Page last updated at 20:15 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

EastEnders hails black landmark

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An excerpt from the programme

EastEnders has aired the first episode featuring an entirely black cast in its 23-year history.

Tuesday's programme focused entirely on characters Patrick Trueman, Denise Wicks, fiance Lucas, and her daughters Chelsea and Libby.

Patrick reminisced about London in the 1950s after his arrival from the Caribbean in the episode.

The action was set chiefly in his house, which is also the home of the other characters.

Racism

The family discussed history around the dinner table as they marked Shrove Tuesday, and it was revealed that Patrick (played by Rudolph Walker) was involved in the 1958 Notting Hill riots.

He then went on to discuss what it was like living as a black man in 1950s Britain and the racism he had to contend with.

When the group decides the UK is a less racist place to live, Chelsea questions this, saying it still exists but in a less obvious guise.

Patrick Trueman, currently separated from his wife Yolande, first appeared on the programme in 2001.

Denise and her daughters have been in the show for three years and involved in a series of high-profile storylines.

It was once thought that Patrick was Denise's long lost father, but this was proved not to be the case.

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