A BBC boss has spoken out about the future of long-running soap Eastenders following ITV’s decision to change scheduling for Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

The broadcaster’s flagship continuing drama Coronation Street will move to three hour-long episodes on Mondays, Wednesday’s and Friday’s at 8pm.

Meanwhile Emmerdale, which is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2022, will move to a 7:30pm slot.

The change from ITV puts the shows in direct competition with the BBC drama.

BBC chief speaks out on future of Eastenders

Although BBC chief Tim Davie has moved to calm concerns over the future of the show.

Speaking to the House of Commons’ Accounts Select Committee he said: “We’re not immune from competitive pressure, let’s be honest about it. 

“And you may have a marginal impact or an impact during that hour, but we’re confident that the overall case for the EastEnders development remains strong.”

Davie defended the £87 million spent on a brand new Albert Square.

He added: “That whole set wasn’t going to work anyway so it needed investment. We’re also confident about EastEnders as a strand; we’ve just put a new showrunner in there.”

Fans remain concerned for the future of the show amid high profile departures including Danny Dyer and Adam Woodyatt but with a number of big storylines on the horizon it is hoped viewing figures will remain competitive.