BBC producer Kate Harwood, whose credits include Daniel Deronda and Crime and Punishment, has been appointed to take over as executive producer of EastEnders.
Harwood, who began her career at the Corporation 15 years ago, is expected to take up the role in the next two weeks.
Currently an executive producer in BBC Drama Serials department, she has worked on shows such as The Beggar Bride, Close Relations, The Echo, David Copperfield, Man And Boy and last year’s Bafta-winner, Charles II – The Power and the Passion.
She replaces Kathleen Hutchison, who resigned from EasEnders in January, just four months after taking over from long-time producer Louise Berridge.
BBC controller of continuing drama series John Yorke said: “I am delighted that Kate will be joining the team. She has an excellent reputation across the industry, she understands how to tell stories and how to engage the viewer, it is a real coup for us to have her on board.”
The 20-year-old soap has come under fire for weak storylines and has seen its ratings slump – reaching a five-year low of 6.8 million at the start of the year. Last week’s death of Dirty Den saw an upturn for the beleaguered soap, pulling in an audience in excess of 14 million
Harwood said: “I am very excited by the challenge of taking on a show as wonderful as EastEnders. I’ve been a fan for many years and can’t wait to meet the cast and to start working with the production team planning the show’s future.”