From taxi ride to cliff plunge and from car explosion to a rake in the neck, the most memorable exits from Walford are recalled, including the greatest exit of all time.
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The least sentence that I can impose is three years. Take her down.
So the latest in a long line of much-loved characters has bid farewell to Albert Square.
Following in one of the finest traditions
of tear-jerking departures, explosive exits and tragic endings on British television.
And tonight we're going to look back at some of the most memorable exits of all time.
Walford. Why would anyone want to leave?
It's beyond me, but they do, and in their hundreds.
From cabs to catastrophes - we salute Albert Square's dearly departed,
culminating in our block-busting Top Five Exits of all time.
First though, we're going to spend the next 90 minutes enjoying a who's who of Walford's greatest goodbyes.
You're lucky to be alive.
But what's the best way to make your departure?
There've been so many ways over the years.
There's the obvious going in the back of a taxi.
Best way to leave any soap is death.
-You can get shot.
-Thrown down a cliff.
-You need a bit of a bang.
Falling against a rake.
-People going to prison.
-Four bunches of daffodils.
The British public you know what they're like, they love a few deaths.
If you get the exit right a character can live on and be much more memorable.
-It's got to be something highly dramatic or it's not really worth it.
We often refer to the characters as family silver.
We don't want to be too hasty in killing them off.
What you're trying to do in an exit is make that last scene
as moving as possible.
Let's go, Mrs Moon.
And if you're really lucky, you'll get the special prize of a Julia's Theme.
Where they play that tinkly piano.
It goes a little bit like this. PIANO PLAYS
That bit of music there.
So what exactly is a Julia's theme?
It's a kind of melancholy state of new acceptance.
The world has changed and something has been lost but knowledge has been gained in a bittersweet way.
So let's begin our quest to find the finest departures on offer
with what some people might consider the best way -
going out with a bang.
If your brains were dynamite you wouldn't have enough to blow your hats off.
Ah, EastEnders, it's such a blast!
My favourite exits from EastEnders have always got to be the explosions.
There's a massive heat forcing, expanding.
And creating a blast.
It doesn't get bigger than an explosion, does it?
For our first explosive exit we're going back to 2008 and medic slash maniac, Dr May Wright.
Crazy May had been after Dawn and her baby, Summer.
I'm her mummy now.
She was nuts. She was a crazy lady.
-She should have been locked up at birth.
-I want my baby!
So when she paid them both an unannounced house visit,
there was only one man who stood in her way.
I promise, nothing's going to happen to you or Summer.
'Yeah! Go on, Mickey!'
THUD AND MICKEY GROANS
'Well, at least he tried.'
Dr May huffed and puffed but still couldn't break the door down.
-Give it up, you mad cow!
-Realising her baby-snatching days were over,
Dr May made her way downstairs, turned the oven up to gas mark 9
and indulged in a cheeky ciggie.
It just shows you how dangerous smoking is...
Kids, if you're watching.
Our next explosive exit could've been a simple story of bad guy Trevor Morgan going up in flames,
until fireman Tom Banks went and played the hero.
A fatal EastEnders mistake.
-Whilst Tom spent a romantic evening with Sharon...
-I love you.
Trevor was wooing Little Mo in his own inimitable style.
Do you remember what I said I'd do to you if you ever went with somebody else?
You said you'd kill me.
What a charmer. But Little Mo had had enough and called his bluff.
You're a sad, pathetic, little man -
I don't know why I was ever frightened of you!
Our hero, Tom, had only been on the scene for minutes, when the first of tonight's exit alerts was triggered.
That's the moment where we're given a quite unsubtle hint that somebody's about to make their exit.
-'Firstly Sharon told him...'
-I love you.
'As he plunged head first into the blaze.
'Then Roy Evans sealed his fate by giving him the all clear.'
It's all right, love. The worst is over.
Bad call, Roy, this baby's about to blow.
We live to fight another day, huh?
And what a great line to end it on... No, you don't.
That is a bummer, isn't it? You go and save Trevor of all people,
the most hateful character in the Square for several years,
and get killed.
Yes, this was a great value two-for-one exit. Double the misery, double the fun.
Our most memorable explosive exit takes us back to 2002
and the story of the showdown between two of the baddest men to ever grace Albert Square.
They were destined to hate each other eternally.
Or what, ey?
They locked horns so many times.
Steve and Phil's rivalry was born out of greed, envy and frilly shirts?!
I actually really hated Spandau Ballet and their frilly shirts.
Musical differences aside, this is how it went down. Steve had been a naughty boy.
You did an armed robbery, Steve!
-I had no choice.
-And Phil grassed him up to the mob.
So the mob were after Steve.
-But Steve had a plan.
-I'm going to bring the car round, pack our bags and we go.
-'To take his sweetheart Mel.'
-Are you going to come?
Phil's girlfriend, Lisa.
Stay here and let your girl grow up to be a Mitchell, that's up to you.
And his beloved baby Louise to start a new life in America.
-Whilst all along having a bit on the side with Phil's sister, Sam.
-You want to fill me up?
It wasn't long before Phil found out about Steve's plan.
-Billy! Where is he!
-He's gone to Jimmy Diamond.
Cue the car chase!
There was an amazing car chase through the East End of London.
And I thought that the way we did it in the end,
Steve's whole exit was very filmic.
It wasn't at all like an EastEnders episode.
It was much more like the way that I would shoot an independent British film,
With Steve trapped inside the burning wreck, Phil dived in to save baby Louise.
But would he go back for his old mucker Steve?
There's an opportunity for Phil to go back to the car to get Steve out...
Phil, the door's stuck!
I think he was going to go back and save him but he didn't get the chance.
Phil, the door's stuck - get me out.
He was inside the car, so you've got that tortured...
final moments and quite a grisly ending.
But the stunt was great. That car spinning over...
I felt the heat of that explosion.
I felt it, it was there, it was real.
Steve Owen was a kind of alpha bad boy.
To be burned alive feels like a compelling way for him to go out.
If you're going to go, you might as well go with a bang.
Certainly true but you don't necessarily need big explosions to enter our exits Hall of Fame.
The residents of Albert Square can be accident-prone.
-You don't know what you're missing...
-They've spun, tripped...
fallen, tumbled, tripped again,
slipped, been whacked,
wobbled, stumbled and for our final trick,
fallen headfirst into a birthday cake. How do you pull that one off, Phil?
Just like that.
And some accidents have been more serious than others.
Here's June to talk you through our first accidental exit, and play 'Exits Word Bingo'!
-There was that struggle.
I can't! Only God can do that.
Jim came in to save Dot and in the melee, the scuffle...
..Joe fell out of the window.
I shouldn't laugh about all these sad exits.
Next up, probably Walford's most-bizarre exit ever.
-Death by rake.
-Death by rake.
It sound's like an 18th century tragedy, doesn't it? Death by rake.
This shocking shed-based exit sees Lucas finally get rid of ex-wife and all-round pain-in-the-neck, Trina.
That's very good what you did there. Leave me alone!
She attempts to get some kind of romantic, sexual connection
-with him in the garden shed.
He pushed her
and there was an unfortunately positioned rake just there.
That had gone in pretty deep.
It was the noise that you'd make from pulling your finger out of a melon.
Ooh, didn't see that coming,
but who would?
It's one of the most surprising deaths and certainly one of the most inventive deaths.
Our next casualty of an accidental death comes from 2004 and the exit of Laura Beale.
Because they said it was going to be a domestic accident
I spent quite a lot of time thinking about what it could possibly be.
Maybe she drops her hair straightness in the bath,
or something really ridiculous, death by electrocution?
Laura had been feuding with surprise, surprise, Janine Butcher, over the attentions of...Ian Beale?
