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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Dirty Den's return: Your Views
Leslie Grantham and Letitia Dean
Sharon gets a shock in Monday's episode
Dirty Den makes his return to Walford in EastEnders on Monday night after a 14 year absence.

The popular character, played by Leslie Grantham, was seemingly murdered in a gangland shooting in 1989.

But he will prove he is alive and well when he shows up and surprises his daughter Sharon at the end of the episode.

Did you see the episode? Is he as good as you remembered? Or was it an anti-climax?

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Bearing in mind that all of us already knew that he is coming back on Monday and most of our TV programmes kind of gave the storyline away "Vicky has a surprise for Sharon and Dennis", Den's comeback was actually boring!
Franziska, UK

Absolutely brilliant, well worth waiting in for. There was a huge round of applause in our house and I don't think it could have been done any better. Well done EastEnders!!
Claire Northcott, England

Does anyone really buy the Sharon-Dennis thing? I thought it was grim and we all predicted Den's opening salvo didn't we? Oh well, maybe the next episode will be better.
Jess, UK

Well, yes - "Hello princess" was very predictable, but that's just Den and it would not have been right with Den saying anything else. It was perfect!! I just can't wait to see what happens next!! Well done BBC, bringing back Den is the best thing you ever did!
Lisa, Newark, UK

This just goes to prove how far our expectations of entertainment have sunk! Badly acted, far-fetched storylines and certainly the most depressing programme to appear on our screens in years, and this rubbish gets huge viewing figures. I despair!
Paul, England

EasEenders is one of the most overrated television shows ever, and the fact that they have to bring back characters who have been out of the programme for years just screams desperation. EastEnders- "Everybody's talking about it" -y eah, just to say how naff it is!!
Nigel, UK

It was the first time we'd watched the programme for years . At the start we bet that:

a) Den would appear just before the "boom boom etc"

b) he would say two words: "Hello princess".

What a laugh! We'll resist the temptation to watch any more cliches but it was worth 30 minutes just for for the laugh at the end.
Martin, England

Well, it's to early to judge but the very idea of bringing back Dirty Den is totally preposterous. It's not a real plot, more a last-ditch effort to gain viewers. Though why anyone would want to watch a show that has been treading water for the best part of a decade (cannibalising its own old scripts and storylines ad infinitum) is anyone's guess. Hopefully this ludicrous American soap style back from the dead plotline will be the final nail in the coffin for EastEnders!
Jason, England

Over-rated all round. Dennis and Sharon - whole thing smacking of Brookside desperado. And what a predictable entry from the man himself. I should have saved myself the trouble and turned over for the last few minutes. Certainly didn't make me feel like crying with joy... overacting and overblown plotlines will not save EE from its decline or from its superior rivals.
S, UK

The best episode of EastEnders I have watched for ages!!! I cannot wait for tonight's episode!!!
Tracy Davidson, UK

I think Den's return was one of the best EastEnders programmes that has been shown. I think Dennis and Sharon's affair was exciting as well.
Kirsty Hainsworth, England

Utter rubbish! The acting and script is sooooo pantomime! PLEASE EastEnders - keep it real!
Sinead, England

Contrived is a word that comes to mind! I know I'm not the only person to say this but I do feel short changed in the fact that reality seems to be being stretched here. I mean after 14 years, suddenly the Square starts talking about Den again. Then he turns up. Oh please!

Last night's episode was the first I'd seen in a long long time and reconfirmed why I'd stopped watching EE. I had to sit through 29 minutes of mind-numbing nonsense before I heard "Hello Princess". Surely Den could have appeared half way through, but no, the script-writers at the BBC wanted to drag it out right until the end. I won't deny that it brought a smile to my lips when he appeared, but I couldn't help but feel that it was all overdone and somewhat melodramatic. Maybe tonight's episode will convince me.
Adrian M Bell, UK

Well I must admit, having never missed an episode in EastEnders' entire history, I was looking forward to Dirty Den's return. But what an anti-climax... I knew before it started that he would only appear at the very end... so who cared about all that tosh about Dennis and Sharon? Not me! What I wanted and waited for were those immortal lines "Hello, Princess"... then da da da da da da da...... it was an anti climax! Tonight's episode I'm sure will be far, far better...
Jerry, UK

