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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February 2005, 12:38 GMT
EastEnders 20th birthday: Your comments
Lesley Grantham as Den
The BBC soap EastEnders celebrated its 20th anniversary this week, amid accusations that it is losing the ratings war.

The character that began the first episode in 1985, Dirty Den, was killed off to mark the anniversary.

EastEnders has pulled in millions of viewers for classic episodes including Den handing Angie divorce papers on Christmas Day, the unveiling of the "who shot Phil?" saga and Zoe Slater finding out that Kat is her mother.

What are your best and worst EastEnders scenes? Which characters would you like to see return to Albert Square? What storylines would boost ratings?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your comments:

The show needs to go back to its roots
James Lamont, Norwich
EastEnders has got into a period of stagnant storylines over the last year or so. The show needs to go back to its roots and remember what made it so popular in the first place. The show has always meant to reflect real London life, but larger-than-life gangsters, sensationalism stories beyond belief, unbelievable characters and recycled storylines are not what the viewers want rammed down their throats. We need some character development and we need to actually start caring about the characters again.
James Lamont, Norwich

The best story line for me would be the absolute demolition of Albert Square to make way for the 2012 Olympics. End of soap! Way past its sell by date!
Clive, Woking

Eastenders is now all about gangsters; a nostalgia for the Kray Twins and a wallowing in the dark underbelly of East End London. It needs to lighten up and celebrate all that is good about the human spirit rather than the base. It needs to lift itself out of the mire and depression. Add a bit of comedy perhaps?
Mr Pineapples, Dorset

Put Sharon and Dennis back together and in charge of running the Vic - the ultimate revenge on Dirty Den!!
Kath, London

I'm amazed that no-one has commented on the absurdity of the plot last night. Sharon had to fly in and get some transport into Walford, but, amazingly Chrissie had it all planned out so well that she arrived at just the right moment to hear Den's confession. Since when has transport into and around London been that reliable? This seems to be typical of the badly thought out scriptwriting characterising EastEnders lately.
David Kay, Croydon

I really thought Friday's episode was good
Pat McCurry, USA
EastEnders is getting better. I really thought Friday's episode was good. I thought Zoe would do the honours of killing Den. Even though Chrissie was the obvious choice, it was done in a way that was forgivable. Top notch!
Pat McCurry, USA

The world has moved on, time for shows like EastEnders to retire gracefully. Their time is past. There are more important things in life that TV and soap operas these days!
Susan, London, UK

Loved it last night - thought the script writing was top notch and Den and Chrissie were excellent. Keep going EastEnders, it's getting good.
Mike, Hull, UK

So Den gets killed again, how believable is that? They should kill the script writers or hide their crayons.
Paul, Leicester

I was looking forward to Friday night's episode. After all the hype, it was a bit of a let down. Come on scriptwriters, give it some clout.
Dave, Llangollen

Slap the congestion charge on Walford and then the stallkeepers can whine about a demise in trade with less traffic as well moaning about all their relatives sleeping with each other. Watching soaps turns your brains to mush - it has ruined mine!
Richard Gribbin, Dartmouth, Devon

Leave people wanting more
Nichola Feeney, Dundee
Less episodes each week, then they wouldn't have to bring in these REALLY scary tinpot gangsters to fill up the extra time. Two half hour episodes a week, that should leave people wanting more.
Nichola Feeney, Dundee, Scotland

I can't see as a 12-year-old why the ratings are falling but some of the storylines are obvious and you can guess what is going to happen. EastEnders has got me interested in actors like Shane Richie, Leslie Grantham, Jessie Wallace - people like these are an inspiration. People like June Brown are also a inspiration to people who have no hope and are lonely in their lives (oldish people, no offence June).
Robin Shaw, Diss, England

Although I'm a big fan of EastEnders I have to say I was thoroughly disappointed with the 20th anniversary special. Though there were some satisfying scenes in the Vic between the classic characters, I'd be embarrassed to class this as the 20th anniversary special. No real fights, no fires, no explosions, no big revelations, just an average storyline for what seemed an average episode. They could have given Den a more fitting ending, they could have tried.
Ben Wilson, Notitngham, England