I thought she was going to kill me.
Our exit alarm bell began to ring when instead of calling Ian to tell him he was the father of her baby,
-she decided to write a letter.
-My intention was to tell Ian that the baby was actually his.
And with one fatal ring of the doorbell, Laura made a quick exit.
Laura's death is a warning to all mothers out there -
when going down the stairs always watch out for a children's random toys on wheels.
So it was left to Pat to find poor Laura's lifeless body.
Laura? No! Laura!
Time now to look at the most iconic way of leaving the Square
with your life still intact, the good old London black cab.
Many of EastEnders' greatest characters
have left in the back of a cab.
Go on, driver, double-speed to the airport.
But for our stars, is being given the taxi exit a slap on the back, or a kick in the teeth?
I think any person working on EastEnders after a certain period
of time would be slightly upset if they picked the script up
and is said "exits in taxi after waving goodbye."
East Road, please.
The taxi is the one everyone wants to avoid.
I don't need you in my life, Phil.
-The problem is it's been used so many times
it's getting a bit tedious and whenever anyone is leaving
everyone says "They can't leave in a cab."
Leaving by taxi is better than a bus.
But it's not that much better, is it, let's be honest?
But perfecting this exit isn't as easy as it looks.
It's very hard to shoot a black cab travelling down
about five yards of road and make it look iconic and extraordinary.
It's really hard to make that work.
What are the taxi exit rules?
-You've got to learn to do the wave.
-There's the crying.
The lingering lookout the back of the window.
The inside shot, the look around the square.
The iconic crane shot is what makes it.
So maybe this exit just reflects the mundane realities of life.
It can't always be "he died while bungee-jumping,"
"tragic water ski accident, skiing snowboarding accident,
"cable-car disaster," they can't do that.
A lot of the time in real life people do wave goodbye in taxis.
Or maybe it's down to plain old practicality.
Time for the voice of reason...
You can't really go on the tube carting three or four suitcases,
so you have to take a taxi.
But in the land of the black taxi exit, one woman reigns supreme.
Hi, I need a cab.
-'Not again, what time?'
Yes, that's right, it's Sharon Watts.
On Christmas day 1994, after an argument with Grant...
You make me sick.
She left in a black taxi. A year later Grant tried to propose...
And she left in another very conveniently parked taxi.
Fast forward to a classic Christmas Watts family tear-up, I bet you can't guess what happens?
-Sharon and brother-turned-lover Dennis were planning to run away together.
The only problem being that Dennis was shacked up with Zoe Slater.
Time for a Watts family Christmas lunch to remember.
-This should be fun!
-What do you keep looking at each other for?
-Don't say it.
-We're in love and we have been for a very long time.
Cue the fireworks!
Even Den's wife, Chrissy, got into the festive spirit.
For once in your selfish, miserable lives
could you not have waited until after dinner?!
-But wily old fox Den had a cunning plan.
-Lie to him.
Tell him you're pregnant.
I think Den was evil insisting that she say to Dennis trap him,
tell him you're pregnant and forcing Dennis's hand.
Dennis, we're having a baby.
She's pregnant with your child.
I'm staying here with you.
And so Dennis stayed put.
But for Sharon it was time to make another dramatic taxi departure.
And it was far from her last, as we'll be finding out later.
So far in our look through the best exits Eastenders has to offer,
we've seen an explosive car, an explosive Christmas lunch
and a little bit of death by rake.
-And still to come - we've got all of this...
And we find out who's made our Top Five Greatest Exits of all time.
If you want to get out of Albert Square and you're not weighed down
by too much luggage, maybe just a stolen road sign, why not catch the tube?
-'Just ask the Slaters.'
Their preferred mode of transport appears to be a London Underground, Walford East.
Yes, they love making a scene down at the tube station.
Here's how you exit Slater-style.
1) Make your way to Walford East station.
2) Inform no-one of your departure to make sure your loved ones come running.
3) Stage a dramatic goodbye scene.
I forgot to give you this.
I love you too, Dad.
4) Remember - no begging on the underground.
-There is a wonderful, beautiful life just waiting for us.
5) And lastly, don't forget to have one final look back, before you make your exit.
But for our favourite train departure we're going back to 1999
for the tear-jerking exit that gave a platform
to one of Britain's favourite soap couples.
I think Bianca's exit had an enormous effect because people had grown up
with Bianca and she was a kind of much-loved character.
-What was that for?
-I just love you, that's all.
And also Sid and Patsy were so spectacularly massive at that point.
Most famous couple in Britain.
Them two, you never thought they'd split up, Ricky and Bianca.
But of course they did, thanks to dirty Dan Sullivan, leaving Ricky distraught.
I'm second best, I always have been.
It's just taken her this long to work it out.
So after a fond farewell from Mum...
You just make me want to throw up.
Bianca decided to leave Walford for a new life in Manchester.
But she only made it as far as Euston Station before love-struck Dan caught up with her.
You all right?
What are you doing here?
-What type of welcome's that? Coming with you.
-You disgust me!
The stage was now set for our underdog Ricky to make an incredible comeback.
You take all those romantic cliches, run into the train station, is he going to get there on time?
They could be happy but he wants to know the truth for the relationship is what the whole story's about.
Ricky! I can't believe you're here!
I love you, and no one else comes near.
-But I just need to know that you feel the same.
-Of course I do!
I ain't second best, I'm enough for you.
-Bianca, I mean it.
Just do me this one thing, be honest with me.
Am I a compromise, am I really what you want?
That's all I needed to know.
Ricky, don't go, please!
I think she did what she had to do at that moment.
That's how normal relationships end.
They don't always end with a big row, or someone dying.
Usually a relationship ends because one person falls out of love with the other.
Very very simple but very very powerful.
Our next category features the characters who found themselves
in a bit of a hole...literally.
Our first Shallow Grave exit is from 2006,
and the woodland burial of dangerous Danny Moon.
Danny was a gangster's henchman with a sensitive side.
You really hurt my feelings.
And when he wasn't scrapping with his brother Jake...
He was doing big bad Johnny Allen's dirty work,
this time putting the Mitchell brothers into early retirement.
It ain't dirty work to me. I'm just putting down a couple of dangerous dogs.
Phil and Grant tried to get Danny to back off,
even highlighting some of the pitfalls of burying bodies in the woodland.
You ever dug in woodland before? It's a nightmare.
You've done this before, haven't you, boys?
Grant! I'm sorry.
But Danny wasn't budging, and it looked like the end of the road for the dynamic duo.
You didn't really think they'd kill off Grant Mitchell, did you?
Nope. It was Danny's brother Jake who saved their bacon.
So the Mitchells lived to fight another day, but for Danny it was a two-foot under burial.
Next up, it's the demise of Owen Turner
at the hands of "praise the lord" Lucas Johnson.
Lucas had got away with murdering ex-wife Trina,
and Owen wasn't going to take it lying down.
Now, where were we? Oh, that's right, your murdered wife's bracelet.
So Lucas did the sensible thing and killed him off by... Now, what's the word?
Yeah, that's it. Using his own unique murder weapon.
It's a not-very-good excuse, but that's where ties are supposed to be.
Very poor excuse,
but not as bad as Lucas's choice of location for Owen's shallow grave.
Stay tuned to find out what happened to this unfortunate hound.
For our most memorable Shallow Grave exit, we're going back to 1999
and Saskia Duncan.
'Police are investigating the discovery of a young woman's body
'in a shallow grave in Epping Forest.'
Saskia's exit has gone down in EastEnders folklore.
The ashtray to the head.
It was the big opening night of E20,
and anybody who was anybody in Walford was there.
Oh, and Robbie Jackson managed to get in too.
