A spokesperson at EastEnders has denied reports that Steve McFadden – Phil Mitchell in the soap – was instrumental in the departure last month of producer Sean O’Connor.
The stories suggested that the show runner was planning to kill off Billy Mitchell and Steve was refusing to return from his break if that were to happen.
This, apparently, resulted in some high drama and O’Connor’s subsequent – and swift – departure.
However, a rep has said: “There is no truth to this story and these alleged conversations have never taken place.”
Well, thank Goodness for that, then!
Last week, ED reported that O’Connor had ‘quit’ after barely a year at the helm.
He wanted to concentrate on his passion, feature films, it was stated.
However, The Sun is reporting that there was far more drama behind the producer’s departure.
The tabloid is claiming that O’Connor was actually given the heave-ho.
Further, it suggests that EastEnders has become an increasingly unhappy ship under his control.
There are claims of cast members being made to cry and name calling on set.
Their ‘source’ alleges: “The show is in turmoil and something had to give so it’s no surprise he’s gone.
“The atmosphere’s been awful on set for months, the story lines are dreadful and ratings have gone through the floor.
“There have been accusations that actors and crew have been shouted at and there has been name-calling, which has left some in tears.”
The Sun alleges that O’Connor – who previously worked on the soap in the early noughties before moving to BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers – was called to a meeting with bosses on Thursday.
It claims that some cast members had complained of being intimidated under his tenure on the show.
The red top is also reporting that O’Connor was given a £90,000 pay off but is considering suing for unfair dismissal.
In his official statement about his departure, the 49-year-old said: “I’ve had an amazing time at EastEnders.
“Working with the editorial staff, cast and crew at Elstree has been an absolute privilege.
“They are the kindest, most loyal and hard-working team in the business.
“But my heart lies in feature films and I’m hugely excited as my film projects are now reaching production.
“When the BBC asked me to take over at EastEnders, my plan was to stay until the end of 2017 but with production starting on these films sooner than anticipated, I must – with a heavy heart – bid farewell to Albert Square.
“I’ll enjoy watching EastEnders go from strength to strength but will miss everybody enormously. Elstree really is a place where you make friends for life.”