EastEnders’ Contribution to Children in Need

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Our British friends on Friday night watched the annual BBC charity show for Children In Need, and as usual, the EastEnders cast were featured in a few segments.

Spoiler alert: If you’re only familiar with the current episodes running on US public TV there might be many unfamiliar faces, but that shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the performances.

Shane Richie (Alfie Moon) led off the troupe through a few numbers from the classic musical Grease, in which Shane has starred in on the stage as Danny.

Then in “The Ghosts of Ian Beale,” we get to see some long-not-seen EastEnders faces, including Michelle Collins (Cindy Beale) and Gillian Taylforth (Kathy Beale), and both look like they haven’t aged a day since their last EastEnders appearances more than a decade ago!

Which segment did you like better? (Email me at walfordgazette@gmail.com)

I especially loved hearing Ethel’s and Lou’s voices in the aural montage. And how about Martine McCutcheon’s (Tiffany) real-life hit single “Perfect” playing on the radio in the launderette?

The BBC also published an EastEnders Children In Need 2015 calendar, getting the actors to pose for photographs various vignettes of undress, a la Calendar Girls, including 87-year-old June Brown (Dot Cotton).

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In 2009 I had the privilege to see June on a West End stage production of Calendar Girls with Anita Dobson (Angie Watts), Jill Halfpenny (Kate Mitchell) and Jack Ryder (Jamie Mitchell).

The calendars are on sale for £10 (but only to UK residents, boo!).

The Return of Nick Cotton, and 10 Nuggets You May Have Missed from the Last Walford Gazette

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EastEnders fans in the UK were greeted last week with the return of Nick Cotton, lurking around (see above). Can’t you hear him say to Dot, “Hi, Mah… Miss Me?”

Even though he was presumed dead, I’m not surprised. As John told the Walford Gazette’s Larry Jaffee in 2003, “I think they keep him like an ace card up their sleeve. When it gets a bit quiet, [time to bring back Nasty Nick].”

Meanwhile, here are 10 nuggets you might have missed from the last Walford Gazette (No. 87):

1) Speaking of Nasty Nick, About 12 years ago, a few New York-area EastEnders fans were planning a weekend get-together, and in walked John Altman (Nick Cotton) with the WG’s Larry Jaffee.

2) Tracy Ann Oberman (Chrissie Watts) recently starred in an episode of Father Brown, playing a character who also had enemies and was involved in someone’s death.

3) Patsy Palmer (Bianca Jackson Butcher) recently moved her family to Los Angeles, and she told the Walford Gazette in 1995 that she wanted to star in a live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

4) Does Ian Beale use Viagra to keep a constant flow of women in his life and bedroom?

5) “I’ve got a well-fit new bloke. He’s been inside, but I don’t mind. Some girls like a bit rough.” Who am I? Big Mo

6) WPBS of Watertown, NY reinstated EastEnders after scores of fans complained about it being canceled and off the air for two months.

7) You can buy wallpaper that looks just like the EastEnders logo (aerial view of London and The Thames) through www.lovemapson.com

8) Paul Bradley (Nigel Bates) was college chums at Manchester University with Rik Mayall (The Young Ones), who died earlier this year.

9) Grant Mitchell was apparently a jazz fan, as evidenced by the poster of British saxist Courtney Pine once seen in his flat.

10) Lucy Speed (Natalie Evans) and Letitia Dean appeared in a 1995 movie called England, My England about a 1960s playwright trying to write about a 1600s composer.

The next issue of the Walford Gazette, last in 2014, (#88) is in production. You can renew via PayPal at the box to the right. If you would like to check your subscription status email: walfordgazette@gmail.com or phone 917-291-2488. Cheers.