Lorraine Newman

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Lorraine Newman
Born 1978 (age 38–39)
Nationality British
Occupation Producer, scriptwriter
Years active 1997–present
Employer ITV (2013–present)
BBC (1997–2013)
Notable work See below
Television EastEnders

Lorraine Newman (born 1978) is a British scriptwriter, television producer, and the executive producer of the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2012 to 2013.[1] Newman, who has worked on EastEnders for "nearly 20 years", received the role of executive producer when her predecessor stepped down in 2012.[2]



"She knows EastEnders like the back of her hand, so everyone feels very confident and happy because we're in safe hands. Lorraine knows the show and everybody knows Lorraine, so it doesn't feel like a new boss. You can trust her opinion on things because she knows the characters so well".[3]

Nitin Ganatra talking about Newman becoming the executive producer (2012).

Newman first began working on the BBC soap opera EastEnders aged 19 as a script secretary and, according to John Yorke (Controller of BBC Drama Production and New Talent), is the first executive producer to have "occupied every editorial role on the show".[1]

In March 2012, it was announced that the then current executive producer of EastEnders, Bryan Kirkwood was to step down,[4] with "experienced series producer" Newman taking over the role on a temporary basis.[4] Kirkwood said, "I'm delighted to leave the show in the capable hands of Lorraine Newman. Lorraine has been by my side every step of the way for the last two years and knows EastEnders inside out. I wish her and the show every future success".[4] In June 2012, it was announced that Newman would become the full-time executive producer.[1] Newman commented, "It is an absolute honour to be taking on the role of executive producer at EastEnders on a permanent basis. I am looking forward to leading a talented creative team, cast and crew into 2013".[1] Yorke said, "Over the last few months, Newman has steered the show through a period of considerable change, and she's done an amazing job positioning the show for one of the most exciting autumns I can remember. With her depth of experience, her passion for the programme and her commitment to talent on-screen and off, she's the perfect person to take EastEnders forward".[1] Her first episode aired on 16 July.[5]

As Executive Producer[edit]

Newman agreed to Tameka Empson’s (pictured) suggestion of a spin-off featuring her character Kim Fox, entitled The B&B.[6][7]

One of Newman's first key tasks as temporary executive producer was to oversee production of a special episode featuring a live segment in which the character of Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) carries the Olympic Torch as an official torch bearer in the 2012 Summer Olympics torch relay.[8] Carl Doran, creative head of the BBC’s Torch coverage, revealed the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and EastEnders production team had worked for two years to organise this.[9] The episode was part of the official torch relay,[10] meaning the torch made a special detour from London[11] to the EastEnders set in BBC Elstree, Borehamwood.[12] Billy Mitchell was also involved in one of Newman’s most controversial storylines, in which his granddaughter Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) has her baby taken away by social worker Trish Barnes. Real-life social workers protested this "unhelpful portrayal",[13] with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) calling the BBC "too lazy and arrogant" to correctly portray the child protection process, and saying that the baby was taken "without sufficient grounds to do so". Bridget Robb, acting chief of the BASW, said the storyline provoked "real anger among a profession well used to a less than accurate public and media perception of their jobs".[13]

Newman's first major cast change was reintroduction of Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) in August 2012,[14][15] which Newman revealed had been a year in the planning.[16] Upon her return, Dean said that Newman was "very good at character insight".[17] Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe) departed in the same month [18] following the conclusion of the storyline of Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison)'s murder storyline, with Newman confirming the departure of Anthony Moon (Matt Laspinskas) soon afterwards.[19][20] Newman later introduced Ava Hartman (Clare Perkins), the secret daughter of Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell),[21] and Ava's son Dexter (Khali Best),[22][22] and also upgraded Poppy Meadow (Rachel Bright) from a recurring to a regular character.[23] Major departures under Newman’s tenure include Syed Masood (Marc Elliot) and Christian Clarke (John Partridge) in November 2012 [24] and villain Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman), killed off in the Christmas Day episode.[25][26]