Bring back Lofty and 'Shell'.
James D , Birmingham, UK

I watched EastEnders last night, it was a great way of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show. Very dark and tense. The ending was good. Good acting from the leading actors including Tracy Ann Oberman and Michelle Ryan. Let's make way for the next 20 years at EastEnders and hope it lasts.
John Ledward, Stafford, England

We all know this is what London's really like
Parry Aflab, New York, NY, USA
What I like about it is that it's so realistic. I'm sure lots of Americans would agree - good ole London Town with latter-day Jack the Rippers, the good ole pub etc. We all know this is what London's really like.
Parry Aflab, New York, NY, USA

If Star Trek's biggest star can die twice, so can EastEnders'. Of course the further betrayal and eventual trial will be spun out for the rest of the year, I'm sure. Good episode. Now back to real life.
Ken, London, UK

What should actually happen to the soap is an explosion in the Queen Vic killing off most of the cast. The square and its environs is redeveloped and a series of trendy media types move in, which is far more realistic. Eastenders no longer live in the East End - they've all moved out to Essex.
A Larter, London, UK

What I want to know, is whatever happened to Ethel's Little Willie?
Bill, Worthing, UK

Bring Angie back as a poltergeist
Tim, Pennar, Wales
Ethel's "Little Willie" could act better than a lot of the cast today. Instead of Den coming back as a ghost they should bring Angie back as a poltergeist. The best actress in the show now is Chrissie who can rival charity in Emmerdale or Tracy in Coronation Street.
Tim, Pennar, Wales

I am not making comments about the soap, it is about the comments on here - I find it hilarious that everyone takes it soo seriously!! Some comments have really made me laugh today. Thanks Eastenders fans, I have not laughed soo much in ages.
Hollis, Bristol

Have the Olympic inspection team realising that there were two murders in one east end borough in 10 minutes, and run back to their HQ screaming "No Olympics for London".
Robert John, Carmathen

Maybe Corrie and EE should link up? That would be fun wouldn't it?!?
Mimi, London

I love EastEnders, but they drag out the episodes for so long! I think the Mitchells should claim what is theirs, a couple more gays or transsexuals should join, and I think Sam should tell Zoe that Chrissie killed Den, not her. Phil rules!
Abigail (age 13), Pinner, Middlesex

Who believes that a top gangster lives in a two-up two-down in Albert Square?
Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth
Where can I download this episode? I began watching it, but missed the last 45 minutes! Get rid of the "unsuccessful" gangsters. Who believes that a top gangster lives in a two-up two-down in Albert Square? I agree though, humour is what is needed, East End humour. And to Abigail (aged 13) in Pinner, absolutely!
Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth, UK

I think Kat should come back to be with Alfie with her baby. I think EastEnders should take a more moral role where i.e. the kids become pop singers or open up their own businesses and become role models to viewer, a positive approach and cast would be much more realistic and not so depressing to watch. Stacey should get into trouble with the police as a result of her thieving tendencies.
Amy, Surrey

EastEnders is doing well at the moment. I really don't think you should have Andy dead permanently now. He was by far the best character, and probably the best actor, I have ever seen in any soap. We didn't actually witness him dying so I hope you intend to bring him back at some point in the future, maybe with a robotic arm after his accident.
Richard, London

Some of the present characters are very one dimensional
Marianne, Newton Abbot, Devon

Don't bring old cast members back - it never works. Get rid of the gangsters. It needs more humour and deeper characters, so that we can get to know them and like them. Some of the present characters are very one dimensional.
Marianne, Newton Abbot, Devon

If only people could get to seriously know the cast over a period more than six months I am sure they would actually care about them
Joe, Norwich

The best thing they could do with the series in my view is not to kill anyone or bring anyone back. If only people could get to seriously know the cast over a period more than six months I am sure they would actually care about them.
Joe, Norwich

