EastEnders slumps to lowest ever viewing figures as only 1.7 million tune in

Millions of EastEnders viewers have turned their back on the long-running soap, according to the latest reports.

Figures show that on July 31 the London-based soap opera recorded its lowest ever viewing figures since the show first aired in 1985.

Just 1.7 million switched on to watch the episode – a far cry from the whopping 30.1 million viewers that sat down in front of the box for the 1986 Christmas episode which saw Dirty Den hand divorce papers to Angie.

According to The Sun, the figures are more worrying for producers as rivals such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale are regularly attracting over four million viewers.

They suggested the blame lies with the show’s trendy-but-dull storylines, such as cosmetic surgery addiction, cannabis oil treatments and online trolling.

The finger of blame was also pointed towards the show’s lack of distinctive icons like those of yesteryear, such as Peggy Mitchell and Dot Branning, while Corrie has stuck by its veteran stars like Bill Roache who plays Ken Barlow.

Danny Dyer has been a mainstay on EastEnder in recent years
BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

And former EastEnders and I’m A Celeb star Cliff Parisi, who played Minty Peterson, admitted that the doom and gloom was sometimes too much to handle.

He said: “Life is tough in the East End. And people laugh. In tragedy there’s humour. The show’s lost its sense of humour. Sometimes I just want to see Dot Cotton moaning that the price of biscuits has gone up 10p.

“We just want to see normal people on occasion, with normal problems.”

However, a spokesperson told MailOnline that the show’s figures had been impacted by its decision to drop a week’s worth of episodes directly onto the iPlayer while the Euros and Olympics were in full swing.

The BBC spokesperson said: “Throughout the Euros and the Olympics, EastEnders have been dropping the entire weeks episodes on iPlayer every Monday giving the audience the choice to watch when and where they choose so it’s no surprise that the overnight audience has been impacted.

“EastEnders has been streamed 51 million times since this began, making it one of iPlayer’s most popular shows.”

But data has shown that Walford’s woes outdo those on the Corrie cobbles.

Corrie’s audience figures have dropped by 19 per cent in the past four years while EastEnders has fallen almost double this by around 37 per cent.

In the same period, Emmerdale’s viewing figures are said to have witnessed a 22 per cent decline.

A lack of iconic characters is said to be harming EastEnders’ viewing figures

Ratings expert Stephen Price told Broadcast ­magazine that the issue is also partly to do with streaming services.

“The soaps’ dominance of traditional TV appears to be on the wane, no longer impervious to challenge from the linear opposition and losing fans to the streamers,” he said.

“With volume falling faster than overall TV viewing and the challenge of other genres more keenly felt, soaps’ all-conquering prowess is ­disappearing.”

Originally from https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/eastenders-slumps-lowest-ever-viewing-24750660

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