(Written for Beamly)
Seen as though everybody’s talking about Christmas already, let’s take a look at 12 of the best Christmas story lines ever. Unfortunately, I don’t have any happy stories to tell, but there’s been a lot of tears, tragedies, explosions, and deaths, over the years. Let’s hope that this year brings some better Christmas spirit, not that we don’t love a shocking Whodunit over the festive period.
1. Tiffany’s Death
1998 saw one of the most memorable deaths in Eastenders as Martine McCutcheon’s Tiffany Mitchell was killed under the wheels of Frank Butcher’s car just outside of The Vic on New Year’s Eve. It was a sad moment as Tiffany had just found out about husband Grant’s affair with her own mother, after he had told her that she was leaving with their daughter, Courtney. Running into the street to get her daughter back, Tiffany was tragically run over and later died in hospital from a blood clot.
2. Jamie’s Death
The death of Jamie Mitchell is one of the most memorable Christmas story line, for me. I remember my whole family sat around the TV in 2002, frantically waiting to see if he would survive. In the arms of his on-off fiancee Sonia, Jamie died from spleen damage after being accidentally run over by Martin.
3. Pauline’s Death
Another big Christmas death in Eastenders was that of Pauline Fowler in 2006. Beginning another never-ending murder plot, Pauline collapsed under the Square’s Christmas tree, next to her Arthur’s bench. The cause of death was a brain haemorrhage, but the question of who caused the haemorrhage went on.
4. Den and Angie’s Divorce
A classic Christmas soap moment, which holds the record for the biggest Christmas TV audience of all time, totalling 30.5 million people, comes from 1986 when alcoholic wife Angie is served her divorce papers by philandering Vic landlord Dirty Den, after she tries to con him into believing that she has an incurable illness. “Happy Christmas, Ange.”
5. Claire’s Murder Plot
2006 was a year when we still cared about crazy Claire’s plans in Hollyoaks. This was the Christmas she tried to enact the most far-fetched murder plot imaginable. After manipulating husband Max into taking cocaine, she threw his little brother Tom’s coat into an icy lake in hope that Max would jump in to rescue him. Obviously, she put a lot of thought into how she would kill off Max, but her plan didn’t quite work.
6. Richard Hillman Doesn’t Kill Emily Bishop
I guess this is the happiest Christmas story I have to share, as serial killer Richard Hillman only NEARLY killed pensioner Emily Bishop in 2003. It’s surprising that Emily is still alive and kicking in Corrie, but this is the closest she has come to her demise. Richard thought about bringing her life to an end as he hovered over her with a pillow but, in the end, he didn’t go through with it.
7. Emmerdale plane crash
One of Emmerdale’s biggest story lines, and one of soap’s most memorable disaster stories, is from Emmerdale’s plane crash in 1993. The crash killed four regular characters – Mark Hughes, Elizabeth Pollard, Archie Brooks, and Leonard Kempinski – and led to the onscreen renaming of Beckindale to Emmerdale. The story also gave Emmerdale its highest ever viewing figures of 16 million.
8. Emmerdale’s Freak Storm
Ten years on from the plane crash, in 2003, Emmerdale saw a freak storm hit the village on New Years Eve. The storm led to The Woolpack collapsing, consequently killing Tricia Dingle. Her death came just after her decision to forgive husband Marlon for having a one night stand with his cousin, Charity, but upon reaching The Woolpack, lightning struck an oak tree which caused Tricia to trip. After another bolt hit the roof of The Woolpack causing the roof to collapse and the chimney to fall through, the wall of the pub collapsed onto a helpless Tricia below.
9. Little Mo Hits Back
Well here’s a story we can be comforted by… sort of. In New Years 2001, Little Mo finally hit back at her abusive husband Trevor, as she hit him repeatedly with an iron. The hit-back came after Trevor covered her face with gravy on Christmas Day, so we were all thrilled to see Little Mo fight back. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to kill him off, but Trevor would come to his demise not long after.
10. Max and Stacey’s Affair Is Revealed
Max Branning has always been a bad boy. In 2007, his affair with son Bradley’s wife Stacey was revealed at the family festivities, when a DVD called The Happy Couple was shown. It was an affair that broke up two marriages, but Max didn’t learn his lesson and can still be found meddling in people’s love lives today.
11. Archie Mitchell Whodunit?
2009 saw one of Eastenders best whodunnit story lines with the death of the soap’s most evil villain, Archie Mitchell, as he was bludgeoned to death with the Queen Vic bust on Christmas Day. And there was a long queue of suspects, but he was a nasty man that deserved what was coming to him.
12. Eastenders B&B Fire
Eastenders seems to have the best Christmas story lines, so we’ll end with another. In 2011, EastEnders’ Masood found himself in danger as he attempted to save his family from the evil Yusef. Yusef’s plans to seek revenge on Masood concluded with him setting fire to the B&B in an attempt to kill his arch-rival, but the rest of the family didn’t stand by and watch. Instead, they rushed inside to help save Masood and extinguish the blaze, putting the whole family in a life-threatening situation.