How on earth did Vicki get into Angie's Den? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn I saw Sam and Billy locking up earlier. And why didn't Vicki bring Den to the flat?
Louise Schooneman, Netherlands

I thought that Den's return was excellent but I think the storylines have been boring up until last night when Dennis and Sharon got it on.
Kirsty, UK

The acting was fantastic, great episode, better than killer Corrie. But my only question would be - who would need 29 minutes to decide to take Dennis to bed?!
Sarah, UK

Cobblers. 98% of the characters in EastEnders were not meant to have any clue at all about the possibility that Den may still have been alive...how coincidental that Pauline should be talking about "You know who", and Sam should taunt Dennis about being nothing but the son of a "dead face - not a real family like the Mitchells...".

Not only this, but the Sharon-Dennis action was pretty dull and unbelievable, and I'm sure that most viewers just thought "get on with it" - I'm sure most people tuned in waiting to see one thing last night, and for it to only appear in the last 7 seconds or so was a bit frustrating after all the hackneyed nonsense with Sharon and Dennis.
Dani, Lincoln, UK

It's quite ridiculous. He should never have been brought back from the dead. I distinctly recall that Sharon specifically identified his body 14 years ago to eliminate any possibility of him coming back and yet here he is.
Ali Asgur, London, UK

EastEnders is wicked - I am so impressed with the acting, it was great. I think Dennis is lovely - well done EastEnders, wahoo Dirty Den is back!!
Nicola Barber, England

Absolute rubbish. I can't believe for one second that Den faked his own death to escape Jack Dalton only to find out years later that his "son", also called Dennis, turns up and shoots Dalton opening the floodgates for him to return. That coincidence is just too big even for TV land. Sorry Den, it just wasnt good enough.
AL, UK

The scenes between Dennis and Sharon were spectacular - we've been waiting for them for a long time. Am I the only one who doesn't want Dirty Den back in the show? I couldn't stand him first time round and was overjoyed that he was killed off.
Joanne, UK

Sam's outburst and convenient rant about Den was a little contrived. But I want Sharon and Dennis to have a happy ending. Amazing brooding acting on the part of the actor who plays Dennis. Who cares about Den (though I hope he kills Phil) - give us more Dennis!!!!!
Jane, England

A bit of an anti-climax I thought. Having watched the programme Den the return, the making of....the night before, I expected more than a few seconds at the end.

The scene beside the canal, when Sharon spoke to those kids. Cannot wait for the scene when Den meets Pauline...!!!
Colin Bartlett, Oxford UK

I think the Sharon-Dennis storyline last night was not what people wanted to see. I think it's great to see Den back but he should have had a much more explosive entrance.
Emma, UK

I'm not an avid EastEnders viewer, but watched last night's. What I'd like to know is who allowed the clip of the entire climax (right to the dum-dum-dums) to be released to GMTV? Anyone who saw Eamonn and Fiona in the morning would have seen the whole dramatic ending. Oops.
Andrew, Scotland

It doesn't get any better than this. Dirty Den's return was amazing, the whole episode was gripping. Sharon and Dennis were superb and Den's reappearance was the best moment in soap history.
Rose, England

Return of the Living Dad! The BBC has utterly astonished me by bringing back two of my favourite TV characters in the same week - Dirty Den and Doctor Who! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Andrew Knight, England

I thought the scenes between Sharon and Dennis were fantastic - completely gripping - best EastEnders episode for years!! We want more!
Louise, UK

Excellent return. Great suspense!!!!!
Aamir, UK

What a joke! How not to make an entrance. So much opportunity for a brilliant dramatic moment and this legendary character just turns up brought home by his daughter. By contrast, the long-drawn out histrionic scene before between Sharon and Dennis was over the top, totally artificial and unbelievable.

