As if revealing the true culprit behind Lucy Beale’s murder and packing Dot Cotton off to prison weren’t dramatic enough, last night’s EastEnders also saw the return of a character who has been dead for nearly a decade.
Kathy Sullivan, Ian’s mother who was previously married to Phil Mitchell, tipped up in Walford last night as if she’d never been killed in a car crash all those years ago.
Played by Gillian Taylforth, Kathy was last seen on the show in 2000 and had been a regular fixture on the long-running soap since 1985.
The cafe owner was apparently killed off-screen in a road accident in late February 2006 in a storyline to facilitate the return of her son Ben to his father Phil (Steve McFadden).
But an apparently unchanged Kathy’s reappearance in Albert Square was among the storylines shrouded in secrecy by the BBC for the soap’s 30th birthday week which has seen a series of semi-live episodes and will culminate in a totally live instalment tonight.
And no sooner had she stepped out of a Taxi and into Walford were fans rewarded with a full on showdown between Kathy and her ex-husband Phil. After last night’s double episodes were watched by more than 10 million each the soap became the most-watched television programme of the year so far.
The first of two episodes broadcast last night was watched by 10.84 million with a peak of 11.9 million. While the second episode drew in an audience of 10.3 million and peaked at 11.2 million, according to ratings specialists overnights.tv.
The BBC soap also became the most-tweeted about episode ever recorded with rapt viewers sending more than a million messages about it on social network Twitter.
EastEnders Live Week
EastEnders Live Week
Kathy Beale (played by Gillian Taylforth) surprises Phil Mitchell (played by Steve McFadden) by returning to Walford, despite having been apparently killed in a car crash
Phil Mitchell (played by Steve McFadden) in confrontation with his newly returned ex-wife Kathy Beale (played by Gillian Taylforth)
Bobby Beale, 12, (played by Eliot Carrington) stands holding a music box as he is revealed to be his half-sister's killer
Kim Fox (played by Tameka Empson) goes into labour, assisted by Sonia Fowler (played by Natalie Cassidy), Tina Carter (played by Luisa Bradshaw White) and Denise Fox (played by Diane Parish)
Tanya Branning (played by Jo Joyner) has a heart-to-heart with Max Branning (played by Jake Wood)
Jane Beale (played by Laurie Brett) is shocked at what she sees
Dot Branning (played by June Brown) is driven away after confessing to the murder of her son Nick
Jane Beale (played by Laurie Bret)t tries to calm down Cindy Williams (played by Mimi Keene)
Ian Beale (played by Adam Woodyatt) holds on to the picture of his family on his doomed wedding day
Ian Beale (played by Adam Woodyatt) is stunned by Peter Beale's (played by Ben Hardy) accusations. Scene also includes Cindy Williams (played by Mimi Keene) and Jane Beale (played by Laurie Brett)
More than 30,000 tweets were published on the microblogging site in the minute after after Lucy’s killer was revealed to be her 12-year-old half brother Bobby.
The revelation brought to an end almost a year of speculation about how the 20-year-old Walford woman came to die.
In a confusing twist, young Bobby was not listed as one of the chief suspects publicised by the show in the build-up to the finale.
Internet memes comparing Bobby to the main character in The Omen, as well as a campaign to free Dot, who admitted to the murder of her son Nick, have gone viral overnight.Reuse content