I think EastEnders is very unrealistic to many gangster long dragging scenes not enough happy or realistic scenes. Also Alfie's character started out good and happy but he has just got depressed like everyone else in the square.
Stephanie, London

I bet... Chrissie is pregnant with Den's baby, and she is going to feel really bad about what she's done. Alfie will have an affair with his sister in law, little Mo, and Kat will be back to take it all in her face. Stop! Please stop making everybody sleep with everybody, it is really disgusting! Still if you haven't got any choice about it because of the rating matter, could you, at least, bring in new gorgeous actors.
Cécile, Bucks, England

The one hour kill Den special is on in the other room as I write this. According to my wife, it is every bit as depressing as usual. Given a choice between watching EastEnders and hammering blunt nails into concrete using only my forehead, I find myself searching for the DIY supplies!
John, England

The writers and production team should look forward, not back
Kirsty, UK

Dot should turn out to be Den's mother. She always knew, but never told him. That's why she's so fond of Dennis. I think bringing back Grant and Phil is a huge mistake. The writers and production team should look forward, not back. New interesting characters and engaging storylines are needed.
Kirsty, UK

I'm loving it at the moment! I think Kat should definitely come back (once she's ready of course). Alfie needs some good in his life!
Anna, Wallington, Surrey

Why can't you bring back Kat? I adored her and this business with Alfie is unfair and cruel. She was a role model for all us girls who aren't stick thin, and I loved her. Bring her back!
Lee, Essex, England

A plane crash like they had in Emmerdale a few years back. Fantastic story line and really believable given the crowded skies over London.
Neil Smith, York, UK

What's the idea of having all these people from the past? It won't bring back the viewers of the past! Plus the storylines that are happening are just too stupid and unbelievable.
Chris Swadling, United Kingdom

Stop making EastEnders like a gangster drama and insert some humour
Chris, Nottingham

Stop making EastEnders like a gangster drama and insert some humour. There's nothing wrong with a harmless rogue and a few fisticuffs but Walfords not exactly home to the Godfather. Get Alfie back in the Vic and put a bit more emphasis on the older characters. Bring back the Phil and Grant and the dark humour that makes EastEnders so great.
Chris, Nottingham

They need to bring EastEnders back to two episodes a week. Since there have been four episodes, the story lines are stretched and dreary. More happiness is needed and more excitement. Bring back Phil, Grant and Peggy. It also needs another Cindy.
Laura Taylor, Leighton Buzzard, UK

It seems that everyone thinks that EastEnders is depressing, unrealistic and full of gangsters. I actually have to agree. The story lines in other soaps always seem to be fun, uplifting and a pleasure to watch compared to EastEnders. EastEnders need the introduction of some new imaginative writers that aren't afraid to be creative.
Robert, UK

I used to watch EastEnders regularly but these days it's just too miserable. Whenever something good happens to someone you can't enjoy it because you know that something horrible is waiting for them just around the next bend. That's not real life. People usually can manage to be happy for longer than five minutes at a time. Also more humour needed. Take a leaf out of Corrie's book.
Sue, Edinburgh

Alfie and Kat get back together - that would be great and Johnny and Pat get it together too with a few nasty incidents thrown in...
Julie Hankinson, UK

Resurrect the lovely Barry; make Patrick take his hat off; find Pauline a love interest
Vicki, Manchester, England
Why don't they let somebody have a happy relationship for once? Everyone was waiting for Kat and Alfie to get together, Billy and Little Mo, Sonia and Jamie and something always has to go wrong. Just for once, let a relationship work out! The Martin/Sonia and the scary stalker was great; who shot Phil Mitchell also great but I'm waiting to see how this Dirty Den murder pans out, hope it isn't a copycat! Get rid of Pat's stupid earrings; resurrect the lovely Barry; make Patrick take his hat off; find Pauline a love interest; bring back delicious Dennis and please get Kat and Alfie back together and happy this time!!
Vicki, Manchester, England

I have been an avid fan of EastEnders since it began 20 years ago, but recently I have stopped watching because the Dirty Den/Zoe storyline made me feel sick! Glad he's going tonight, I might start to watch it again if it improves.
Lee, Buckinghamshire