Sorry, can't. Hurt me leg.
-Smooth Steve Owen was playing host.
-Come into my office.
While spinning the tunes was E20's hottest DJ Matthew Rose.
Steve had a problem, though. His crazy ex, Saskia,
had turned up in Walford and just wouldn't leave Steve alone.
You either get out or I'll sling you out.
But Saskia wasn't going to leave quietly, and plucked up the bottle to take Steve on.
Steve extinguished Saskia with one strike of an ashtray.
It wasn't so much Steve set out to kill Saskia.
It was kind of, I've always thought, self-defence.
Left with a corpse to get rid of, Steve decided to make sure
Matthew kept his mouth shut by dragging him into the frame.
You just helped me wrap up the body. I think for the law, you're going to need an alibi.
Or maybe he just wanted an extra pair of hands for the digging.
Let's just get on with this and get out of here, eh?
Even though the character of Saskia wasn't in it for very long,
the ashtray is obviously huge in people's heads.
I thought that was one of the best exits I've ever seen on EastEnders.
Certainly one of the best, Martin, but still not good enough to make our Top 5.
Next, it's time to take a little detour as we leave the human world
and take a stroll down Albert Square's pet cemetery.
Our first dearly departed is Sugar the Dog.
The dog knew too much.
Indeed. She sniffed out Lucas's evil deed way before anyone else did.
So Lucas took her for a...walk.
And then he returns back to the Trumans' just with the lead and nothing else.
As if to say, well, he just ran off.
And we've just seen what happens when you go down the canal with Lucas. Oops.
That was the end of Sugar.
And then there was little Tiff's pet caterpillar, Herbert.
Not the most attractive creature, he holds the record for the most short-lived pet in Walford.
-Watch out for the...
And who could forget Joey the budgie?
He certainly rued the day Jim cleaned his cage.
You've got to try this. It's homemade.
Right, yeah, stick it down there.
No, wait! Put that under. I've just polished that.
VACUUM CLEANER WHINES
-What's the matter?
-It's Joey! I've sucked him up!
He's gone up the flaming nozzle.
Now, there have been many much-loved pets in Albert Square,
but none more so than this loveable hairy mongrel.
They do say owners have a reflection on their pets.
Not only did they look alike, this duo was inseparable.
-He looks well 'ard, doesn't he?
-But off screen, Wellard got too big for his boots.
I know for a fact he started drinking heavily on set and stuff.
He was rude to a lot of the cast. Just typical old-hand actor stuff, you know?
He's gone now, God bless him. He's up there somewhere in doggy heaven.
I know he's doing well. He's gone off to Hollywood to do a few things.
From Borehamwood to Hollywood.
I love a happy ending! So long, Wellard.
Leaving Walford for good is easier said than done.
Just ask this lot, who can't get enough of saying goodbye.
Our first EastEnder has had more exits than the M1.
Frank had an exit every few years. But they were always good.
I know why Mike kept coming back. He brought so much vitality and colour to the show.
This was a good one.
I shouldn't be too long, Pat.
Turned out to be a bit of an understatement.
And he just walked into the crowd, and the camera craned up and he just disappeared,
surrounded by other people, lost, and no one knew where he'd gone.
Good night, sweetheart.
Frank seemed to like walking off into the distance, so he did it again.
This one was a brief affair. He arrived at Ricky and Bianca's wedding,
and two minutes later he was off again!
And maybe his most memorable exit was Bonfire Night in the year 2000.
When he'd had the affair, Peggy finds out, we had the whole facing off in the Vic.
And it was time for Frank to leave once more.
He left alone as a bonfire effigy of himself burned on a fire.
It was a great moment, and it's one of the images you remember forever.
Now, compared to the amount of exits accrued by the mighty Frank Butcher,
this guy is small fry.
Oh, he looks mad. Do you think he heard me?
Grant had a few exits.
He had this one where he threw a Brazilian woman in a bin.
You lying, scheming, self-obsessed, greedy bitch.
But this is the one that got everyone talking.
It was all very dramatic.
Phil found out Grant had slept with Kathy,
so we knew it was all going to end in tears.
Getting out, I crashed my head on the steps of the dock.
I ended up in casualty and in an East London hospital with a gash in my head.
-Leaving everyone thinking he was a goner,
Grant resurfaced a few days later at the airport with daughter Courtney.
Right, here we go. We're off.
Where he bid us a Stars In Their Eyes-style goodbye.
Bon voyage, big guy!
The Exit King crown however, goes to a man who's been coming and going
and coming and going and coming and going again for the last 26 years.
So let's look at Nick's very first exit.
If you watch carefully, you'll see it sets the tone
for all of his 13 - that's right, 13 - exits.
I think Nick Cotton's first exit was almost like a caricature of himself.
It was quite pantomime-y.
Nasty Nick, a panto villain? Surely not.
You stinking, rotten bastards!
He's behind you!
I bet you'd like a cup of tea.
Oh, no, he doesn't!
And right up to his most recent exit in 2009,
Nick was still doling out his threats and scaring all the little kiddies.
But we can all breathe a sigh of relief, as we're pretty sure he's gone.
I'll be back. Just you wait!
Well, for the time being.
If Nick Cotton really wanted to leave Walford for good,
he could've done worse than take a job at the local boozer.
# Victoria... #
To me, the central character, in the whole of EastEnders, is the Vic.
Punters love sharing a joke...
Who was it?
-Roy the Rovers.
..Having a little dance...
..or the old Walford tradition of the baked bean-eating contest...
It's also seen its fair share of exits, some more graceful than others.
Take Tom Clements.
I don't know who Tom Clements is.
He keeled over in the khazi back in 1988.
I'm feeling a bit off-colour, I'll pop in to see you tomorrow.
What's the matter with him now?
You send him home, Den.
Chris? Give us a hand.
Oh, oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.
I think he's dead.
But being the landlord is definitely a perilous occupation.
I can't imagine having your name above the door
is necessarily the safest of career choices.
They always end up getting hit on the head.
One landlord who was really asking for it was Archie Mitchell.
Archie had it coming and there were quite a few suspects.
Merry Christmas, Janine.
I'm going to kill him.
You hurt one hair on her head and I'm coming back.
If you died right now,
I'd be glad.
This public house, I'll sell it for flats.
No, you couldn't.
Even Ian Beale issued an unconvincing threat.
You pick up the phone, you're going to wish you were dead.
He'd damaged so many people throughout his time in the square,
really, it could've been anyone.
So, with almost the whole of Albert Square in the frame,
down came the Queen Vic bust to call last orders on Archie.
The fact that it was the Queen Vic bust,
it was poetic, in a very brutal sense.
It doesn't get more bizarre and right than that, really.
Stay tuned to find out who did it,
and how they made their escape from Walford.
Our final and most memorable Queen Vic-tim
is, of course, Dirty Den,
the only man so bad they had to kill him twice.
Den's exit was brutal.
It was violent.
You can't say he couldn't have seen it coming.
One of these days, you're going to get struck down.
No, not me. I'm indestructible.
The three witches of Macbeth there.
I stopped off to get these.
'You've got Zoe, you've got Sam, and you've got Chrissie,'
all the women he did wrong by.
So they decided to get their revenge by throwing Den out of the Vic, once and for all.
This should be really interesting.
First, the girls listed their grievances.
You didn't mean to con me out of everything.
You screwed another woman in our bed. In our bed!
You used me to split Sharon and Dennis up. You told me to tell him I was pregnant.
But Den was unmoved.
There's not one single person round here who I give a toss about.
Until they played their trump card - Sharon had heard everything...
..and finally realised what a nasty piece of work her dad really was.
I don't know who you are but you ain't my dad.
I'm an orphan.
