EastEnders: Ben says he won't protect Jags in prison
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EastEnders was meant to air at 8:05pm on Monday evening as it was scheduled to broadcast between Panorama and Garden Rescue. Viewers of the BBC soap have known for several weeks that due to the coverage of sports on the network this summer, the weeknight serial drama was taking less of a priority in the TV listings. However, when thousands tuned in to watch the latest instalment of the show, they were baffled to see scenes from Wimbledon airing instead.
The sporting event was previously scheduled to air on BBC Two from 10:30am to 8:30pm on Monday evening, with all other shows removed from the listings.
In a last-minute change to proceedings, coverage of Wimbledon slotted into the BBC One schedule and all the programmes it replaced took its slot on the networks sister channel.
Those watching at home were given very little warning and it wasn’t long before they took to Twitter to complain about the disruption to their evening.
One wrote: “Why do BBC f**k the schedule up? Tennis was on BBC Two but they move it to BBC One and move Eastenders to BBC Two. Are there people who cannot receive BBC Two? #DefundTheBBC #EastEnders.”
Another added: “Eastenders shunted to BBC Two again because of sport, I’m sure the BBC are trying to kill off the show.”
“It’s in a very delicate state anyway with the number of viewers at an all-time low. If it doesn’t watch out they’ll be none left. @BBCOne #EastEnders,” they continued.
Whilst a third remarked: “With #Wimbledon already on @BBCTwo – and #EastEnders about to start on @BBCOne – which scheduler thought that switching the channels was necessary?”
A fourth opined: “Why when watching #Wimbledon2021 on @BBCTwo do you have to change channel back to @BBCOne while they switch #Eastenders to @BBCTwo.
“Just leave the Tennis on @BBCTwo and play Eastenders on the channel it’s normally on,” they shared on the social media platform.
However, the episode did still air on Monday evening, albeit in a different location to what had been planned with Nancy Carter (Maddy Hill) being involved in a hit and run.
All of this week’s episodes were made available on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Monday morning for fans to enjoy in their own time.
This was announced prior to the Euros taking place and Wimbledon airing over the last few weeks so viewers could have plenty of notice.
Executive producer, Jon Sen, said at the time: “Giving EastEnders viewers the ability to decide when they drop in on all things Albert Square is something we’re excited about.”
“With the inevitable scheduling changes due to the Euros, something we’ll be celebrating in Walford on-screen, box setting all four episodes will ensure everyone gets their dose of drama and football fans won’t miss out,” he continued.
“From indulging them all in one night, staggering across a few days or continuing to watch the episodes play out on BBC One, we hope the endless streaming options on BBC iPlayer keeps viewers content over the next few weeks.”
It has now been confirmed this set-up will stay in place until the Tokyo Olympics come to a conclusion later this summer.
Taking to their official Twitter account on Friday afternoon, the show posted a message which read: “News alert!”
“We are so excited to announce that #EastEnders will continue to box set episodes on BBC iPlayer, on Mondays until the end of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” it continued.
The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin later this month on Friday, 23 July 2021 and conclude a few weeks later on Sunday, 8 August 2021.
Reacting to the announcement, one fan wrote: “I’m excited however I’m wondering if it’s necessary. Remember Timmings in Japan will be different to that of the UK. Most events will take place overnight whilst Eastenders is early evening primetime. I’m excited though bring it on.”
Another posted: “Viewers outside the UK can’t access iPlayer so hope people won’t spoil stories for us!”
EastEnders is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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