Letters From London
Humorous Views on London Culture, Royals, Gossip and Politics
Duff Duff - 20 February 2010

DUFF DUFF          20/02/10
A year in the planning, 10 possible endings, 51 terrified cast members, 16 props people, 12
wardrobe staff, 13 make-up artists, 36 camera operators (rather than the usual 4) to capture
more than 400 shots, 4.6 miles of cable, one read-through, two full dress rehearsals, three days
of rehearsals plus a technical rehearsal, 3 golf buggies to transport the cast between the sets,
and 8 people sworn to secrecy if they wanted to keep their children for 30 minutes of live TV.

It was the live 25th anniversary of EastEnders of course. 16.4 million tuned in to BBC’s homage
to film verite to
finally (thank you for putting us out of our collective misery) learn who
bludgeoned the evil Archie; the ultimate duff duff moment.

I didn’t bet because I kept flipping from one to another to another and back to the original
murderer without any sense of satisfaction or reality: Peggy…no, Ronnie…no, Janine…no,
Ian…no. I had no idea. Evidently, nobody else did either. Bookmakers were predicting £1m but
may have taken half that amount in bets.

Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) was a favourite at 4/7, despite the fact  that he left the show a year
ago to find fame and fortune in LA. Jack and Peggy were sure bets at 9/11. We had 24 cast
members to choose from – but the bookies liked Sean best. Gordon (Brown) did it. Seriously,
who else is that angry? …anger being one of the ‘hints’ given by the executive producer,
Diederick Santer. Now that we know the details of his infamous temper; throwing mobiles,
papers, chairs, people.

The cast members were walking around talking to themselves: “It’s me – I know it’s me. I killed
Archie and I’m off the show.” “No. It’s me. Last hired, first fired.” “It’s surely me. All these former
EastEnders actors returning after years…and with those cutbacks….”

It was pure Miss Marple. It was Mo in the Vic with the bust of Queen Victoria. So many gaffes
and glitches or were they red herrings…. Shaky camera work, renaming characters - Stacey
shouting “Charlie!” rather than Bradley, Peggy calling Janine ‘June’ - Max sticking his finger down
his throat, Bradley’s finger moving after he was dead, the actress who plays Stacey had severe
laryngitis and flu – or did she? Why didn’t Bradley and Stacey take the cab – anywhere – and
ring Max to have him bring their passports? They could have been off on their honeymoon?
Innocent enough.

Well worth the hype and the wait. But we will miss Bradley and his naff jumpers.