And, of course, there was a taxi on hand to take her from the scene.
'As far as Chrissie was concerned,'
her work was done, she destroyed him.
Sharon gone? Now you know what it's like to lose the one thing in the world you love most.
Now you know what it's like to be me!
I still get people screaming that to me in the street.
Dirty Den was definitely dead.
You'll never get me.
When he came back to life and grabbed her ankle,
he'd have quite happily punched her to death,
so she did what she had to do.
'To bump off soap's biggest'
iconic character is an honour.
Not just an iconic character,
Den was the first in a long line of Walford bad boys
to meet a sticky end.
# All the people down the street Whoever you meet
# Say I'm a bad boy. #
'If your character's got a shady background,'
it will come round and get you.
Do me a favour, mate?
Make it quick.
I've always seen myself as a bit of a hard man figure.
Can't quite see it myself, Joe.
Our first hard nut to crack was Jase Dyer.
When he wasn't giving Big Mo and company an eyeful...
Sorry but I'm a bit low on clothes right now.
..He was getting into a spot of bother with crime boss Terry Bates
and his heavies.
-Go! Get out of here!
-Come on! You want it?
It all ended badly for Jase,
no thanks to Billy Mitchell.
I don't think it was cowardice, if he'd have come out
of his hiding place, he'd have gone the same way.
Get on the floor! Get on the floor now!
'It was a good exit.'
We had a run of about six or eight episodes
'that built up to a peak and I think that was why it worked.
'This was like a little movie.'
Next up, it's the exit of bug-eyed bad guy Jack Dalton.
He met his match in pretty boy hard man Dennis Rickman.
Yeah, smoking doesn't make you look any harder, Dennis.
After coming off second best in a haggle...
..Dalton decided that Dennis had to go and called on Walford's "gun for hire", Phil Mitchell.
-But Dennis was in luck, because Phil doesn't kill people.
-I don't kill people.
# Hit the road, Jack
# And don't you come back No more, no more... #
So Dennis got the chance to take Dalton
on an impromptu night time ramble in Epping Forest.
I can see where this one's going.
Jack had one last shot at talking Dennis round...
You're the nearest to a son I ever had.
And you were the nearest to a dad.
It was going pretty well until he put his foot in it.
The Watts are all the same.
-You want to know something?
he was my father.
# Don't you come back no more. #
Our final gangland exitee is, of course, Dennis himself.
He couldn't leave happy, he'd been a bad boy.
Yeah, we're quite moral about these things.
You do the crime...
EastEnders, they like to show that people do the time.
Dennis was now set on leaving Walford and his life of crime behind,
to raise a family with newly pregnant missus Sharon.
That's a baby you're talking about.
But this being Walford, having a cute wife, a baby on the way
and film star looks isn't going to stop you getting bumped off.
'You see, even the gorgeous Dennis Rickman,
even he died,
and he was really good looking.
It was New Year's Eve and Dennis was doing what he does best,
walking around the square and looking angry.
Before he could leave, he was on his way over to visit local gang boss Johnny Allen,
after hearing he got heavy with girlfriend Sharon.
-Let me go, you're hurting me!
Luckily, Dennis had a sane voice to calm him down.
What are you waiting for? He should be in his office.
I was the little evil voice in his head.
Just do him, leave, end of story.
There was a great shot, for the cameramen and the lighting boys, they got it just right
where I was framed in red,
'over his shoulder, almost like a spirit.'
His hand on your wife's throat.
Ooh, you little stirrer.
So, some more angry walking later, he paid Johnny Allen a visit.
Let me get you a drink.
Not in the mood for small talk,
Dennis got straight into expressing his grievance.
How do you like it?
We're supposed to be out of here by now,
-seeing the new year in together.
-You still will.
Just in time, Dennis wiped the blood off his knuckles
and got back to the square to see in the New Year with Sharon.
I love a happy ending.
'It was great, really well done, I thought.'
That slow reveal of the death at the end, it was very, very powerful.
It was very epic, very Shakespearean in its scope.
-You're about to achieve happiness and then your past comes back to haunt you.
He got what he deserved.
But is Dennis the greatest gangland exit ever?
Find out later in our countdown of the top five exits of all time.
Go on then. Bugger off.
Not everyone comes to a sticky end in Walford.
Some people just up and leave, in a variety of different ways.
or, if you're having a bit of a meltdown, you might just walk.
Poor Ashley Cotton even made an unplanned exit on Mark Fowler's motorbike.
-Is he all right?
Walford sex bomb Mel Owen opted for the coach.
Pregnant and recently out of prison,
Mel left the square in disgust at the death of hubbie Steve Owen,
but not before she settled a few scores.
You let me think that my husband was a murderer.
There weren't any thinking involved.
How do you get by rubbing shoulders with the man you tried to kill?
So, I was to be left in jail so that you could breed?
She left everyone in no doubt she didn't want the baby.
What baby? There won't be one soon.
But once she reached the coach station,
one phone call revealed her plans.
I want to cancel the termination completely.
'Then she done a bizarre thing'
about asking the person...
Pick a number for me, one to 20.
..to decide at the bus station where she was going to end up.
Great, thank you.
A cheap mode of transport,
but at least it was going in the right direction, out of Walford.
Not bad, Mel. But for best way to make your exit, you have to look to the skies.
A plane overlooking the Isle of Dogs is a very honourable way to go.
'It means the audience loves you and the production team
are desperate to have you back some time in the future.
That's right. Is it a bird? Yes!
Is it plane? Yes!
Well, then, it's got to be Stacey Slater.
It's interesting that Stacey left EastEnders
without getting her comeuppance for the murder of Archie Mitchell.
But, we felt, when planning her exit, that Stacey had suffered enough
in her six years or so in Albert Square.
She'd been through the ringer. She'd been diagnosed as bi-polar.
I know what you're doing with the drugs.
'She'd been raped. She'd had abortions.'
Just relax. We'll take care of you.
And then she'd made an enemy of Janine, and we kind of felt that was punishment enough.
And it was a bloody encounter with Janine
that set the wheels in motion for her exit.
After telling all to her mum about Archie Mitchell's murder...
I know what I did to Archie was a terrible thing, I know that,
but he raped me, Mum.
..She had a tearful farewell with boyfriend Ryan.
I love you.
I don't know if I do...
With the police closing in, it was time for Stacey and baby Lily
to make their way out of Walford, with the help of former lover Max.
There was just time for one more tearful farewell...
I love you, Stace.
I don't love you,
not like that.
..before boarding a plane for a new life away from Walford.
'We took the decision'
for the cameras to follow Stacey into the plane,
'for us to go up in the air.'
'It was emotional exit'
but you want to see Stacey go off to a better place,
the audience want to see her have a happy ending,
have a life to look forward to,
'because they sympathise with her all the time
'and they're on her side.'
You get that extraordinary, beautiful shot
of the plane flying over the EastEnders' map.
'It's just a lovely, lovely thing to do
'and a special treat for viewers at Christmas.
'She deserved that.'
Stacey joins a long history of Walford mums who've packed up
and left with their kids. Cue the runaway mums.
The first mum on the run dates back to 1988
and Walford's resident punk and all-round rebel, Mary Smith.
'One of the most iconic exits of all time was Mary, the punk.
Mary's lifestyle wasn't ideal for a young mother.
I just want to do what I want to do.
Getting smashed and snorting speed?
-When her relationship with her mum broke down...
-I'm taking Annie.
No, you are not!
You go near her and I'll kill you.
I mean that.
..She decided she had no future in Walford.
After giving her dad's office a splash of paint...
..she gave us an exit to remember
and jumped on a Routemaster with baby Annie.
'Buses are underused.'
