The new head of BBC One has revealed that one of her main priorities is to improve EastEnders, following months of falling ratings.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Charlotte Moore said she was working with Enders’ new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins to boost the soap’s fortunes.

And she admitted it was important for the channel that the show was a success.

“EastEnders is incredibly important to us and some viewers come to the BBC for it and nothing else. I want it to be the best drama on TV.”

Moore added: “We want to make sure it’s water cooler TV – a mix of gritty real life that still has humour as part of its rich mix.”

Ratings for the soap have fallen to between five and six million viewers recently – with even Emmerdale pulling in more viewers on a regular basis.

However it is hoped the return of several well-loved characters – including Ronnie Mitchell and David Wicks, as well as a special appearance from Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell – will pull in audiences.

“All soaps have their peaks and troughs but we have big returning characters this autumn,” Moore pointed out.

Meanwhile a TV insider said that Treadwell-Collins had big plans for EastEnders, adding: “He’s not just a safe pair of hands. Dominic will be bold.”