How about getting on the interactive TV bandwagon? An SMS vote at the end of each week where the public decides what happens in a crucial cliff-hanger. "Who shot Phil?" Vote now!" That way, the series would always go the way the public wants it to.
Dan, Cambridge, UK

Endless scenes with Dennis Rickman
Rachel, Manchester
Endless scenes with Dennis Rickman, ideally with his top off.
Rachel, Manchester

Bring back Nick Cotton as a changed man who has converted to Buddhism and vegetarianism and who is doing a course in social work.
Ciaran, London

Bring back Angie Watts!
Simon Outten, Vancouver, Canada

Surely the solution to the Beeb's conundrum would be a televised version of that ever-popular soap, the Archers.
Alex, London

EastEnders is well due for a French character! Now that would bring some humour to the show. There are plenty of French people in London. The show is not realistic at all with its lack of real foreigners! A French Man for EastEnders!
Francois, London, England

Why not run a spin off show about a renegade elite vigilante outfit
Tedd Maul, Stoke, England
Why not run a spin off show about a renegade elite vigilante outfit like they A-team. Charlie could play Hannibal's character, Alfie could play Face, Pat could play Mr T and you could bring back Peggy to play the role of Murdoch. They could all drive around in Charlie's taxi and clean up the east end. Starting with Andy.
Tedd Maul, Stoke, England

How about Mr. Blobby moving in above the caff, as part of a witness protection programme scheme ...?
John, Norwich

Bring back Nasty Nick to stir everyone up! After Den's demise, Andy looks set to inject nastiness in his place, but both characters lack Nick's pantomime quality and alienate the audience by being over calculating in pursuit of their villainy.
A Sellar, Edinburgh, UK

Please, please, please let things work out for Ian and Jane and the twins. I know the failed marriages are mainly down to him but I would love to see him truly happy with his lot.
Carol Ashton, Ealing, UK

It is too depressing and has far too many gangster plots to be remotely plausible
Maxine Gunner, Southampton
I would like to see some happy plotlines, ones that will last! I have stopped watching EastEnders as it is too depressing and has far too many gangster plots to be remotely plausible. Let's get back to reality here folks and something to watch that's enjoyable.
Maxine Gunner, Southampton, England

Sack the whole cast and start a new soap called DeadEnders, featuring all the dead characters from EastEnders past and maybe other soaps! I'd watch!
Fi, Birmingham

Bring back Grant to sort out all of Sam's issues. That should provide some good viewing for a few weeks at least.
Daniel Jones, Cambridgeshire

Maybe all the 'gangsters' could have their own spin-off cartoon series. They are like the Ant Hill mob from the Wacky Races anyway.
Michael Pryce, Brighton, UK

Do a swap with The Bill. EastEnders is more second rate crime drama than soap opera now and vice versa.
Brendan, London

Introduce an Indian family where two of the sons live at home with their wives
Monica, London
How about introducing an Indian family that actually behaves as though they're Indian. I'm glad the Ferrarias are going they have to be the most unlikely Indian family ever, although the actors were good. You just have to introduce an Indian family where say two of the sons live at home with their wives, and just introduce some friction between the mother in law (who is controlling and dominant), and her daughter in laws (who are modern and attractive) who had arranged marriages. Throw in the father in law who is a gambler and alcoholic and hey presto you have some 'real-life' story-lines. (Actually quite similar to some people I know!). Also the BBC would be performing a public service for young Asian women who have control-freaks for their mother in laws; as they can point out to their husband's similar behaviours between their mother in law and the telly characters, thereby eliciting some understanding/sympathy from their husbands.
Monica, London

They should stop introducing characters as big families - a technique they've used with the Jacksons, the Slaters and the DiMarcos. It doesn't work. They should get some new sets. A proper restaurant with a proper chef, several trainee/sous chefs, waiting staff - none of them related, all of them working in a hot, emotive environment. Think, too, about the regeneration of the area (Olympic bid etc) - people moving in, doing up houses, attracting buyers with proper jobs (i.e. not on the market or in the caff), and lives that occasionally take place beyond the square.
Rob, Buckingham, UK

