8.1m.

Kathleen Hutchinson, executive producer of the hospital series Holby City will be taking over.

Do you think EastEnders has lost its appeal? Will a new executive producer improve ratings? Send us your favourite and worst EastEnders moments.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I hate Eastenders because it depicts pop-up stereotypes who spend most of their time in pubs and clubs obsessing about trivia. And I am Sooooo tired of the constantly recurring scenes where one character says "I've got something to tell you" and the other, instead of saying "What is it?" goes rabbiting on with their rubbish, and you know there's going to be an incandescently boring misunderstanding that will drag on for ages and spawn more rubbish. Been there, seen it, done it, got T-shirt and used it as dishcloth.
Denise McClear, Voorburg, Netherlands

Eastenders never lost its appeal I still watch it all the time! Some characters may not be as interesting but Kat and Alfie brighten it up! Eastenders is by far the best soap around!
Anon, Wales

It is time that us non 'soap addicts' reclaimed TV scheduling. Am I the only one to notice that (with the exception of the occasional live football match) the full week's schedules for both BBC1 and ITV revolve around soaps? The ratings 'war' is a myth because whatever time Eastenders or Corrie is on one thing is always guaranteed - The never ever clash! The result? We rarely if ever see a movie screened on BBC 1 before 11pm and even the Christmas and Bank Holiday schedules revolve around soaps. Enough is enough. If mindless, depressing soaps must be screened at all put them where they belong with a late night slot
Dave, Bury, Lancs, UK

In recent times the writers have started to confuse reality with unrelenting misery
Lisa, Glasgow, Scotland
EastEnders has always prided itself on being realistic - a soap that faithfully depicts life in the east end of London but I think in recent times the writers have started to confuse reality with unrelenting misery. The demise of Kat and Alfie's marriage is a perfect example. These two characters who captured the hearts of the nation while they were falling in love have been destroyed bit by bit until there's nothing left worth watching. Is it really too much to ask that at least one EastEnder's couple survive beyond their first year of marriage? Mal Young says people enjoy watching misery on tv - perhaps but only to a certain extent. People also enjoy watching comedy and drama. What EastEnders is missing at the present time is the right balance between all the elements that make up a good soap. So, in short - cheer up EastEnders!
Lisa, Glasgow, Scotland

I think this has all been exaggerated. All soaps seem to have lower viewing figures during the summer. Eastenders regularly get the same as Corrie. The couple of times the viewing figures have dropped to 6-7 million have been against a 1 hour Emmerdale. I still enjoy EastEnders - though I'm not happy about them splitting Kat and Alfie up!
Sarah, London

Quite simply the worse written, worse acted and most unrealistic soap ever shown on TV
John, UK

Yes, it did go funny sometime this year, but I have to say that each new episode gets better and better.
Gbenga Williams, Uxbridge, England

It may have lost its appeal alongside a particular type of viewer who are being exposed to reality TV, and property programmes.
Zak Kahn, Glasgow, Scotland

Why should the BBC, which is publicly funded, worry about ratings?
Derek, Bolton UK
Why should the BBC, which is publicly funded, worry about ratings? They should be concerned with quality and leave ratings wars to the commercial channels. EastEnders should be judged on the quality of the programme, not the number of people who watched it.
Derek, Bolton U.K.

The best thing Kathleen Hutchinson can do is be the first soap to pioneer dropping an episode, back to three times a week or make the second episode an hour all the time- I hardly ever bother with the Friday show if I'm out.
Ken, London, England

What is EastEnders? We gave up watching it month ago as it had just become boring drivel. Incidentally do all the soap writers meet up in the same pub for lunch? Or is it pure coincidence the story lines are all the same?
Peter Morgalla, Peterborough, UK

The image of Britain depicted by EastEnders is fictional and deplorable. It is an insult to Londoners. I am sure that the huge amount of money spent producing something so negative could be put to better use producing programmes aim at improving community relations.
Carlos Cortiglia, London, United Kingdom

EastEnders has definitely lost its appeal. I can't stand watching it because it's so depressing! When I come home from work, I don't want to watch something that bores me with the same story lines and let's face it, when does anything good ever happen? Doesn't any of the characters ever think "hang on, my life only went down hill after I moved to the East End? The place is obviously cursed! Practically every marriage fails because of an affair or they fall off cliffs like lemmings. Every wrong doing gets found out eventually and then is followed by a fight in the pub. Personally I don't need to watch it because I can predict what is going to happen after reading the soap updates in the magazines.
Helen, Bristol, UK