This soap needs to rediscover itself - less histrionics, more originality and greater depth and subtlety to the characters.
Margaret Buntrock, UK

I have been waiting for weeks to see Dirty Den's triumphant return - and it didn't disappoint. The build-up of tension as the episode went on became unbearable and when he finally uttered those words "hello princess" at the end, our whole family spontaneously burst into tears.

Finally the glory days for UK soap have returned. Thank you BBC for bringing real joy and existing into our evening viewing.
Richard Stone, Suffolk

I thought the episode was far too contrived. What a coincidence - everyone seemed to be talking about Den, and surprise, surprise he turns up at the end!!
Mark, Manchester, UK

I think the scene where he came back dragged a lot with Dennis and Sharon but I preferred the end bit where he said "Hello princess." I think it's great he's back, I will be tuned in every night it's on.
Natalie Olah, United Kingdom

Boring and predictable!! How did I know it would go "Hello Princess... dum dum dumdum da da dum"?!?!
Tony Osborne, UK

Fanastic.Three cheers!
Sarah Thomas, UK

I must admit, I've not seen EastEnders for over a year, probably five to be honest, but I tuned in to see this piece of soap history. Having remembered why I stopped watching the soap, the entrance of Den right at the end, and Sharon's reaction was awesome. The atmosphere was truly set, and you could feel the reaction of somebody who thought they had lost their dad for the past (X) years suddenly to come face to face with him again - you could almost cry for the poor girl!

I probably won't watch another episode for another five years, but I don't think this moment, or the emotion it packed, could or should have been missed by anybody who had ever seen Den in action all those years ago.
Spigz, England

Bit of an anticlimax. Should've had him enter the show just as Sharon was storming out of the flat after sleeping with Dennis on her way to the club. Open door, "Hello Princess" says Den, da da da da da da da da bells, and a big river with credits!
Keith Osborne, Northern Ireland

No, I didn't see the much hyped return of Den because the programme over-ran and my TiVo stopped recording at the correct time.

You'd think that in this day and age an organisation like the BBC would manage to run it's schedules on time. Most disappointed!
Derek Redpath, Scotland

As with most EastEnders episodes revolving round a big climax (that we've heard about in the press for months already) it liked to do a nice, slow "dramatic" build-up but fell short of the mark once again.

Everything just seemed overplayed and swallowed into hyperbole. But, hey, doing a Dallas and bringing back a dead character may at least make things interesting, the goings on of Patrick's new love, Martin becoming a thug and the endless stream of gangsters (yawn) may make the soap interesting again.
Marc, UK

Absolutely gripping all the way through the episode. At last EE is back!
Damo, UK

I think that it was great and well directed. I loved the idea that it was set all on one night and all about Sharon, causing a few characters to pop in and out. And because now, Dennis and Sharon are (in a way) an item, this will cause a stir with Den. I really can't wait to see what happens!
Nima Baniamer, England

Not watched EastEnders for years but had a go tonight and that bit at the end made me tingle. It was weird but I guess it worked.
Simon, England

Well we only saw him for 30 seconds or so! What a build up and I should have guessed he'd only appear at the end of the programme.

But he had a sly smile and a twinkle in his eye and it gave me a shiver down my spine just by saying "Hello Princess".

But the proof will be in the coming weeks, not the first 30 seconds of his reappearance. I hope they know what they're doing. It will either be the greatest thing or the worst ever for EastEnders. As a viewer from the start, I hope they don't insult the viewer's intelligence and knowledge. What we need now is for Michelle to come back. Come on Sue, what about it?
Jo, UK

Ask me again next week. "Hello princess" is hardly going to get an emmy! Yes, I am a fan - just in case you were wondering...
Kate, UK

Fantastic, welcome back Den!
Claire, UK

Tonight's episode was fantastic. The acting of Den and Sharon was nothing short of brilliant, and the final scene to hear the immortal words of "Hello princess" just great. The script writers should be proud of themselves and the actors should be highly praised. Thank you BBC for making Monday night a night worth staying in for.
Claire Boot, England

