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If Eastenders were realistic, there'd be no Peggy Mitchells. Hers is a London where a pub landlady can return after six years and be greeted warmly in the street by tens of people still living there, all bound together by family ties and regular community events, rather than vaguely recognising each other as the person they used to be on the same daily train commute with and avoiding eye contact. But that's not the point.
Eastenders today announced the arrival of new family the Lees, and confirmed that whatever big storylines are in store for them are largely irrelevant as they'll be conducted behind closed doors like most people's are.
In the knowledge that this is a pretty big deal for Eastenders and they really don't want it to be an anticlimax, there's every chance the BBC are going to throw a massive curveball when it comes to unveiling Lucy Beale's murderer. What if it's not one of the 14 characters to whom they claim to have narrowed it down? What if it's someone else? What if it's you
? Actually, forget that last one; I got overexcited.
What's that? No, there never used to be 20 shows in our end-of-year lists. You're imagining things. OK, maybe that's partially true. Fine, it's entirely true. But trust me, this is a bold new way of doing the traditional yearly round-up, and in no sense a way for me to spend more time eating cake and less time writing over Christmas.
I've loved Eastenders since I started back on it, but the return of a character as one-note as Nick Cotton, while familiar and not unwelcome, reminds you what soaps are like when they don't bother with characterisation. Yes, we know, Nick: you're a bad man, everything you do is bad without any real reason why, and all your clothes are accordingly black. Tell us a new one.
I admit to not being a fountain of good ideas when it comes to this website. Which is why the opportunity to embed a load of people's tweets about a controversial episode of Eastenders is a ruddy godsend.
In alarming scenes, Alfie's self-regard has grown such that he needs to photograph himself constantly in order to share the images on social media, and he invents a contraption that allows him to do so while expending minimum effort. Meanwhile, HE'S ONLY BLOODY GONE AND BURNED DOWN HIS MISSUS AND THAT but he's too busy cycling through Instagram filters to notice.
(Pic from the Walford East blog.)
The days of celebrities pouring water over their heads for charity appear to be numbered, after it was revealed today that former Eastenders star Dean Gaffney is the last remaining celebrity on the planet not to have taken part.
The women of Walford are being questioned by a parliamentary select committee in a bid to understand why they keep getting off with a bald, middle-aged used car salesman.
With the Eastenders writing team steering the soap in a distinctly hitty-facey creative direction, we have gained access to some storyboards of the key scenes. (Spoiler alert: we haven't.)