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Tonight, we celebrate the life of Britain's favourite East End bird.
She's given us laughs...
That is Queen Vic property.
The old dog.
-That was good!
-They broke the mould when they made this one
so raise your glasses and get ready to say, "Farewell, Pat."
Patricia Louise Evans passed away on 1st January 2012.
She was surrounded by her closest family, who loved her more than she knew.
In her 25 years on the square, she's given us some great memories.
STAMMERS: I don't want to die.
Pat Butcher is not only one of the most iconic soap characters ever,
one of the most iconic TV characters.
Pam's portrayal of Pat is up there with all the best.
Pat's character is, like, huge for the nation
and she is THE legend of soaps, isn't she?
Before we say, "See ya, babe,"
let's take a trip down memory lane to see how the lady became a legend.
Robert Palmer's topping the charts, Rubik cubes are stumping the nation
and Den and Ange are at the helm of the Vic.
Give it a rest, Ange.
Cue one feisty lady to hit the square. She had trouble written all over her.
-Bit pricey, innit?
I can remember that first sequence when I walked through the square.
I met up with Ian.
Just like your dad, aren't you? Honest Pete.
Cheeky chappie's little boy, aren't you?
My mum told me never to talk to strange women.
What leapt out at me was the vivacity of the character.
I mean, she was a goodtime girl.
From the moment that Pat walked into the square...
-Do we know you?
-It's been a good few years. That better?
The history was coming out and the trouble that she caused.
-Come and give your old mum a kiss, Simon.
-Leave off, Mum.
'I never imagined after that'
that I'd be in the show for 25 and a half years.
I want you, you bitch, out of this square once and for all,
and no repeat performances, understand?
Repeat performance? Huh! I haven't even started yet.
Pat was here to stay and keen to make a lasting impression.
I think as far as iconic TV characters go,
you have to have a very strong identity.
With Pat Butcher you've got the whole kit and caboodle.
So much so, there's no shortage of celebs ready to have a go at our Pat.
They call me Snakes
because I look like a python that's swallowed a bus.
Can I interest either of you in a half share in a car lot?
Haute couture Pat has been gracing Walford's catwalk
for a quarter of a century.
-What are you wearing? Something in PVC no doubt.
In the depths of the EastEnders wardrobe department
there's a collection of the most colourful clothes known to man.
I mean, look at you. You've had the same old style for the past 15 years and it was old-fashioned back then.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got things to do.
Pat's style is ludicrous.
Sure this looks OK?
I don't know if I'd use the word "stylish".
-Not wearing that, are you?
-What's wrong with it?
It's like being punched in the face by a blancmange.
It's just bizarre but yet brilliant and it works.
I've loved having that image because it's so different from me.
The costume department tried to get me into trousers.
I said, "Pat would never wear trousers."
Nestled between the leopard print and the Lycra
is Walford's answer to the Crown Jewels.
Yes, Pat's earrings collection.
Whatever she's wearing, the earrings completely don't match.
-You don't think they're a bit cheap?
-Course they are. Perfect for you.
I think Pat's earrings are part of her bravado, daring you to mock them.
Pat collected earrings like other women collected shoes.
# We are living in a material world
# And I am a material girl. #
'I have to admit this,'
there were a couple of pairs in there that were mine.
The earrings are so important they led to
one of the most shocking revelations in Albert Square history.
If we're unhappy about something we come right out and say it, yes?
-I don't like your earrings.
-I beg your pardon?
None of 'em. I never have.
Crikey, Roy. That is below the belt.
Like it or loathe it, her image turned heads
and certainly attracted a man...or two.
-I'd never blame a lady.
-I ain't no lady.
Pat's love life has been busy, it's fair to say.
-Fancy continuing this tonight?
-How could I resist?
'Men do find her very attractive.'
The proof is in how many geezers she's had, isn't it?
He's passed it and I've still got what it takes.
'Pat Butcher is the poor man's version'
of Elizabeth Taylor.
She's been Pat Harris.
Butcher. Is there another one?
I don't know if she had other husbands. She had plenty of lovers.
Name the time, the place and list the joys in store for me and who knows what will happen?
-Can I tempt you?
-I presume you mean a drink.
In those early scenes she was at it with everyone.
She was at it with Pete, with Den Watts.
-You and me on the odd occasion.
-We were kids.
She slept with Den? The old dog!
The only time that Pat really comes alive is when she's in the sack!
I think Pat's naughty.
A nice fresh salad will perk it up!
EastEnders deserve a pat on the back for portraying the more mature person...
You could stay for the evening, if you like.
..still enjoying a very healthy love life.
