Take a look at the most traumatic deaths in EastEnders over the past 30 years. You know the ones that made you sob uncontrollably and contemplate going to bereavement counselling. No? Just me? Ok…
Please note that these are in no particular order. (It was far too hard to say which were sadder than others!)
1. Jamie Mitchell
First up is Jamie Mitchell, whose death on Christmas day 2010 broke the hearts of the nation.
After being mowed down by Martin Fowler, Jamie declared his true feelings for Sonia in a touching moment. Then the hospital machines started bleeping and a swarm of doctors ran in to try and save poor Jamie. Spoiler. They couldn’t.
Heartbroken Sonia then went on to marry the man who was responsible for the death of Jamie… Only in EastEnders!
2. Bradley Branning
In February 2011 we saw lovely Bradley Branning fall to his death in a live episode for the show’s anniversary.
In a nail biting scene, we saw Bradley being chased by the police who were convinced that he killed Archie Mitchell. Bradley climbed The Vic whilst Stacey and Max looked on in horror. We now know that his dramatic actions were to protect the real killer and love of his life Stacey. His last words were “Stacey, run!” before he accidentally fell.
*Cue shouting ‘Nooooo’ at the TV!*
3. Pauline Fowler
The ‘Marmite’ of Albert Square I think. Love her or hate her, Pauline Fowler’s death on Christmas Day 2006 was a sad one.
In the months before her death Pauline had fallen out with most people on the Square after they found out she lied about having a brain tumour. With her relationship with son Martin and daughter-in-law Sonia in tatters, Pauline decided to go to America to live with her daughter.
At the last minute, battle-axe Pauline decided to make peace with her family before and headed over to The Vic. However, she never got the chance as she collapsed and died as snow began to fall. Sob.
4. Nana Moon
We saw Nana Moon peacefully pass away in a heart-breaking scene in December 2005.
After being diagnosed with aortic aneurysm, Nana Moon accepts that she is going to die, as she knows she will not survive an operation.
As Christmas day approaches, we see Nana Moon spend an afternoon with grandson Alfie, who is determined to do whatever she wishes. The pair open up to each other about the situation and she tells Alfie “there’s nothing to be scared of… I’ll always be here for you”.
Just when we thought we had recovered from that upsetting line from Nana Moon, the tears started flowing when Alfie realises his beloved Nana has passed away.
He gently wrapped his arms around her and said “Not yet Nana, not yet” which brings a lump to my throat to this day.
5. Tiffany Mitchell
Next on the list is Tiffany Mitchell, who was tragically killed On New Year’s Eve 1998.
Her plan was to leave Walford and move to Spain with daughter Courtney – without husband Grant Mitchell. Cutting a long story short, Grant slept with Tiff’s mother and she was divorcing him. Then she fell down the stairs but decided to frame Grant for it. Drama. Anyway… back to NYE…
Tiffany decided to tell the police the truth about the fall before she jetted off to Spain. When she went to collect Courtney, Grant, who had just been released on bail, was already there. Uh-oh. He was not happy. He took baby Courtney and stormed out of The Vic with a hysterical Tiffany following…
Out of nowhere came a car and Tiffany was mowed down. It was dramatic. It was shocking. And when she died on the street surrounded by friends and family, it was so very sad.
6. Danielle Jones
Keeping with the ‘mowed down by a car’ theme, in 2009 viewers saw Danielle Jones die after mother Ronnie Mitchell finally realised who she was.
Before her death, Danielle informed Ronnie that she was in fact the baby that she had given up for adoption years ago, but Ronnie did not believe her. Why would she? Her father Archie told her that the baby had died. Evil, evil man.
However the moment we’d all been waiting for came in April 2009 when Ronnie realised Archie had been lying and that Danielle was her daughter. In an emotional scene, Ronnie chased after Danielle and simply said “Danielle…. Baby”. There was a brief moment of joy as Danielle realised Ronnie knew the truth, but then she was knocked down by a car and died in her mother’s arms.
7. Ethel Skinner
In September 2000 we saw original character Ethel pass away, which broke many hearts.
Ethel returned to Albert Square knowing she had terminal cancer as she wanted to die where she felt most at home. Frail Ethel had decided to take her own life before she became in too much pain, but she was unable to do so as she became too weak.
In a truly emotional scene, we saw Ethel ask best friend Dot if she would help her end her life. Initially reluctant, Dot eventually agreed to help her. And after blowing out her candles on her 85th birthday, Ethel took the pills and died peacefully in her sleep.
8. Dennis Rickman
Next on our list is the death of Dennis Rickman which many women found extra heart-breaking as they would no longer get to see his beautiful face around the Square!
On New Year’s Eve 2005, Sharon and Dennis planned to leave Walford for a new life in America. Sharon began panicking that something had happened to him, but just before midnight he arrived. Phew.
But as fireworks were set off Dennis clutched his chest and realised he has just been stabbed. Sharon raced over to him and he died in her arms. Sniff.
9. Pat Butcher
On New Year’s Day 2012, iconic character Pat Butcher died peacefully at home after a short battle with cancer.
What made it even more upsetting was that in the days before her death she made peace with son David and step-daughter Janine – who she has had pretty rocky relationships with throughout the years.
She took her final breath surrounded by her family, still wearing a pair of her famous earrings.
10. Billie Jackson
Normally with deaths in EastEnders, they happen right before an episode finishes leaving viewers hanging.
However, in October 2010, in a remarkable single episode (which was later nominated for Best Single Episode at the British Soap Awards just FYI), viewers were gripped as sister Bianca realised that Billie had died in his sleep when she could not wake him.
It was when Bianca phoned her mum Carol to get her to come home that the tears began to flow. Carol walked home in such a daze, unable to take it in. When she finally saw Billie’s body, she just stroked him and fixed his socks. So very sad.
11. Lucy Beale
Now we finally know who killed Lucy Beale (It was Bobby for those of you who have been living under a rock). But until last month we hadn’t seen it happen. And it wasn’t that scene that made it on to our list…
In April 2014 shortly after Ian has found out his daughter had been murdered, he had to tell her twin Peter what had happened. It still gives me goose bumps just thinking about it, when Peter fell to the ground shouting “Nooooooooo” when he was told the news.
Phew! Those were some sad times!