Her tenure at EastEnders was subject to intense critical derision and the show was heavily criticized for “boring storylines,” such as a plot involving the character of Dorothy Branning having cold cuts stolen from her fridge, and this coincided with a steep decline in viewing figures. On 29 July 2013, Lorraine Newman left the post, with Dominic Treadwell-Collins taking over. Her final episode aired on 6 December 2013 [27]


Year Title Role Employer
1997 EastEnders Script Editor/Secretary BBC
1998 City Central
EastEnders: The Mitchells - Naked Truths
2000–01 EastEnders Script Producer
2000 Thin Ice Script Editor
2001–03, 2005–12 EastEnders Series Producer
2002 Producer
2003 Perfectly Frank
Slaters in Detention
2010–11 EastEnders: E20 Series Producer
2012–2013 EastEnders Executive Producer
2012 Billy's Olympic Nightmare
2014– Coronation Street Story editor ITV
2013– The Corrie Years Producer


  1. ^ a b c d e Kilkelly, Daniel (27 June 2012). "'EastEnders': Lorraine Newman to be permanent executive producer". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 November 2012). "Exclusive: 'EastEnders' exec Lorraine Newman on future plans for soap - interview". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (3 July 2012). "'EastEnders' Nitin Ganatra talks AJ arrival, Masood future - interview". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Kilkelly, Daniel (12 March 2012). "'EastEnders' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood to stand down". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Director: Ian White; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Heather Robson (16 July 2012). "Episode dated 16/07/2012". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  6. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 October 2012). "'EastEnders' Tameka Empson talks Kim Fox's online spinoff - interview". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (21 September 2012). "'EastEnders' Kim Fox gets online 'B&B' spinoff". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Methven, Nicola (15 July 2012). "Holding the baby: EastEnders' Lola in live birth for special Olympics episode". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Mosey, Roger; Doran, Carl (15 November 2011). "Olympic Torch coming to Walford". BBC Online. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Armstrong, Laura (24 July 2012). "I could race for Team GB after training to carry torch in Walford". The Sun. News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Olympic torch: Reality and fiction blur in London". BBC News. BBC Online. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Slater, Anna (24 July 2012). "Olympic torch comes to Borehamwood during EastEnders live show". Elstree & Borehamwood Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Greenslade, Roy (9 October 2012). "Social workers outraged by EastEnders storyline about baby Lexi". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  14. ^ Hill, Susan (10 June 2012). "EastEnders: Sharon Rickman has a torrid return to Albert Square". Daily Star. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Littlejohn, Georgia (8 June 2012). "Letitia Dean returns to EastEnders as Sharon Watts and calls on old flame Phil Mitchell for help". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Hill, Susan (5 August 2012). "Letitia Dean: It's wonderful to be back as Sharon Rickman". Daily Star. Northern and Shell Media. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Brown, David (13 August 2012). "Letitia Dean on her return to EastEnders - and the fib that won her the role of Sharon Watts". Radio Times. Exponent. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  18. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (20 January 2012). "'EastEnders' murder details revealed". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (9 May 2012). "'EastEnders' exit for Anthony Moon confirmed". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Jones, Allison (25–31 August 2012). "I've loved EastEnders - I'm disappointed Anthony's leaving!". Inside Soap. Hearst Magazines UK (34): 98. 
  21. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 September 2012). "'EastEnders': Cora's daughter arrival confirmed". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (8 November 2012). "'EastEnders' casts Ava's son Dexter Hartman". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  23. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (24 October 2012). "'EastEnders' Poppy Meadow to stay in Walford". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel; Tobin, Christian (7 September 2012). "Updated: 'EastEnders' confirms Syed, Christian exits". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  25. ^ Rowley, Alison (7 October 2012). "'EastEnders': Derek Branning to have Christmas exit?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  26. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (23 October 2012). "'EastEnders' David Witts "sad" over Jamie Foreman exit". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  27. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/eastenders/posts/Lorraine-Newman-leaves-EastEnders

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Bryan Kirkwood
Executive Producer of EastEnders
Succeeded by
Dominic Treadwell-Collins
Preceded by
Jo Johnson
Series Producer of EastEnders
2001–03, 2005–12
Succeeded by
Jenny Robins