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EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional Borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001 episodes have been broadcast every weekday apart from Wednesdays.

Within eight months of the show's launch, it reached the number-one spot in BARB's TV ratings and has consistently remained among the top-rated TV programmes in Britain. In 2013, the average audience share for an episode was around 30 per cent. Today, EastEnders remains a significant programme in terms of the BBC's success and audience share, and also in the history of British television drama, tackling many dilemmas that are considered to be controversial and taboo issues in British culture and social life previously unseen on United Kingdom mainstream television.

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Peggy Mitchell was initially played by Jo Warne when she first appeared in the episode broadcast on 30 April 1991, featuring in 10 episodes. Peggy was reintroduced in 1994, recast to Barbara Windsor, who made her first appearance in the episode broadcast on 7 November 1994. Peggy became a regular character, and Windsor played the role until she was forced to take a long break due to poor health in 2003. She returned for two episodes in 2004, before rejoining as a regular character in 2005 until 2010. She made guest appearances in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the character was killed off in 2016. Peggy is fiercely protective of her family and the Mitchell name, and has become famous for her catchphrase "Get outta my pub!", used when ejecting people from The Queen Victoria, of which she is the landlady. Her storylines have seen her embark on a series of failed romances, including marriages to Frank Butcher (Mike Reid) and Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb). She has been central to several plot strands revolving around health issues, launching a hate campaign against the HIV positive character Mark Fowler (Todd Carty), and going on to make amends with him when she is later diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she recovers from her cancer, it later returns and leads to her suicide. (read more...)

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Selected episode

"Pretty Baby...." is an episode of EastEnders that was broadcast on BBC One on 31 January 2008. It is the only EastEnders episode to feature just one character and the first of its kind in soap. It was written by Tony Jordan, directed by Clive Arnold and produced by Diederick Santer. The episode features Dot Branning, played by June Brown, recording a message for her husband Jim Branning (John Bardon), who is in hospital recovering from a stroke, reflecting Bardon's real-life stroke, which saw him written out of the show and allowed the opportunity for the single-hander to arise. Jordan's scripting was inspired by Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. The episode was watched by 8.86 million viewers and received mixed reviews from critics. Brown received a British Academy Television Award nomination for Best Actress in 2009 for her performance in the episode. (read more...)


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