New EastEnders Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has said the BBC soap needs to "shake up the audience", because the show has been "frozen in aspic" for too long.
In an interview with Radio Times, Treadwell-Collins said EastEnders "should feel more like London".
He said: "Sharon (Letitia Dean) said recently that she's looking to be a landlady and as a result you'll see the edges of Shoreditch creeping into EastEnders. It's got to reflect the modern world."
Treadwell-Collins, who plans to focus more on character than action during his tenure, said: "We don't want to do cover versions of greatest hits. EastEnders has to sing new songs, otherwise it doesn't feel fresh."
He continued: "And it also has to be about people and feelings and emotions. I've never been a fan of blowing things up.
"It's good to have one foot in the past while looking to the future. My idea is to make the show feel fresh with [new family] the Carters, but also a bit nostalgic by bringing back characters we love. And there should be more secrets that will make the viewer gasp."
He added: "You want those moments where the audience is thinking, 'Oh my God, I didn't know that was going to happen'.
"That used to be what the show did brilliantly and what I really want it to do again."
Describing himself as a "proper die-hard EastEnders fan", Treadwell-Collins said of his long relationship with the show: "I remember poring over the map of Albert Square that Radio Times published when the first episode aired.
"I grew up in Radlett in Hertfordshire, which is about 10 minutes down the road from where EastEnders is filmed in Elstree, and I'd go along to the studio and stick my head through the gates.
"I'd never felt an affinity with Corrie - it's a fantastic show, but it wasn't my thing. I liked EastEnders because it felt dangerous, real and naughty, and also that it was saying something about life."
"Stalking is a heavy word, but I did once stalk Pam St Clement (Pat Butcher) around the Radlett branch of WH Smith," he joked. "She and I have laughed about it since."