There've been a few. Buses are really good, and she gave a notable gesture.
Punk Mary was quite happy, wasn't she?
She was sort of like...ta ra.
2008 saw the departure of our next runaway mum, Honey Mitchell.
Honey had become fed up with Billy's ducking and diving...
Billy, I really don't want us to argue about this.
No, I know. It's all right, babe.
She couldn't live with him kind of lying.
You promised me, Billy.
The money wasn't for me.
..And, kids in tow, made a bee-line for the nearest cab,
leaving Billy in despair.
-Where are you going?
-We're going away on a little holiday.
We'll see Daddy really soon.
Billy was absolutely devastated when Honey left.
Please don't leave me.
'It was genuinely hard for me, as an actor, as well,
'because we worked so well together'
and the kids, we literally did bring them up from babies.
Give us a kiss?
She shouted, "Daddy!"
I looked across and there was all the wardrobe
'and make-up department girls'
all in tears.
And then the car went off and I'm screaming after it.
Director says "cut", and says, "I'm never getting that again, am I?"
Our final and favourite runaway mum
is from 1996 and tragic Albert Square harlot Cindy Beale.
Cindy had two men in her life. Husband Ian Beale...
-You're having an affair with David Wicks.
-I'm not sleeping with David.
..and lover David Wicks.
Cindy decided Ian had to go, but instead of calling a
lawyer to file for divorce, she called a hitman to kill him...
I'll trust it's all there, shall I?
And the photo?
...but lost her nerve at the last minute.
So she decided to try and clear the air with Ian.
You know, can we just try and be friends, Ian?
But the wheels were already in motion and despite her warning...
..Ian was struck down in Walford's first ever drive-by shooting.
And so the race was on for Cindy to get her and her kids out of the country.
-Where's the car?
-That one there.
We've got to get to Paris.
Ian wasn't taking this lying down.
-She's got Steven.
-I knew it.
And with the help of his trusty personal organiser...
Where's me Filofax?
..he was hot on her heels.
After picking up her two boys...
Hold onto the blanket and we'll surprise Lucy when she gets back.
..Cindy was too late for daughter Lucy.
'It was a real race against time.'
'I remember my heart being in my mouth.'
She had to make Sophie's Choice as to which of her children she was going to leave behind.
'He got there.'
-He got there before me.
-We've got to go.
Ian wasn't having much luck persuading the police to stop Cindy.
I have been shot. My wife has run off with two of my kids.
I have lost everything.
You almost feel sorry for him.
But help was at hand for Ian in the unlikely form of Walford's answer to
Starsky and Hutch, the Mitchell brothers.
Eurostar timetable. Let's go.
After arriving at Waterloo, Cindy had one last try at changing David's mind.
Please, David, please come with me.
I'll make you happy.
She got there just in time, only to find that David, the man she loved, as ever was going to let her down.
'And it's hard to remember now just how massive that story was.'
The day Ian was shot, it was the whole of the front page of the Daily Mirror.
It was awesomely big.
Missing the train by moments, Phil and Grant were openly devastated for their old pal Ian.
-So what are we going to do now?
-Let her go.
So Cindy got away with it and even got a Julia's Theme.
Not bad for someone who'd just kidnapped her children and tried to kill her husband.
'Did Cindy deserve that? Yeah, because I think'
she didn't get what she wanted, which was David.
And that meant she'd failed.
So far on EastEnders Greatest Exits, we've seen a variety of ways of leaving the square.
Pick a number for me, one to 20.
And we've still got all these to come.
And we reveal our greatest exit of all time.
But first, ladies, if you want to spend a while in Walford, you'd best
avoid getting involved with this man.
What are you waiting for, eh?
Philip James Mitchell, Walford love king.
Phil Mitchell's character's like the soap world's version of Henry VIII.
Where's my skirt?
Don't know. Last time I saw it, it was heading over my shoulder.
He's gone through quite a few women, and a few of them, he's punching above his weight anyway.
If you get romantically involved with Phil Mitchell, you're almost
certainly going to meet a sticky, messy or horrible end.
First on the block
was passport-seeking Nadia.
I know I've been stupid, but you don't have to hate me for it.
I don't hate you for being stupid, Nadia. I just hate you.
She was this crazy
Russian woman that Phil married for humanitarian reasons.
But it didn't work out and Phil ended the relationship Mitchell-style.
-I won't let you down, Phil.
-If you do, I'll come and find you and break your legs.
Consider that a divorce, then.
Phil's next victim, Kathy Beale,
came with a dangerous reputation of her own.
Everyone that goes with her ends up leaving the show.
I call her the Black Widow.
In all the time we were together,
when were we ever truly happy?
We had the odd day here and there, didn't we?
I think I managed to turn the tables on Gillian on that occasion.
There she goes, Phil.
Leaving in a fashion befitting Walford royalty.
It wasn't long before another of Walford's wenches
was falling at Phil's feet and swiftly making her exit.
I want to make a go of things with you,
if you'll still have me.
Yeah. Course I will.
I remember shouting and screaming and getting a lot of drama out of
her running around with a baby and me chasing after her.
Phil saw the last of Lisa after taking back their baby Louise
in a dramatic cliff-top showdown in Portugal.
-Take good care of yourself.
Next up, Phil fell for Kate,
an unlikely bedfellow.
I'm a policewoman.
It was a bit unbelievable...
Go on, get out.
..them two getting together in the first place.
-Don't make me look at you any more.
Another one to end in tears.
Number five was Mrs Branning,
otherwise known as...
She did a runner after seducing Phil and trying to do him out of 10 grand.
What a tart.
Good riddance, basically.
But there was one fair maiden
who resisted Phil's regal charms.
Sharon was the person who Phil always wanted and therefore he can't have her.
Are you saying you don't want to be with me?
I've just had a little peep into the future, that's all.
I didn't like what I saw.
Sharon was smart enough to walk away and say "no".
Give me a chance. Just one chance to prove to you how much I love you.
Let me go.
As for the next victim of Phil's affections,
she was the first in our category of departures to take the plunge.
Stella Crawford was Phil's new lady with a novel approach to parenting.
-Just a joke, silly.
Unsurprisingly, little Ben Mitchell didn't take to her too well.
In true EastEnders fashion, everything came to a head on the
day of their wedding when the penny finally dropped.
It's you, innit?
The minute that Phil found out what was going on, it all fell together like a Rubik Cube and
he just went berserk and chased her down.
With Stella running up to a rooftop two minutes before the "duff-duff",
her chances of survival seemed limited.
Although Phil wasn't too happy up there either.
I've got to say, standing up on that roof was a little bit nerve-racking.
And as expected, after a bit of Mitchell sweet talk...
I chose you because you were easy. I chose you because you were safe.
I thought you'd look after Ben, iron me shirts and keep your mouth shut for the next 30 years.
Phil's latest failed relationship came to a pretty conclusive end.
Watch me, Daddy.
It was a bit like time stood still a bit. She just went off the edge.
Yeah, I'd like to see a few more bullets.
Some people are never happy.
Well, it may not have been the most explosive exit, but it looked nice.
'She was like a flower at the bottom with her white wedding dress and splayed out.'
It all looked rather beautiful.
Our next plunging exitee
is Walford's very own smooth criminal Andy Hunter.
There was something very endearing about him.
Fish and chips on a park bench.
-Ta. Come on.
But something very dangerous.
I wanted to kill you. I wanted to rip you into little bloody pieces for what you did to me.
And he got his comeuppance after ripping off fellow gangster Johnny Allen for quite a tidy sum.
Three-quarters of a million.
Our first sign we were heading for an exit came when Mr Hunter decided
to take the opportunity to listen to some opera.
'Ah, right. Very clever.'
