Soap fans demand schedule change as Emmerdale and EastEnders go head to head this week

Soap fans in the UK are demanding for Emmerdale's and EastEnders' scheduling changes to be amended after the shows inevitably clashed once again this week, leaving viewers unable to watch both live.

ITV bosses confirmed in January that their soaps – Emmerdale and Coronation Street – would be changing time slots, putting them directly in competition with BBC's EastEnders for viewers, as ITV news had extended it's slot from half an hour to an hour between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

As well as Corrie now being aired three times a week with an hour dedicated to each episode, Emmerdale similarly had its schedule changed to 7:30pm, following the news programme and clashing with EastEnders.

And it seems as though soap fans have once again had enough of attempting to navigate their way through the schedule changes, with many hitting out at ITV producers for causing them to miss one of the shows whilst it's live.


Numerous soap viewers have since taken to Twitter to express their contempt at the new way of doing things.

One bitter fan explained: "Ever since Emmerdale changed its time slot, it’s been hard to try and watch both. At first it was EastEnders but the Meena stuff was still going and I preferred it and I couldn’t be annoyed, always catching up, plus BBC iPlayer always buffers, so I’ve just given up on EastEnders now."

Another added: "You can tell Eastenders is on its last legs now. They’re not willing to invest in new characters anymore, instead just bringing back old ones. Between that and putting it up against Emmerdale in the time slot, I give it a year before it joins Holby."

A third tagged the official Emmerdale Twitter account, begging: "Please stay at 7pm!! I've chosen Eastenders over you since the schedule change and only watch live on fridays. I miss watching all the soaps live."

"It makes no sense to me why #Emmerdale and #Eastenders are on at the same time," added another disatisfied viewer. "I'm not complaining, its an excuse to miss the s***e on @ITV, but it makes zero scheduling sense".

One spoke on behalf of all soap fans, tweeting: "The verdict is in. People like the 7pm tim slot for Emmerdale, We’ve tried one hour and half of news and it doesn’t work."

When the two soaps first went head-to-head back in March, both airing in the 7.30pm slot, the Yorkshire soap knocked EastEnders' viewing figures out of the park bagging 4.2 million viewers, leaving Albert Square with just 2.6 million.

John Whiston, ITV's Managing Director of Continuing Drama, explained the scheduling changes earlier this year, telling the public: "With Coronation Street bursting at the seams with fantastic story and character, the new format gives the show a brilliant new canvas on which to shine.

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And Emmerdale will do what it does best in this new time slot where viewers can continue to enjoy the dramatic goings on in the Dales.

ITV's Managing Director Kevin Lygo also in a statement: "As viewing habits rapidly change, live audiences to our national and international news programmes remain remarkably strong.

"Our evening news programme reached an impressive 35.6 million viewers in 2021. We are very excited to be announcing this investment in what is an important public service strength of ITV – high-quality, impartial, trusted broadcast journalism – at a time when it could not be more important.

"The nation's two most popular continuing dramas, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, are fundamental to the success of ITV, and we know that, as with all dramas, viewers increasingly watch them whenever, and however they choose.

"The new scheduling means that viewers can watch them live on TV in one go in a continuous soap fix, as well as on ITV Hub where they are regularly in the most watched shows every month."

For all the latest cast updates and juicy Emmerdale and EastEnders spoilers, sign up to our daily OK! Newsletter. Emmerdale and EastEnders continues weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV.

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