1st episode of Eastenders

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1st episode of Eastenders

The 19th of February 1985 AD

Planned since at least 1983, the BBC's answer to Coronation Street (and borrowing the idea of the local pub - The Queen Vic as opposed to The Rovers Return - as a useful forum from that soap) finally aired on February 19 1985, much hyped beforehand.
The series was originally crafted by producer Julia Smith and script editor Tony Holland who had worked on the classic police series Z cars.
The theme music played, opening titles with the Thames mapped out rolled, and the first 30 minute episode Murder in Albert Square played to a fascinated audience which soon became ensnared by the goings on in the fictional Walford.
Characters have come and gone since then, with only Adam Woodyatt who plays Ian Beale an ever present. Already established British TV stalwart Wendy Richard featured in the programme for 20 years, but it also made the careers of plenty of others like Leslie Grantham and Anita Dobson.
The discovery in the first show of the dying Reg Cox set the tone for the series, now well beyond the 3000th episode, with regular murders, accidents and fights featuring to the delight of its fans. It is thought that there will be a joke in the 5,000th episode.

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Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through - Jonathan Swift
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On this day:
Battle of Towton - 1461, Battle of Alresford - 1644, Albert Hall Opens - 1871, Captain Scott dies - 1912, First London Marathon - 1981
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