It's not over till the fat lady sings.
See what EastEnders did there?
Yeah, you won't be laughing in a minute, Andy.
All right, mate?
Things got worse when his old mate Johnny popped in for a chat.
Let's you and me have a conversation.
On a motorway bridge? Ooh, this definitely isn't looking good.
Can I give you one final tip?
Enjoy your flight.
Yes, Andy's inevitable exit was confirmed as he came face to face with the M11.
But what I want to see happen is the people on the motorway underneath complaining.
'"Yeah, we've been here for four hours.
'"Some bloke's lying by the side of the road."'
"I don't know. Yeah, it's a bloke off EastEnders.
"Yeah, he's dead."
I think one of my favourite exits of all time has to be Barry's,
falling off the cliff with just a little bit of help from Janine.
Barry was the perennial loser in love who thought he'd finally hit the back of the net when he got
his sweaty hands on Walford's queen bitch Janine Butcher.
That was incredible. Come back to bed.
Poor old Barry. Fat, ugly, disgusting human being.
Harsh but true. Unsurprisingly, Janine only saw Barry as a business opportunity.
I want his money and that is it.
Soon after, Janine got lucky when Barry was diagnosed with cardiomegaly...
..and looked to be heading in the same direction as his late father Roy.
Janine decided now was the ideal time to tie the knot
with the soon-to-be-dead Barry and get her hands on his cash.
When I'm in the ground dead,
it's with love I know I'll be surround-ed.
On their honeymoon, Janine got some unexpected bad news.
I'm not going to die.
Yeah, that was a bad moment in Janine's life.
Time for our newly-weds to take a cliff-top stroll
and play a quick round of Barry Evans Home Truths.
I'm a tart.
I've been sleeping with Paul.
It's been going on for months.
SOUNDTRACK SPEEDS UP
Yeah, this goes on for a bit.
And you know what was hardest of all?
I pretended to love you.
I know that there is love in you.
-We'll find it together.
-Get off me.
'You'd more or less just roll down a hill, wouldn't you?'
We used to do it for fun in the park when we were children.
Not quite the same thing, June.
Janine was in no rush to call for assistance.
She is guilty of leaving him to die.
But she certainly, I don't think, went up there with the intention of killing him.
Finally Barry understood Janine was in fact a complete bitch.
Now do you believe me?
I think Barry's exit was probably one of my favourites.
How absolutely absurd to go up to Scotland and push somebody off a crag.
Yes, absolutely bonkers.
Barry's not made our top five exits of all time,
but maybe there's another death plunge to enjoy.
Stay tuned to find out.
Like Barry and Janine, we've had a few Walford couples destined for disaster over the years.
This, my sweet,
is a letter from my solicitor
telling you that your husband has filed a petition for divorce.
I hate you.
I hate you more than you will ever know.
But which couples got to ride off into the sunset happily ever after?
Sonia Jackson and Martin Fowler from 2007 are our first happy couple.
Sonia and Martin's exit was one of the very rare happy ones.
Well, it wasn't always that way.
First there were wedding bells.
Then they argued.
Go! Go on. Get out of here. Don't come back.
-You think I don't want to?
-Do what you want to do, then.
You pathetic cow.
Then they argued some more.
You're a selfish bitch that don't care about anyone but yourself.
It seemed Sonia was destined for a plain old black-cab exit
when, moments before leaving Walford forever,
she was stopped in her tracks by Martin and daughter Rebecca.
Martin leapt into the cab, pausing only to shout at her one more time.
Why don't you just shut up for once and do as you're told?
Before their old, reliable, black taxi of dreams
whisked them away to sunnier climes.
# This is not a puppy love. #
Our next exit begins with another disastrous EastEnders wedding.
I gave you everything I had.
It still wasn't enough for you, was it?
After finding out Phil Mitchell had been sticking his oar in his wife-to-be Dawn,
Garry was understandably upset.
Whatever's happened, we can sort it out, can't we?
Deciding it was time to leave Walford, he took off in the smallest boat he could find.
Did you see the size of the boat? The boat was tiny!
Dawn made after Garry...
..and tried to win him back with some chat-up lines designed to give hope to middle-aged men everywhere.
You're good for a lot of things. So what if you've got a paunch and you're losing your hair?
Not to mention his tiny boat.
When I think of what my life would be without you in it,
it's not a life worth having.
Eventually, Garry took Dawn's comments on board and they sailed off into the sunset.
It was a funny exit. It was really funny to see them sailing away on this tiny, tiny little boat.
It felt very Garry, you know, and it made...
It made us all laugh.
It was one of the hardest days of my life,
having to kiss FHM's number 22 Top 100 Female five or six times.
Our top romantic exit is 2005's two-part Christmas cracker.
I think Kat and Alfie's is probably...the best exit.
I think, cos it had everything.
A bold claim indeed, so let's see if he's right.
We've got fast cars...
a Prince Charming... and one unhappy lady.
-Why don't you get the fairytale?
-I'm Kat Slater. That ain't the way things work for me.
No, you're Kat Moon.
There was heartbreak...
Please don't go without me.
..and more tears.
The end of the first episode that day was almost like a typical, downbeat,
"someone's left, someone's left broken-hearted" episode.
It was very brave of them to say, "Hold on. We're going to turn this round in the second episode."
Just when she thought all was lost, tart-with-a-heart Kat got her happy ending
in EastEnders' most romantic exit ever.
-I forgot something.
-It must have been important.
The most important thing in the whole wide world.
Please don't, Alfie.
Please don't say it if you don't mean it.
Not any more.
When we did "Kat and Alfie leaving on Christmas Day", it was great to film.
And we were really sad to go.
It was time for Alfie to make Kat an offer she couldn't refuse.
I've got a half tank of petrol, I've got furry dice,
I've got about 83 quid in my pocket and I'm off to see the world.
You fancy it?
-It's a fairytale happy ending.
We are known for depressing people,
but actually if that's all we did no-one would watch us.
Those happy endings are important.
They just have to be earned.
Let's go, Mrs Moon.
-PAM ST CLEMENT:
-When Kat and Alfie left,
that was happy. That was beautiful.
When an episode like that finishes on a happy note,
that's kind of how you want to leave.
Now it's time to look at the Walford residents
who have made a dramatic exit in motoring accidents - the Car-tastrophes.
Yeah. Like it? Yeah.
I think all these car-tastrophes that happen, there's usually been
some big revelation and then it ends with a tragedy.
I think we need to put a zebra crossing in.
I think that's the answer.
And first on our list is this man...
On New Year's Eve 2007, when Kevin uttered these fateful words...
Oi. I want you back here at midnight for my kiss, Mr Wicks.
You'll get it...Mrs Wicks.
..we knew what we were in for.
He went out for a spin that got out of hand...
..and ended up as EastEnders history.
So after just two years on Albert Square, Kevin was killed off.
But true to EastEnders form, he exited in style.
Probably the most tragic car-tastrophe
was also the most recent.
Back in 2008, Danielle Jones came to the Square looking to find her long-lost mother.
Danielle was the secret Mitchell,
cos she was Ronnie Mitchell's long-lost daughter that she'd put up for adoption at 14.
-The defining thing in Ronnie's life
was the fact that she'd given her daughter away.
And then Danielle tells her...
You're my mother!
Ronnie doesn't believe her, because by this point she thinks she's mad.
Throws her out the Vic, which felt quite heartbreaking stuff.
-Please! Please, you're my mum!
She finds the locket and realises what a monster he is
and that he's lying.
You told me she was dead.
'Ronnie runs after her.'
'And they have the baby moment.'
It just felt much more powerful
for her to finally find out who her daughter is and want to
hold her baby again after all those years, and at that very last moment it's snatched away from her.
