Walford Gazette Issue No. 99 Published

EastEnders Fans Stay Calm and Carry On

By Larry Jaffee

The British expression, “Stiff Upper Lip” or WWII-era motto “Britain Can Take It” sort of sums up what EastEnders fans go through to get their fix of our favourite show.

Even natural disaster, such as Hurricane Harvey, wouldn’t prevent Houston-area residents Larry Fitzpatrick and Philip Sifuentes – from figuring out a way to watch the latest on-goings at Albert Square, even though their houses were decimated.

Houston EastEnders Fan Club president Jan LaRocque, reported on Sept. 7: “I’ve been texting with Philip. He and Larry have been able to go into their homes to assess the damage. He said they had both moved valuable items up high so nothing important was lost. Now it’s a matter of dealing with the ruined carpets, furniture and other soaked items. We will call them from Black Lab (where the club holds their monthly meetings) on Monday night (Sept. 11). They are both ok and that’s the important part.”

At press time, southern Florida was bracing for Hurricane Irma to hit, with more than 1 million residents ordered to evacuate in barrier islands, coastal communities and low-lying areas.

Coincidentally, Houston and Miami are two of the only six U.S. public TV stations left still broadcasting EastEnders, but neither has fund-raised around the show in years, which doesn’t bode well for it staying on the programme schedules in the future. (See page 2 for news about the latest cancellation in Fargo, North Dakota.)

BritBox emerged just at the right time if you could put up with the gap of missing about 11 years of episodes.

Even another EastEnders station, WETA-TV in the Washington, DC area – which occasionally fund-raises around the show – causes aggro for fans.

Long-time Gazette subscriber Peter Kimmel reports that earlier this year when WETA launched a British-only channel that now carried EastEnders– sounds great, right? – it was only carried by cable systems and not DirecTV, which he subscribed to.

“I never heard back from DirectTV again,” writes Peter. “I did, however, uncover another solution, which was to switch from DirecTV to another provider. Since DirecTV coverage was spotty, especially during something as minor as a bit of rain, it became a no-brainer to switch.”

That’s the “East End moxie” that Larry Fitzpatrick refers to on page 3.

Good luck everyone!