Former EastEnders star John Altman hits out at soap’s falling ratings
Former EastEnders star John Altman has said that the soap’s viewership is dwindling because it has run out of new stories to tell.
The 69-year-old actor played villain Nick Cotton for two decades on and off between 1985 and 2015.
He says that all the big storylines have been down and that back in the day there was a lot more of a shock factor.
Speaking to the Mirror he said: ““EastEnders had dramatic divorces, drugs, it opened with a murder.
"It also had different cultures, different races, I don’t know if there had been any Asians or Afro-Caribbean characters in a soap before, EastEnders may have been the first for that.
"It also had the first gay couple, played by Gary Hailes and Michael Cashman. "
The popular soap’s ratings have been steadily decreasing in recent years.
In September of last year viewership dipped to 2.6 million, one of the lowest figures in the BBC One show’s 35 year history.
John also weighed in on the question of whether the show should be available to binge watch, similar the shows on streaming platform Netflix.
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When asked about the possibility he said: “That could be a good idea, I’ve never thought about it like that.
"We used to have the omnibus on a Sunday, that was a good. It was good for us too because we used to get 80 per cent of our wages, without ever getting out of bed!”
John’s comments come after his fellow EastEnders star Shaun Williamson voiced a similar opinion that the soap would have to copy the model set out by streaming service if it were to survive.
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Shaun said: ““They’ve got to be careful. Now, you can download The Crown and watch one series in a day.
“You’ve got Netflix doing these incredible things so there’s so much more competition.”
He added: “I think that’s inevitable, I think the BBC will change because everything is changing.
"We’ll get to the stage where you will get the choice to buy BBC Radio 2. I’m talking 20 years down the line.”
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