Knees-Up, Pub Quiz & Fancy Dress Fête for NC Club
By Linda Fineman
RALEIGH, NC—All three chapters of the North Carolina EastEnders Fan
Club have had an active 2006, from luncheons to screenings to costume
parties. This update focuses on the Triangle group, which attracts
fans from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Check the next issue of
the Walford Gazette for a report from the Queen City (Charlotte)
Vickers on their fancy-dress fête.
Summer Lunch Meeting
Our club met on 24 June for a luncheon to celebrate our recent
success at the annual PBS fund-raiser, Festival, and to hear a guest
speaker from the station. We enjoyed a sumptuous spread at the Royal
China Buffet in a new private dining area with excellent acoustics
(usually a challenge at past venues). Dennis Dowdy, assistant
programme manager at UNC-TV, made a return appearance and delighted us
with another news-packed talk and a revealing Q&A.
Dennis is a long-time friend of our club and a genuine EastEnders
fan and Anglophile. He knows just what kind of insider knowledge our
club members relish, and he delivers it with irresistible charm and
humour. He's not afraid to speak candidly, so we don't get scripted
answers to difficult questions; he tells it like it is. We are
fortunate to have allies like Dennis at UNC-TV, and he has supported
us throughout our 10-year association.
Following Dennis's talk, our club member and Festival on-air
host, Claire Meyerhoff, presented the most creative Pub Quiz in the
entire history of EastEnders. Yes, that may sound like hyperbole, but
keep reading and see if you don't agree!
Claire's quiz was multipart, with winners of the three sections
competing in a final sudden-death round. Here are the three parts:
1. Countdown of Lists
Ten Who Tended (bar)
Nine Counter Keepers and Stall-holders
Eight "D" First Names (Dan, etc.)
Seven in Heaven
Six "C" First Names
Three Who Cut Hair
One Unwed Mother
2. Last Names
Claire prompted us with a first name and character description, and we
had to supply the surname.
3. Four Sets of Four
Four questions about Mark
Four questions about illegal activity
Four questions about affairs
Four questions about the di Marcos
Prizes were awarded for each of the above contests, and then the
three winners faced off in a sudden-death challenge. Claire had
actually prepared ONE HUNDRED final-round questions, but Michael
Fitzgerald triumphed at question 23: "Which superbitch has been played
by three actresses?" Answer: Janine!
The afternoon was a delight from start to finish, and we're all
looking forward to the next gathering, planned for later this year..
Civvy Street Screening
UNC-TV, our flagship PBS station, hosted a screening of Civvy Street
for EastEnders fans on 19 August. The tickets were $80 each (2 for
$150) during Festival. We had all been looking forward to the event,
but it surpassed our wildest expectations.
First, no one had any idea how superb the quality of the
programme itself would be. Given that it aired on the "telly" during
the 1980s, we weren't expecting high production values. We also
assumed that our copy would show its age, but that wasn't the case at
all. The programme looked and sounded first-rate, and it was
especially impressive projected on a large screen. The story was
riveting and perfectly cast. A must-see for any EE fan!
UNC-TV went all out to give us an East End-style knees-up. Julia
Carpenter gave a rousing introduction and shared kudos with everyone
present for supporting EE and UNC-TV year after year. Guest speaker
Ray Templeton is a UNC-TV staffer who moonlights as a stand-up comic,
so his presentation had us in stitches. We got to ask him everything
we ever wanted to know about Brit programming and more.
Our own Claire Meyerhoff, EE Trivia Queen and on-air talent
during fund-raisers, presented the Civvy Street introduction. It set
the context of the story and clued us in on points we might otherwise
have missed. The programme began with the magical EE theme, and we
were transported back in time: Albert Square, circa WWII. The next
hour was bliss!
While we hungrily watched the show, Julia prepared to satisfy our
other hunger with an authentic British tea. She made cucumber
sandwiches, scones, biscuits and sausage rolls... and then it
happened. The sausage rolls cooked a wee bit too long, and the fire
alarms went off. They sounded during an air-raid scene in Civvy
Street, so it seemed oddly appropriate. The alarms proved impossible
to disarm, so we got a friendly visit from the local fire department!
After the screening, we feasted on the delectable tea and then
took a behind-the-scenes tour of the station. UNC-TV has
state-of-the-art facilities, and the computers and electronics were
truly astounding. We were granted access to the restricted badge-only
area, where $20 million in equipment is installed. Quite an impressive
The day was a complete joy and a class act all the way. We'd like
to thank WLIW in New York for securing the rights to Civvy Street and
working with UNC-TV to bring it to North Carolina fans. Everyone take
notice: Don't miss your opportunity to bring Civvy Street to town and
raise funds to support EE!
One final note for trivia fans: There is a blond American soldier
in Civvy Street who tries to hit on Lou. He's played by none other
than Otto Jarman, the actor whom you may recognize as Mike Barbosa
from the beloved As Time Goes By. Mike is the American who buys
Lionel's screenplay for a miniseries.
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