'Even though Danielle did die, Ronnie and Danielle still had...'
a moment, and she got to say what she'd waited 20 years to say to her.'
My whole life I've been dreaming of this, been dreaming of you.
Even though it was brief, they got to sort of show each other they loved each other.
People didn't really know what was going to happen.
It made it such a massive shock when it did happen.
So far on EastEnders' Greatest Exits,
we've seen plane exits, train exits.
We've even had a cigarette break, and still had time to show you this.
It's gone up the flaming nozzle.
So as we're moments away
from revealing the greatest EastEnders exit of all time,
how about seeing some happy exits?
Now, contrary to popular belief, life in Walford isn't all doom and gloom.
They do let their hair down from time to time.
I think it's nice to have the more cheery exits for the viewer.
Deep down, everyone loves a good ending.
Someone who had a fond farewell was hairdresser's dream Nigel Bates.
After getting it on with daughter Clare's school teacher,
Nigel decided to up sticks and move to Scotland to start a new life with her,
but not before the residents of Albert Square threw him a big leaving do.
What's a fitting exit for good old, reliable Nige?
A good old, reliable, black cab.
See you, Nige.
Perhaps the most bittersweet exit was Mark Fowler's.
Mark had been diagnosed with HIV and,
realising his health was starting to deteriorate,
he decided to leave Walford, sparing his family the pain of watching him become ill.
-PAM ST CLEMENT:
-I like the idea that the character actually said,
"I'm going to seize my life while I have it, because I know it's going to be short."
It was also a mother finding out that her son is...
going to die and having to say goodbye to him.
Pauline felt Mark was abandoning her and refused to give her blessing.
You won't change your mind?
But lucky for Mark, he had some good friends to spend his last night in Walford with -
and not just this orange.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And just as Mark was about to ride off into the night, Sharon popped out for a game of chicken.
Get out of my way.
-All you've got to do is go over and say goodbye.
She's never going to see you again.
I've had my life, Mum.
-This is it.
-Don't go. Not yet.
I want you to remember me like this,
not something barely alive and not even knowing who you are.
I went through that with Jill. I don't want the same for you.
I didn't have the chance to say goodbye to Dad.
But we do.
You're my brave little boy.
Mark got on his bike and, surrounded by his friends and family, was wished a poignant farewell.
-Everyone loved Mark Fowler.
He always treated people really well, so it was really nice
that he went off in a positive fashion.
Now, zimmer frames at the ready,
as we prepare to shuffle slowly towards EastEnders' top OAP exits.
One of the more recent elderly exits was that of Nana Moon.
Nana Moon's exit was very much in the style of Ethel,
which is the things you have to do before you die.
So Nana wrote a list and you wouldn't believe what was on it. Getting arrested...
-OK, you've given me no choice. You'll have to come down the station.
You naughty boy!
Even having tea with the Queen.
Let's take a picture.
After all that excitement, it was no surprise Nana became tired
and the week before Christmas 2005,
we said goodbye to a much-loved Moon.
We were filming it, I remember saying to Hilda,
"Don't forget, sadly this is where your character passes away."
As I leant forward, she put her hand up. We went, "Oh!" and jumped -
"No, you're supposed to be dead, love!"
Nana, not yet.
Not yet, Nan.
I remember watching it, and the reaction was phenomenal.
All my family and friends said it was really sad.
Please, just a bit longer...
'It was an incredibly moving story.'
Again, it's EastEnders at its very best.
Next, it is moaning matriarch and head of the family, Lou Beale -
It was very, very simple.
Give her a classic, Godfather-like exit.
Yes, Lou Beale was renowned for her mafia-style approach to life.
I've got a message for you,
it won't do you any harm to know you're being watched.
She can also arrange for a horse's head to be put in your bed.
And when her time was up, Lou gathered the Beale-Fowler clan
around the dinner table and gave each one of them a personal message.
She put her affairs in order and made sure that her wishes were known.
Chelle, in the old days, your behaviour would have brought shame on this family.
I want you to be the man of the house, the head of the family,
you're old and ugly enough to do it.
Ian, I think you're a bit of a fool, if you really want my opinion.
Cooking - not very manly, is it?
You could try smartening yourself up a bit.
A smile now and again wouldn't come amiss.
You've got to get let yourself go occasionally...
It seems right, somehow,
that today of all days you should lose your job again.
-Now listen, Mum.
-Sit down, Arthur.
No-one interrupts Lou Beale in midstream.
Feeling she'd successfully passed on the Beale baton,
Lou died peacefully - she's sleeping with the fishes now.
There have been a few of those sitting next to the bed,
looking at the heart monitor.
Usually they don't survive.
Our first bedside vigil exit features Roy Evans,
a man in hospital so long he came over a bit Frankenstein's monster.
Poor Roy suffered a heart attack after a Barney with Pat
over her affair with Frank.
This is all your fault!
I'll never forgive you, I'll never...
It was very understandable that he would get himself
so het up over the whole Pat and Frank affair.
What have you done to him!?
I think I'm having a heart attack.
First thing to do in an emergency,
jump over a wall, '70s cop show style, and find Dr Truman...
You just ran past him, Barry!
Now, Anthony hasn't got a great track record...
-What do you think, Doc?
-I'm afraid he's gone.
..but he does know the best way to handle a crisis -
Anyway, Roy was on his deathbed long enough to make amends with Pat,
sort out all his business affairs, and have a touching moment with Barry.
I think the time has come to hand over the reins.
But, alas, it was time for Roy to shuffle off this mortal coil.
I was just very sorry that Tony was leaving the show,
but I think that was a good exit, the dramatic one.
Our final bedside vigil was probably the most tragic.
To see a young man losing his life was one of those tragic moments
that this show pulls off really well.
I think that was heartbreaking for the nation.
Jamie Mitchell had it all going for him.
He was young, part of one of the most respected families in Walford,
-and he'd met the woman of his dreams...
-I love you.
Oh, and he wasn't too bad on the eye, either.
He was like a mini David Beckham, we used to call him.
Anyway, in true EastEnders tradition,
you can't stay happy for long, and the night Jamie was all set
to propose to Sonia, he was mowed down by Martin Fowler.
Jamie then spent days fighting for his life in hospital,
with Sonia by his side and the family keeping vigil close by.
A very sad episode.
You had the camera shots cutting from Billy and Little Mo
coming out of the church, all the confetti,
and Jamie in hospital with Sonia.
No, Jamie, no!
Sadly, moments later, Jamie died, leaving not only Sonia
and the Mitchells in shock, but a nation, too.
EastEnders is really good at bringing you back down to earth with a bump,
celebrate one thing and mourn and poor old Jamie's death.
Not only that, there was probably about 25 million girls out there
breaking their hearts cos they all loved Jack Ryder.
Over 16 million people tuned in to watch Jamie's death,
making it one of the most watched exits in EastEnders history.
-I think you'll agree, so far tonight
we've seen some incredible exits from lots of familiar faces.
Some have left in peace...
You forgot something.
And some in pieces.
But, if your appetite is still not satisfied, fear not,
it's time for the big finale... the top five EastEnders exits ever!
In at number five, with quite a considerable bang,
it's the exit of Tiffany Mitchell.
Grant and Tiffany had a kind of tortuous relationship.
And their relationship went from bad to worse after Grant was banged up
for supposedly pushing Tiffany down the stairs.
On New year's Eve night, 1998,
Tiffany paid grant a visit with some unwelcome news.
Me and Courtney, we're moving on.
-What are you talking about?
-I'm leaving, Grant.
Don't do this.
And Frank was out on one of his drives...
# I think we're alone now... #
You know, those drives he always goes on.
