Monday 24 July 2017

Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell's deaths upset me, says EastEnders' former producer

Dominic Treadwell-Collins said saying goobye to his EastEnders characters was like putting them up for adoption.

By Julia Hunt

Former EastEnders producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has said he was upset when the soap’s new boss killed off the Mitchell sisters.

Archers editor Sean O’Connor took over the BBC programme when Dominic left last year, making his mark by recasting Michelle Fowler and killing off Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell (Samantha Womack and Rita Simons) in a dramatic pool scene.

Dominic, 39, told Radio Times it was hard seeing the changes, because watching somebody else dictate what happens to the characters was like watching someone else raise your children.

He said: “The deaths of Ronnie and Roxy made me really sad.

“They were my inventions when I was story producer and I loved them.

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“But when you leave, it’s like putting your children up for adoption and watching somebody else bring them up.”

However, Dominic said there were probably decisions he made that upset previous producers.

“You can’t get over-emotional because every producer has to make the show their own,” he said. “You’ve got to support them and stand back.”

Dominic said goodbye to Albert Square in 2016 after almost three years, and said it was definitely time for a change as it had taken its toll.

“By the end, I was broken,” he said. “Ireland was the one thing that kept me sane while I was at EastEnders.

“My family came from Skibbereen in west Cork – my dad moved to London when he was 16, but the family farm is still there. We’d take our holidays there – it’s where I’ve spent every Easter and summer all my life.

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WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 20/05/2014 - Programme Name: EastEnders - TX: n/a - Episode: 4849 (No. 4849) - Picture Shows: Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Executive Producer of EastEnders. Dominic Treadwell-Collins - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

“And I used to go back regularly with my scripts and just read and breathe and walk.

“But as time went on, the Ireland weekends became fewer and fewer because I was working so hard that I wasn’t living a life.”

He said he had an amazing experience on the soap but was “glad I left while the party was at its peak”.

“And my boyfriend saw me at the tail end and I don’t think he’d let me go back there any time soon,” he added.

“I was single for most of the time I was there. EastEnders became my wife.”

The Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.

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