-A woman of a certain age, a woman like me has needs.
What sort of needs?
It might upset younger people at home who think when you get past 50
that sort of thing doesn't happen any more but we have news for them. It does.
We're both adults, we both know what I'm talking about.
Patrick? That was wild. I couldn't believe that. That was quite a sexy scene.
Ready for round two?
# You can leave your hat on. #
It's not good, I think, for young viewers if it's seen.
That, one has to draw the line at.
So not too many details, I think.
I couldn't find a thing to wear.
She might have done the old how's your father a few times
but there was only one man who had the key to Pat's heart.
What are you? Some sort of pilchard?
Wheeler dealer and East End geezer, Frank Butcher.
Pat and Frank were childhood sweethearts. They had a quickie in Clacton aged 16
and that bound them together for the rest of their lives.
Will you be my wife?
You're bloody right I will.
'She just lost her heart to him,'
apart from everything else she lost to him.
Their wedding was an EastEnders classic,
the most talked-about nuptials since Charles and Diana.
I'd like to introduce you to a very good friend of mine, Mrs Frank Butcher.
'We really, really enjoyed that episode. The whole thing was beautiful.'
I can remember Gretchen doing a knees-up.
THEY ALL SING
I think that would have been the most fulfilled moment of her life.
But happily-ever-after lasted only four years.
-Don't you sweetheart me, Frank Butcher.
I'm done for, baby.
You just never, ever learn. I could murder you, Frank Butcher.
Money trouble beat the Butchers.
-Some people get second mortgages.
-They have more credibility with the building society.
Don't use that tone. I'm trying to help.
Then say something useful!
And Frank did what he did best. He walked away.
Do you miss him?
Heartbroken and abandoned, it seemed unlikely she'd ever love again.
SOBS: Oh, Diane!
But Cupid's arrow strikes when you least expect it.
I won't be responsible for my actions.
'The circumstances in which she met Roy were strange.'
-I'm sorry, Mr Evans.
-It's all right.
-Pat Butcher, Deals On Wheels, Walford.
-I don't believe I've had the pleasure.
-It won't be a pleasure, I can assure you.
'She gave him a piece of her mind.'
He was absolutely bowled over by this woman.
You see my idiot son paid you good money for a car.
I took a customer out in it, we got three miles and the engine blew up.
-I don't want you to say anything, Mr Evans.
'He liked this feisty lady'
who suddenly came into his office
and started reading the riot act to him.
The rocky start developed into a rock-steady relationship. Pat's life was on the up.
Happy birthday, love.
What Pat settled for was security and niceness.
-I love you, Roy.
-And I love you.
Things should have been happy from that moment on for the two of them
but of course life isn't always like that and sadly it wasn't to be.
MUSIC: "Stop The Cavalry" by Jona Lewie
On Christmas Day 1995,
the nation settled on their sofas to see Pat's life turned upside down.
Look who it is.
It was doomed as soon as Frank came in.
I'm back now and it doesn't matter what he thinks
or anybody else thinks, I know you still love me.
Why don't you just listen to her?
-You shut your mouth or I'll shut it for you.
-That's your solution?
-That's my solution!
-Pack it in, the pair of you!
'I think there were always'
three people in that relationship. There was always Frank, there had to be.
Right, I'll leave you two to it, then.
'Deep down all that Pat wanted was Frank.'
Roy felt like a poor substitute.
Sleep on the sofa tonight.
You are not walking away from me.
-Roy, let me go.
-You are my wife. You will do as I say.
You're frightening me. Get off me, Roy!
I haven't finished with you yet!
The affair became one of the biggest love sagas in TV history.
The Pat-Roy-Frank-and-Peggy love rectangle lasted a decade.
-They were off.
-You don't know how much I've missed you.
-You're a selfish, selfish man.
-And on again.
Yeah, missing you as well. It won't be long.
And so off they got married to the other two.
-You've got enough there.
Even that didn't stop them.
-You want me too.
-Want you? I wouldn't want you
if you came gift-wrapped in your birthday suit in a revolving bowtie.
You just knew that Pat and Frank were great in bed together.
-In a way that Pat and Roy probably weren't.
'I always remember Pat's face'
when Frank tried to persuade her to have sex in an aeroplane toilet.
Don't even think about it.
With a love life this complicated it was only a matter of time
before the secret came out.
Really, honestly, Peggy thought that Frank was hers,
that he'd forgotten about Pat.
They both stabbed her in the heart.
Hope you all enjoyed the fireworks. Good night.
A whopping 20 million people tuned in to watch Pat's life fall apart.
-Get out, filthy whore!
