Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell's deaths upset me, says EastEnders' former producer

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National Television Awards 2015 - Arrivals - London

Former EastEnders producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has said he was upset when the soap's new boss killed off the Mitchell sisters.

Archers editor Sean O'Connor took over the BBC programme when Treadwell-Collins left last year, making his mark by recasting Michelle Fowler and killing off Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell (Samantha Womack and Rita Simons) in a dramatic pool scene.

Treadwell-Collins, 39, told Radio Times it was hard seeing the changes, because watching somebody else dictate what happens to the characters was like watching someone else raise your children.

He said: "The deaths of Ronnie and Roxy made me really sad.

"They were my inventions when I was story producer and I loved them.

"But when you leave, it's like putting your children up for adoption and watching somebody else bring them up."

However, Treadwell-Collins said there were probably decisions he made that upset previous producers.

"You can't get over-emotional because every producer has to make the show their own," he said. "You've got to support them and stand back."

Treadwell-Collins said goodbye to Albert Square in 2016 after almost three years, and said it was definitely time for a change as it had taken its toll.

"By the end, I was broken," he said. "Ireland was the one thing that kept me sane while I was at EastEnders.

"My family came from Skibbereen in west Cork - my dad moved to London when he was 16, but the family farm is still there. We'd take our holidays there - it's where I've spent every Easter and summer all my life.

"And I used to go back regularly with my scripts and just read and breathe and walk.

"But as time went on, the Ireland weekends became fewer and fewer because I was working so hard that I wasn't living a life."

He said he had an amazing experience on the soap but was "glad I left while the party was at its peak".

"And my boyfriend saw me at the tail end and I don't think he'd let me go back there any time soon," he added.

"I was single for most of the time I was there. EastEnders became my wife."

:: The Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.