EastEnders should cover issues that effect us and are products of our time for instance debt, date rape, binge drinking etc
Jayne Swinburne, Consett, England

Introduce a group of students and or humorous posh squatters.
Geoff, UK

The whole of Walford being turned into the London 2012 Olympic Park
Eve Henley-Spredd, Cheltenham
How about the whole area being re-zoned, compulsory purchase orders slapped on every building and the whole of Walford being turned into the London 2012 Olympic Park? Any threat of ending the series would bring viewers back... perhaps.
Eve Henley-Spredd, Cheltenham

Kat and Alfie back together and happy please. Sonia becomes a successful nurse and then qualifies for subsidised housing. Chrissie runs the hairdressers and has a baby
Anita, Chislehurst, Kent

If they are after new storylines, how about something cheerful, or, failing that maybe even something believable. It would certainly make a change.
Ian, Merseyside

I gave up on East Enders years ago. It's hardly a good advert for London, depressing, violent and politically correct. Not exactly entertaining.
T Newman, Bournemouth UK

Allow the incredibly good veteran actors, such as Pam St Clement and Ian Lavender, to carry the storylines
Samuel Keates, Thurrock, Essex
If EastEnders really wanted to boost their viewing figures, the only way to do so is to allow the incredibly good veteran actors, such as Pam St Clement and Ian Lavender, to help carry the storylines the involve others. Their talents would lend themselves very well to passing the torch, if not being involved in their own storylines.
Samuel Keates, Thurrock, Essex

I am only 20 and I love the show, but lately the story lines have really made me loose interest, I think the best thing that can be done is bring back the Mitchell family to rule the square!!
Scott English, Peterborough, UK

Lofty should come back and reveal that he is in fact Vicki's father after all!
Pete, Abbots Langley, UK

Bring back Kat and heal the rift with Alfie
Natalie, Bristol, UK
Bring back Kat and heal the rift with Alfie. And work things out between Little Mo and Billy. Why does everything good always have to end up going bad in EastEnders? Sometimes it's far too depressing to watch. My favourite episodes ever were the ones between Kat and Zoe when she found out Kat was her mother - very emotional.
Natalie, Bristol, UK

I'd like some happy storylines that last a bit longer, and are not doomed to failure every single time. I'm fed up with all these wannabe gangsters, hard men, liars, bimbos, philanderers, and immoral fools stringing a story along by simply hiding the truth or lying to each other. Maybe something a little more realistic? A politician or councillor proposing Albert Square as an Olympic training ground, or a new east end airport perhaps? Some people working together for a common end other than killing someone off?
Robin, London

It transpires that all of the inhabitants of Albert Square are related to Danny Baldwin from Coronation St
Paul Moore, Glasgow
It transpires that all of the inhabitants of Albert Square are related to Danny Baldwin from Coronation St. They decide to visit him en masse, but the bus breaks down just outside Manchester. Cue "fish out of water" cockney geezer / gangster misunderstandings, fights, romances, long lost kids, cups of tea, faaaaamily, for the best, etc, as the whole cast settle down in their new home!
Paul Moore, Glasgow

Frank Butcher - we need him. We could easily lose the Millers and feel no pain. Maybe Janine should come back and see them off.
Paula Taylor, Los Angeles, USA

How about this for a novel story line - someone buys a washing machine!
Aidy, UK

I think the best thing EastEnders could do is drop back to two episodes a week in order not to spread their storylines so thinly. That way it might get back to being the good drama it was in the late 80s and early 90s rather than the sensationalist rubbish it has become.
Bill, London, UK

How about an accidental spillage of anti-depressants into the tap water
James Snowsill, Woodford, UK
How about an accidental spillage of anti-depressants into the tap water of the East end which suddenly cheers the lot of them up. Maybe then I'll watch it.
James Snowsill, Woodford, UK






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