I've known for months that it was going to happen. We've seen teaser photos and ads on the TV and papers for weeks. His name has been mentioned a million times in the Square - I knew it was tonight, I knew it would be the last scene and I even knew it would be "Hello Princess" but did this spoil the climax to tonight's episode? NO! It has to be the biggest moment in EastEnders history. I even ended up cheering at the end!! It's too soon to judge if this is going to work and I can hardly speculate on whether he is as good as he was back in the 80s from one line. Whatever the outcome, it was great TV.
Matt, London, UK

Was it really worth the wait?
Karl Plummer, England

For me it was worth the 29 minutes of bated anticipation and Sharon's overacting eye lashes, just to hear those immortal words "Hello Princess" echo round Albert Square once more. Surely a classic TV moment for the future.
Rachel Marsh, UK

All I can say is "Thanks!" to the script writers for managing to bring back Den in such a fantastic way!! The actors all played their roles to such perfection, I had to rewatch the episode on BBC 3!! The tension was played out wonderfully, the bedroom scenes with Dennis and Sharon touching and the look on Sharon's face was, well frankly, worth the Licence Fee alone!! Welcome back Den - long live EastEnders!
Amanda O'Brien, England

I'm so excited I've been trying to find out how to fast forward myself ever since.

EastEnders is the one thing on television I allow myself to become slightly obsessional about, and can you blame me - it's genius! Well done to whoever wrote the script last night - Dirty Dennis Junior had some cracking lines which he managed to act with some feeling. Hurrah!
Alex, UK

Everyone's been talking about it - what a disappointing episode. For Den's comeback episode it is shocking that he was only in it for three seconds and said two words. This is typical of the mentality of the script-writers on EastEnders. Doom, gloom, doom, sleeping with your sister. Corrie would have put him in the first shot and he would have slept with Tracey by the end of the episode, whilst dressed as a cowboy singing "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree!"
Rachel MacTaggart, United Kingdom

Well, the Beeb knew everyone would watch regardless so they put us through one of the most boring episodes of Eastenders in a very long time. Dennis and Sharon. Ho hum. Useless Billy gets the sack. Nevermind. 8:31 Dirty Den appears. Finally! Knew I should have skipped the first 27 minutes. Still; at least we've been spared the anti-social neighbour for once.
Andrew Collins, UK

I am quite sure Den's return would have had all long term East"nders fans in the US on the edge of their seats. Unfortunately, we will not be able to see it (perhaps in four years or so on Public Broadcasting) now that BBC America has axed EastEnders from its programming schedule.
Carlos M Nash, USA

I personally think that Den's return was eclipsed by Dennis and Sharon's affair. Really, I'd have thought Den's return would have been enough for one episode...
Marco, London England

What a triumphant return! I'm sure I wasn't the only person to shed a tear last night. Well done BBC!
John L Davies, Bolton, Lancashire, UK

I am pleased to see the soap's most iconic character return, but I think the surrounding circumstances [Sharon's constant crises, and the absurd Dennis and Sharon bedroom scenes] have really spoiled what could have been a far more dramatic storyline. I think the impact of his return would have been heightened had he returned into a less melodramatic and chaotic Watts family. Now we have to wait for him to return to form, while he "sorts out" the family. Fantastic idea, poorly executed.
Steve, UK

I thought last nights episode was brill! fantastic gripping stuff and I can't wait for the next episode tonight.
Linda Tweedale, UK

I saw the episode, but I don't think you can reasonably ask if Den was "as good as you remembered" - he was only in it for about seven seconds!! Ask us again tomorrow...
Phil, England

Sharon acted her little socks off! But it was worth the quivering lips and OTT acting! Kept you on the edge of your seat, right till the "Bum....bum.....bum" at the end! Cant wait to see where they go with it this week, just a shame so much of the story has made it into the tabloids! Good Story, well thought through, no signs of the disaster that was...Bet Gilroy!
Simon, UK




SEE ALSO:
Dirty Den: Soap's most loveable villain
29 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
In Pictures: EastEnders' Dirty Den
03 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Ratings hope for Dirty Den's return
29 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Dirty Den returns to EastEnders
02 May 03  |  Entertainment


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