Pat and Frank
was the greatest love story the show has ever seen.
And even though other men were very important in Pat's life,
it's Frank who's waiting for her at the pearly gates.
You can't cop off with that many men
and not pick up a few enemies. And Pat, well, she had bucket-loads.
-You got a problem?
-No, should I?
Her attitude is out there. It's quite bolshie.
She's not afraid to stand up for herself and tell people what she thinks of them.
We'd better take this outside.
She'd suffered quite a few hard knocks in her time.
You can be a right hard-faced bitch sometimes. You know that?
Yeah? Life has a habit of making me that way.
If Pat challenged me to an arm wrestle in the Vic,
I wouldn't put my house on it.
Another little dip in the piggy bank?
It's always been Frank for you, hasn't it?
You wouldn't want to get into a fight with Pat because you'd lose.
Get off me!
Pat's quite an easy character
to write for.
She always has a fantastic comeback and doesn't care
what anyone thinks of her so you can get her to say anything.
You couldn't give a drunken sailor with a bottle of rum a good time.
Oh, there were plenty of characters ready to be Pat's arch nemesis.
Slap me if it makes you feel...better.
First to lay claim to the crown is her wicked stepdaughter.
'There are scenes when the intensity'
of Pat and Janine's dislike is palpable.
I would rather wade through a lake of doggy diarrhoea than talk to you.
-Janine blames Pat for things that aren't Pat's fault.
-I'm sick of it.
You standing there like you're keeping the Frank Butcher flame burning or something.
Because Janine blames everybody for everything.
-Pat, put him down.
They can't stand each other most of the time, but Pat's a glutton for punishment.
How dare you?
Pam and I always used to get excited if we knew we had a good tear-up.
You think you've got away with this, don't you? But believe me it will come back on you one day
and when it does I hope you burn in hell.
'Pat has always hoped that there's something'
redeemable in Janine, that she can't be all bad.
-Everything I learned, I learned from you.
Looks pretty bad to me, Pat.
Mind you, maybe not quite as evil as her ever-jealous stepson, big bad Barry.
Well, well, well.
Barry was always, always looking out for his dad
and he would never take Pat's side over his dad, even if his dad was totally wrong.
-You're not fit to run this business.
-You're not fit to run a marriage.
I think Barry ultimately came to hate Pat.
Because he blamed her for his father's death.
What have you done?!
I remember one scene Barry is screaming at her on the stairs because Pat said,
"I know what you're going through." He said, "Really?"
Have you just found out your slut of a wife has been having an affair?
-Have you just lost your only child?
-And your dad in the same week?
The scenes were intense, very dramatic, very off the wall.
I mean, they were on the verge of madness.
You lose, I win. What's my prize?
WHAT'S MY PRIZE?
There's a great scene where Barry has traced Pat's family tree.
It totally makes a mockery of her life, really.
Your sons, your granddaughter, rotten to the core.
I can't blame them for all of that. Look what they've come from.
I describe those scenes at the end with Pat as a total gift. We both played them with relish.
Now you talk about looking after me? You hypocrite!
-It wasn't that simple.
-I could have saved my marriage!
It was already over. Nat didn't love you and never had.
Pat is evicted and she wanders off into the cold.
It was a great image.
But surely only another hard-faced matriarch can truly stand up to Pat.
There can only be one winner - Peggy Mitchell.
Will you listen to yourself, you stupid, fat, old tart?
Pat and Peggy are the queens of the catfight.
I think you need to cool down, Peggy.
-Pat would just knock you out.
-How dare you?
Whereas Peggy would scratch your eyes out.
Of course with Pat and Peggy, fights revolved around one topic.
You must have felt at home for a minute, lying on your back looking up at my Frank.
-You know what I don't understand?
-How to keep your legs crossed?
You go for it.
You did it for me.
You take back what you said.
'Most of the slaps are real. She's like me.'
We don't coast it. We like to go for it.
'Some of those hits must have hurt!'
Get out of my pub!
'Afterwards you go,'
"That was good!" The adrenaline's going, you see. They're actually great scenes to do.
'Then you hug each other afterwards.'
See you whenever.
Mind how you go, Pat. (You're not getting any younger.)
But the truth is these two women were more alike than they dared to admit.
Peggy realised that Pat was a tart with a heart.
The script department saw there was potential
for them to be more than just adversaries.
'My heart goes out to Pat.'
-She wrecked your marriage.
-She's lost more than I have.
'The difficulty was'
finding the moment when you could see the chink in the armour when they might be less than adversaries.
I don't know about forgiving, but maybe it's time to forget.
