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 Episode 5313 (11 July 2016). His last credited episode was Episode 5604 (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. During this era Sean got rid of many Characters most notably the Mitchell sisters Ronnie and Roxy and the Coker Family also Andy Flynn, Lee Carter, Kyle Slater. Many Characters chose to leave too including Buster Briggs, Babe Smith, Claudette Hubbard and most notably Masood Ahmed.
During Sean's era many characters returned including Tiffany Butcher and Morgan Butcher for guest stints and Ryan Malloy and Libby Fox for a guest stint. Also Derek Harkinson returned for a temporary stay in Walford over Christmas.
Sean developed many storylines during his era including Lee and Whitney's miscarriage, Denise's pregnancy of Phil's child and the death of Paul Coker and Dots blindness storyline.
Episodes directed by Sean O'Connor
The below episodes Sean O'Connor was no credited but according to BBC Archives he Co-directed with Karl Neilson.
- Episode 2406 (5 November 2002) (Co-directed with Karl Neilson)
- Episode 2407 (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.
|Executive Producer of EastEnders
John Yorke (interim)