The shows slogan always seemed strangely ironic to me. Far from "everyone" - I don't know a single person who's "talking about it".
Mike Babb, Wilts, UK

These days the familiar drum of the theme tune is more often than not my cue to slip into the bathroom for a good soak
Sarah, London
I used to be an avid viewer of EastEnders but these days the familiar drum of the theme tune is more often than not my cue to slip into the bathroom for a good soak. Unlike the persistently excellent Coronation Street, the problem with EastEnders is that not one of the characters is likeable, let alone believable. If you can't empathise or sympathise with a character, what's the point? It's simply boring and miserable these days.
Sarah, London

EastEnders? I don't watch that trash at all, and I try to discourage my parents from doing so as well. Frankly, it and Coronation Street should have been scrapped a long time ago. All it does is dumb-down its viewers.
Allan Schezar, London

No EastEnders is Brilliant I love it, It's the best programme going. But Emmerdale is getting very interesting as well
Louise Brace, Bristol

EastEnders has lost its sparkle. Dull storylines lasting too long, and far too many long drawn out conversations between pairs of characters.
George Thackray, Lytham, UK

I used to watch EastEnders religiously but switched off about two months ago. The writers should take a leaf out of Corrie's book and start coming up with decent storylines, well researched scripts and characters you get to know slowly and actually care about. Lose Dirty (old man) Den, the Ferreira's and all the 'gangstas' - it really isn't working is it?
Laura, Lancs

Increasing from twice a week to four was a big mistake. It has hit saturation point on our TVs.
K, UK,

It never lost its appeal. Never had any to start off with! Every soap has its ups and downs. Digging up dinosaurs from the past and reinventing them only has a temporary effect on ratings. There is no problem with the actors per se, but the scriptwriters need to empty their recycle bins and take a dose of originality.
Asif Givashi, London

The thing that has turned me off from watching so much (I still check in now and again) is all the story lines which are connected with gangsters (Andy & co.) and people raving on about the good and pride of the family, the hard-nut content is more laughable to me and serious and seems to be a repetition of the same old thing. The new family that has just moved into The Square is not the way to fix the story line problem. Who on earth wants to see people screeching at each other in the street and making other people's (albeit fictional) lives misery with anti-social behaviour? I certainly don't and do turn the television over when I here them ranting.
Victoria Wells, Milton Keynes, UK

I think it has lost its appeal because of complacency
Maxine, London, UK

I think it has lost its appeal because of complacency. The storylines are now so far fetched that it is miles away from the gritty reality that made it so special in the early days. Trying to make the Ferreira's happy, comedy characters isn't working. The stereotypical gangsta-boy Julie and the street speak is not representative of the majority of black people in this country. The Alfie Moon chirpie Cockney thing is absolutely awful and as for the new family - why? I would suggest some new scriptwriters are employed and research is done into real East End living.
Maxine, London, UK

What appeal?! Depressing lives, wafer-thin plotlines - all based around a single postcode with more villains than your average prison. EastEnders went wrong when it tried to become a drama soap. Soaps are escapism, pure and simple.
Frank, Scotland

Dull, boring, depressing, repetitive. EastEnders really is TV to slit your wrists by. The reason ratings have dropped is that it's just got too miserable!
Paul, Bristol, UK

With any luck this may suggest that two million people have finally realised that there are more important things to do with ones life. However, it seems more likely that they have simply found something equally fictitious to watch on another channel. It's a funny old world when people spend more time talking about whether Kat got down with Andy than facing up to the problems of a real world.
Fraser Irving, Sheffield, UK

I'm an avid fan and never miss an episode, but I do feel some of the recent storylines have been either weak or ludicrous or both (the fairground tragedy was just daft and a nasty way of getting rid of Lynne Slater). However, I will keep the faith and hope things start to pick up - I love the Miller family and think Sasha is fab!
Helen, London

Yes. I am afraid I don't enjoy it half as much as I used to. The new family are vile and unpleasant to watch. I don't mind having bad people in soaps, they are needed, but this family are too much. No one is allowed to be happy. Why can't one couple at least have a successful marriage or relationship? It does happen occasionally! Kat and Alfie have been my favourites for a long time, but even they are as miserable as sin. Bring back the fun plots where Alfie was a source of humour! I think the new executive producer should take a leaf out of Coronation Street's book and introduce some much needed humour back in to the show. It's all about balance and EastEnders has lost theirs.
Kate, West Midlands


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