EastEnders writer Tony Jordan fears for the future of soaps

EastEnders writer and producer Tony Jordan has been discussing the future of soaps, revealing that he thinks they are in ‘trouble’ if they don’t ‘reinvent themselves’.

Writer of the 2008 episode of the BBC One soap, which remains EastEnders’ only ever single-hander and saw Dot (June Brown) record a message for Jim (John Bardon) while he was recovering from a stroke – Tony believes that ‘soaps are in a pretty poor way. Unless they reinvent themselves, I think they’re in very real trouble’.

‘They need to stop and take a breath and think, “what does a soap look like in 2025?” And start aiming for that’, he told the Daily Star.

‘In post-war Britain there was a sense of community. And then television took some of that away. In that period, we all looked at Dot Cotton and Den Watts… that’s where we got all our gossip from. Soaps fulfilled that for us.’

‘But now that space has been stolen by Facebook and social media. That’s where all the gossip is coming from.’

Away from his history with the world of soaps, Tony Jordan has been speaking about his brand new show, Beyond Paradise.

The BBC One drama sees the return of DI Humphrey (Kris Marshall) and Martha (Sally Bretton), two characters from Death in Paradise.

When the BBC first commissioned Beyond Paradise, it was dubbed as a ‘Death in Paradise spin off’ so, naturally, many people began to wonder whether the show would be the same, with just a different environment.

While there are some similarities to Death in Paradise – the crime-fighting team, solving a case every week, not to mention two of the same characters – Beyond Paradise is a whole new show in itself, something Tony and executive producer Tim Key wanted to make crystal clear during their recent chat with Metro.co.uk:

‘We didn’t want to just do a cynical spin off’, Tony explained.

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‘I think that’s doomed to failure, you have to do it with a bit of integrity and create a show that’s worthy of being on screen in its own right, not just as an add on to the main show. What we tried to do was take the DNA of Death in Paradise, what we think the audience loves the most about it and find a different way of delivering that. Almost take the same ingredients but a different dish if you like.

‘We know that location is an important thing, that sight and sense of beauty, fresh air, escapism, we needed to pick an incredibly beautiful part of the UK.’

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