EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001, episodes have been broadcast on every weekday except Wednesday (outside of special occasions). The three-month suspension of production in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led to broadcasts of the show being reduced to two 30-minute episodes per week, and eventually, the show going on a transmission break. Restrictions to filming resulted in the programme returning to transmission, with four 20-minute episodes per week resuming on 7 September 2020.
Within eight months of the show's original launch, it had reached the number one spot in BARB's TV ratings and has consistently remained among the top rated series in Britain. In 2013, the average audience share for an episode was around 30 per cent. Today, EastEnders remains a significant programme in terms of the BBC's success and audience share. It has also been important in the history of British television drama, tackling many subjects that are considered to be controversial or taboo in British culture, and portraying a social life previously unseen on UK mainstream television.As of September 2019, EastEnders has won ten BAFTA Awards and the Inside Soap Award for Best Soap for 14 years running (from 1997 to 2012), as well as twelve National Television Awards for Most Popular Serial Drama and 11 awards for Best British Soap at The British Soap Awards. It has also won 13 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards for Best Soap, six TRIC Awards for Soap of The Year, four Royal Television Society Awards for Best Continuing Drama and has been inducted into the Rose d'Or Hall of Fame.