Unfortunately, Tiff had left Courtney alone upstairs,
and you know who got to her first.
So, as the clock struck midnight,
Grant made a dash out of the Vic with Courtney.
I just thought it was a brilliant,
high-octane and heartbreaking exit,
and I particularly remember seeing the lights go out in Martine McCutcheon's eyes.
Tiffany's exit pulled in over 13 million viewers
and made a huge impact on EastEnders fans.
She was one of those characters that you fell in love with,
and so the trauma of her death, I think,
left a little scar on all of us EastEnders fans.
I was absolutely heartbroken.
At number of four, it's simple, it's iconic,
it's Dirty Den's first exit.
I think we begin to understand each other.
Now, we want you out of this territory for good.
For me, he was EastEnders, and to lose him was devastating.
Den had got mixed up with mysterious local crime organisation The Firm.
Our first mistake was to put Dennis Watts on the payroll,
but, all things considered, I'd say that situation has been handled admirably.
He was on the run after they accused him of being a grass,
and his days seemed numbered.
He wanted his one last meeting with the mother of his child,
and also his daughter's best friend.
And then there's a guy behind him,
you think he's the one who is going to kill him,
and you've got a couple there with a bunch of daffodils.
Being shot with flowers is a bit weird.
I don't know what the daffodils were all about, to be honest.
I think it was very clever.
You didn't even see his body hit the water, but that's nice,
because then it's all in here, in the audience's imagination.
We all know Den returned almost 15 years later,
but things could have been so much more final for our canal-plunging bad boy.
We did actually shoot another scene in a tank at Ealing,
where the canal was retreated with supermarket trolleys
and everything in there,
and you see me floating with blood coming out of my mouth,
but the BBC thought that there was a possibility at one point that I'd come back.
Looking forward to when he comes back in another five years
and see how they're going to kill him next.
Maybe it might be with, I don't know, a scatter cushion. You never know.
At number three, it's one of EastEnders's most moving exits ever,
the death of Ethel Skinner.
The thing you're looking for a character making an exit
is just the most emotional, intense and moving experience.
The stuff people remember tends to be the stuff that gets you there.
After a party in the Vic, we saw two old friends share a special moment.
I've never said it...
..but I'm very fond of you.
Yeah, I am of you.
Later that evening, the time came for Ethel to reveal her final wish.
I'd give anything to help you, but I can't.
'She kept saying, "It's wrong."'
And in the end, she did it because she was weakened by Ethel's persuasive powers.
It's my life...
..and I want to choose.
After much soul-searching,
Dot put aside her religious beliefs and helped Ethel die in the way she wanted.
Is this what you really want?
'In the end, she sees that Ethel really needs that,
and she does that for her,
and so there's a real kind of intimacy between those two.
I only want you to be happy.
'It was very moving.'
'I loved acting with her.'
It was beautifully shot, too.
Together, the two of them did the beautiful story,
which is just a real story of, "what does love mean?"
Does love mean, "are you able to help your friend against your own religious beliefs?"
You're the best friend...
I ever had.
Ethel's exit was watched by over 16 million people.
A fitting tribute to a much-loved character.
In at two, Bradley Branning.
His exit live on TV was a unique moment,
as thrilling as it was groundbreaking.
Another one falling to his death.
I didn't want to kill Charlie, cos he's lovely, but also Bradley is a fantastic character,
and you'd want him to come back in 15 years, but it was just too good an opportunity to miss.
After a tough year, Bradley was welcoming Stacey back into his life.
Just tell me.
Blimey, that hurt!
If you look at Stacey again, I'll kill you.
And don't think I can't because I can.
That same night, Archie was left for dead in the Vic.
His death was welcomed by most of Walford,
and it triggered a massive whodunnit storyline that would span the following months.
So on the 19th of February 2010, the night they should have been toasting their marriage,
Bradley and Stacey found themselves on the run.
Now, I've never been part of a movie-style getaway,
but I'm pretty sure heading for a rooftop isn't the best idea.
And so Bradley made his exit on the greatest stage of all.
'The live episode of EastEnders, when Bradley took his plunge from the roof of the Queen Vic,'
was one of the most spectacular moments
in TV history for quite some time.
It was epic.
Though Bradley's death left Stacey and the Square devastated,
his exit certainly made its mark in EastEnders history.
-Get away from him. Just get away from him.
-Stacey, come away.
So we've finally reached our number one Eastenders exit.
Who could it be?
I feel it was a great exit.
-My number one.
-Ooh! That's a big one.
She just walked off down the Square.
It's like watching the heart of it walking away.
That's right, it's the 2010 departure
of soap's most famous landlady, Peggy Mitchell.
I don't think you know who you're dealing with here.
I'm not some cuddly little old lady.
I'm Peggy Mitchell.
Peggy Mitchell had always had so much drama in her life.
Ooh, I'd like to rip her face off.
She's been tough. She's been vulnerable.
-I want him out of here.
-Darlin', let me explain.
She's been a wife.
Now, clear off!
She's been a mother, most importantly.
This is Grant's fault.
For years I've stood by him.
No matter what he's done, I forgave him.
And so we kind of wanted her exit to represent her history on the show.
Her relationship with Phil and her relationship with the Vic were the two most important strands.
And it was Phil who set the wheels in motion for Peggy's departure.
You know, the truth is...you love this place more than you love me.
Go on, admit it!
You're right! I do!
He sets fire to the Vic as part of his hatred of her at that point.
Phil! You bloody maniac! What are you doing?!
Barbara got blasted off her feet, she landed straight on my chest.
She totally winded me.
Peggy could only stand back and watch
as her beloved Vic burned to the ground after 15 years in charge.
And the following day, after surveying the wreck that had been her home,
Peggy decided it was time to say goodbye.
Peggy came to realise Phil's unravelling and his crack addiction
was partly her responsibility.
Mum? Mum, what are you doing?
'And so she decided to leave.'
I'm going to go now. And I'm going on my own.
When she leaves at the end, it's quite a touching scene.
Now, I'm going to go... and I'm going to do it for you.
You know, she's actually very tender with him.
You're my darling.
You're my son.
You are my best boy.
'That's, to me, what EastEnders should be.'
Cos you've got carnage and yet you've got these two people who love each other.
We just had the image of this little old lady walking out past the burnt Vic.
# Time to say goodbye... #
The evocative scene of her just taking one glance around and saying,
you know, "I'm going to miss this place."
Just to see her walk out of the Square on her own
in that understated manner was... quite poignant for the show, yeah.
'And it was the end of an era, it was the end of a soap era.'
It was the end of Barbara's reign as the Queen of EastEnders.
Every time I see that epic shot of Walford at dusk and the burnt-out Queen Vic,
it brings a tear to my eye.
So, as we say farewell to Peggy, our queen of departures,
there's only one exit left to make. Mine.
Where's a taxi when you need one?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
Take your pick - taxi ride, cliff plunge, car explosion, rake in the neck or a host of other choices - it's time to discover what's the best way to depart Walford in EastEnders Greatest Exits.
Following hot on the heels of the exit of tragic baby-switcher Ronnie Mitchell, Robert Webb talks us through the series' most explosive, controversial and tear-jerking scenes ever, in which some of our favourite characters said goodbye to Albert Square.
Kat and Alfie's Christmas romantic surprise, Peggy's final walk past the Vic, Steve Owen's car explosion or Bradley's rooftop plunge, the list of great exits from EastEnders is endless, and for the first time we're going to decide which is definitively the greatest of all time.
We also find out from the cast what they REALLY think is the best way to go, with the opinions of Albert Square legends Steve McFadden, Leslie Grantham, June Brown, Shane Richie, Pam St Clement, Ricky Groves and many more.