The fact that Frank wasn't a looming shadow in their lives any more
in a strange way brought them together.
'I just thought that was very poignant when Peggy'
walked down and sat next to her and they just held hands together.
'We saw two very formidable, tough ladies develop'
into the sweetest, most touching friendship the show has had.
'If Pat and Peggy were on each other's side,'
there was no-one to touch us. We could take on the world.
Don't just stand there.
BOTH: Sling your hook!
'Like with Harvey'
when we realised he was playing one against the other, we let him have it.
That is Queen Vic property.
CHEERING AND WHISTLING
Oh, yeah, very funny.
Thelma and Louise weren't a patch on them.
Right, let's do it.
Just give them ice cream and a bottle of vodka
and there's a whole world of trouble.
Let me tell you something, Peggy. I love you.
'The whole idea was fun. You've got the basics of quite good comedy'
because you've got two elderly people behaving badly.
We're at the hospital of course.
Why don't you come over? We can have a game of doctors and nurses!
Have you been drinking?
'I hadn't realised how much'
the public enjoyed it because even now they say,
"Oh, you and Pat in the sweet van, we loved that."
-It's time you both started acting your age.
-Do you want a slap?
It's not only Peggy that loves her.
After 25 years, our Pat has finally learned to play happy families.
Pat started as an edgy character and now she's metamorphosed into
this great, warm matriarch at the head of this fantastic family.
And what a family with two kids, five stepchildren,
six grandchildren, four stepchildren and four great-grandchildren,
she's had lots of parenting practice
but her early attempts were dreadful.
-You can go up in flames for all I care, Mum.
-Stop that now. I've had enough of your whingeing.
'I think Pat in her later life'
was always trying to make up for the fact that she had failed her own children.
You weren't a mother at all. I'm surprised you took time out to go to hospital and have me.
Don't they deliver babies in the pub?
With blood relationships in tatters, her first taste of happy motherhood came with stepson Ricky.
Don't sound so surprised!
A word of advice, Ricky. The future. That's where you should be looking.
-Ricky is very, very special to her.
-You all right?
-Fine, love, thanks.
-I was worried about you.
It's almost as if she saw Frank there but without the bluster.
If there's one person in the world I don't want to lose, it's Ricky.
Over the last few years Pat's really proved herself as a good matriarch.
She looks after everyone. She's made up for her mistakes.
-Hello, trouble. Treble trouble!
Pat is a really good grandma. She's always there.
-Nana Pat rules.
-I thought that might get a reaction.
'Bianca thinks Pat's always going to be there
'and I think it'll be one of those situations'
where she loses someone and realises what a huge gap it is in her life. I think it'll hit her hard.
You always did give really good cuddles.
Six months ago, Pam St Clement decided it was time to bow out of EastEnders.
'I've always worked by the old actor adage,'
"Leave the stage while they still want more."
I think no-one could imagine Pat leaving the square.
If she can't leave, she'll have to leave us here.
So it was written into the script that Pat would discover she had cancer.
The last month or two, working up to Pat's exit, has been pretty tough.
-How are you feeling?
-I've been better, Dot. Been better.
'People have been saying,'
"How does it feel to be going?" I can't even think about that.
I can grieve at another time
but at the moment I've got a massive job to do.
I'm not well, Janine, I can't cope with anything else today.
'Those last few weeks were exhausting and traumatic'
because we're losing one of our favourite girls.
'It's really intense'
and she just played it really beautifully.
It's New Year's Day. I never liked it very much.
Fresh start, resolutions you never keep.
I don't have to worry about that this year, do I?
'What Pam does in the New Year's episode'
is one of the best performances I've ever seen in EastEnders.
So after 25 years and 2,183 episodes,
Walford and the nation mourned the loss of Pat.
EastEnders will never be the same. This is the end of an era.
To play the same part for 25 years is an enormous achievement.
'Pat is just a great bird'
and that's why I think it's a character that will be sorely, sorely missed.
'I don't think anyone will ever match up to Pat Butcher.'
There is one and only and that's her.
Pat Butcher. Iconic, legendary, irreplaceable.
You will be dearly missed on the square.
It's been lovely being part of your life.
Rest in peace.
And in the words of Frank Butcher, "Take care of yourself, babe."
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
After 25 years on the Square, Walford bids an emotional farewell to one of TV's most iconic characters. With exclusive behind-the-scenes access and interviews with Pam St Clement and the EastEnders cast, including Barbara Windsor, Patsy Palmer and Shaun Williamson, this programme looks back at Pat's greatest moments and celebrates the end of an earring. Narrated by Shane Richie.