'EastEnders' given a new permanent evening slot in BBC shake-up

Stacey Slater gets flirty in EastEnders
'EastEnders' will have a new time slot on the BBC from next month. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders has been given a new time slot on BBC1 from next month following a huge schedule shake-up. 

For the first time in the soap's 37 year history, it will air on consecutive nights from Monday to Thursday at 7.30 pm.

The new time slot for the BBC primetime soap, which is still one of the most-watched shows on BBC iPlayer, will start from Monday, Mar. 7. 

This schedule change not only marks the first time in years that EastEnders will no longer air on a Friday night, but it is also the first time that the soap will air on Wednesdays.

EastEnders Ben and Callum

'EastEnders' fans will be able to watch the soap on four consecutive evenings from next month.  (Image credit: BBC)

The change also means that EastEnders will also be going head to head with Emmerdale in the schedules, with both soaps airing in the 7.30 pm slot. 

The announcement from the BBC comes after ITV made its own announcement about soap schedule changes as the channel plans to air more news in the evening. 

From March, Coronation Street will air as three hour-long episodes airing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8 pm, while Emmerdale will continue airing half-hour episodes at the slightly later time of 7.30 pm, with an hour-long episode on Thursdays.

Doctors spoilers, Jimmi Clay, Al Haskey

'Doctors' fans will be able to watch the soap in an evening sot for the first time.  (Image credit: BBC)

This also isn't the only change that the BBC is making to its continuing drama. 

BBC soap Doctors will also air in a new time slot, with the daytime soap set to be repeated Monday to Thursday at 7 pm over on BBC2.

Speaking of the changes, continuing drama chief Kate Oates said: "We're delighted that, from 7th March, there will be new regular time slots for EastEnders on BBC One, and Doctors on BBC2.

"Both shows have a loyal following; and this new simplified schedule means it's even easier for viewers to get their fix, as well as being able to watch whenever and wherever they choose on iPlayer.

"A 7 pm time slot gives a whole new audience chance to enjoy the drama in Letherbridge, while EastEnders' new 7.30 pm slot begins with a hugely exciting week, as killer Gray Atkins is finally exposed…"

Killer Gray Atkins has found his crimes closing in on him over since Christmas, and with spoilers revealing that Tina's body is about to be found where he hid it at the Argee Bhajee next week, time is running out for the dad of three. 

Gray Atkins gets an email in EastEnders

Gray is about to get his comeuppance as 'EastEnders' airs in its new time slot.  (Image credit: BBC)

There is also more good news for soap fans because BBC iPlayer will continue to air both EastEnders and Doctors, and you will also be able to catch up with all the Walford drama on BBC Three as the channel airs the soap omnibus at weekends.

EastEnders currently airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.