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Sean O'Connor is a British producer, writer and director working in theatre, film, television and radio. He was the editor of the long-running BBC radio drama, The Archers from 2013 until 2016. He was executive producer of EastEnders from 2016 until his axe in 2017. His first credited episode was 11 July 2016. His last credited episode was 24 November 2017.

EastEnders and The Archers[]

In the late 1990s, O'Connor worked as Producer of the long-running radio drama The Archers, storylining and directing the programme. He re-introduced several popular characters including Kenton Archer, Adam Travers-Macy and Lillian Bellamy, as well as introducing Fallon Rogers, Ed Grundy and Emma Carter. He was then appointed as Series Story Producer at the BBC soap, EastEnders story-lining the award winning Kat and Zoe Slater story, the domestic violence story featuring Little Mo, and Dot Cotton's marriage to Jim Branning. He went on to both produce and direct the show.

On 5 August 2013, it was announced that O'Connor had been appointed editor of The Archers. Of his return to the show, O'Connor commented "I'm delighted to be returning to Ambridge to work with the team in Birmingham. I'm honoured to take the reins of our national epic drama and to build on the extraordinary achievements ofVanessa Whitburn who dedicated much of her career to this unique cultural institution."

On 18 February 2016, it was announced that O'Connor would return to EastEnders after 11 years and take over from Dominic Treadwell-Collins as Executive Producer. On his return he commented "I'm thrilled to be back in Walford and particularly delighted to work once more with many dear friends and colleagues both backstage and on screen. I loved my time working at EastEnders previously; there's nothing quite as challenging nor as rewarding." Following this, he announced he would be stepping down from The Archers, saying "At the same time, it is a real wrench for me to leave Ambridge. The Archers is an extraordinary programme – a jewel at the heart of the BBC and in the hearts of the British public. Working on it, with the extraordinary cast, writers and production team in Birmingham has been an absolute privilege. The Archers has been a part of my life for much of my life - and though I’ll be away from Borsetshire, I'll continue to listen to the villagers of Ambridge, who feel to me – as they do for millions of listeners - like family."

The O'Connor Era (2016-2017)[]

Sean replaced Dominic Treadwell-Collins to become executive producer at the start of Autumn.

Throughout his time as executive producer, he received mostly negative responses due to the poor storylines written and the killing off of Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell along with axing other characters.

Under his reign, Sean axed of many notable characters, most notably, Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell where in which he came under fire from past and present actors on the show from Ross Kemp, Barbara Windsor and Danny Dyer.

Sean also axed the Coker family along with Andy Flynn, Lee Carter and Kyle Slater. Many actors chose to leave too, including the actors who played Buster Briggs, Babe Smith, Claudette Hubbard and most notably Masood Ahmed.

There were reports that some actors were displeased with the direction of EastEnders under Sean O'Connor and had threatened to quit.

Various characters returned under Sean's reign, including Tiffany Butcher and Morgan Butcher for guest stints along with Ryan Malloy and Libby Fox. Derek Harkinson returned for a temporary stay in Walford over Christmas.

Sean introduced the Taylor family consisting of Karen Taylor, Keanu Taylor, Bernadette Taylor, Keegan Baker, Chatham and Riley Taylor.

Sean developed many storylines during his era including Max's revenge, the arrival of the Taylor family, Lee and Whitney's miscarriage, Denise's pregnancy of Phil's child and the death of Paul Coker and Dot's blindness storyline.

One of the most notable storylines which received a negative reception was a storyline focusing on the bins in the square which prompted criticism from reviewers calling it boring and it resulted in parodies being created.

Sean stepped down in 2017 after a year in the post following on from the negative reception of his storylines and decisions. He was later replaced by John Yorke.

Episodes directed by Sean O'Connor[]

2000s[]

2002[]

  1. 4 November 2002

8 November 2002

Notes[]

The below episodes Sean O'Connor was no credited but according to BBC Archives he Co-directed with Karl Neilson.

  1. 5 November 2002 (Co-directed with Karl Neilson)
  2. 7 November 2002 (Co-directed with Karl Neilson)


The below episodes Karl Neilson was no credited but according to BBC Archives he Co-directed with Sean O'Connor.

  1. 8 November 2002 (Co-directed with Karl Neilson)


Media offices
Preceded by
Dominic Treadwell-Collins
Executive Producer of EastEnders
2016-2017
Succeeded by
John Yorke (interim)
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