Exclusive: EastEnders’ former chief scriptwriter Tony Jordan has returned to work on the soap less than a year after quitting to set up his own production company.
The news comes soon after Jordan criticised the show’s output, telling The Stage in May it was “going through the doldrums” and that more weekly episodes had diluted the quality of the production.
Jordan has written a special episode to be screened in January and it is understood he is keen to work on more stories for the soap in the near future.
BBC controller of drama production John Yorke told The Stage: “He has come back to write another episode. I can’t say too much but it is really exciting. We had an idea and we went to him and he said, ‘Wow, I have to do that’. He has come back because he could not resist. It is in his blood. He loves it.”
Jordan, who was the soap’s series consultant as well as chief scriptwriter and who is credited with creating the Slater family, left EastEnders after 18 years in February to work on the BBC1 police show HolbyBlue, which is made through his production company Red Planet Pictures.
The show has recently been commissioned for a second series, which will open with an episode that sees the world of HolbyBlue merge with the long running hospital soap Holby City.
Yorke said there would be a “major incident” in the hospital which would lead to police officers from HolbyBlue coming in to investigate. Characters from Holby City will then be seen in HolbyBlue, when they are taken down to the police station for interviews.
Yorke explained: “Loads of questions are asked in the Holby City episode that are answered in the HolbyBlue episode. That is exciting. It is something the Americans have done for years with shows like CSI and I really like it. You really believe it’s a world.”
The Holby City/HolbyBlue cross-over episodes are being written by Tony McHale and Jordan, who last worked together as writers on EastEnders.