BBC One screened a special programme after Thursday night’s episode of EastEnders in remembrance of the late actress Wendy Richard.

Called simply, Wendy Richard: A Tribute, the programme honoured the life and work of the British soap legend.

Many of her co-stars and BBC bosses have paid tribute to the 65-year-old actress.

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said: “I am enormously saddened by the news of Wendy’s death. Her countless BBC appearances across decades lit up living rooms for millions of British families who regarded her as a member of the family. That was an enormous achievement.

“She will be hugely missed,” he added.

Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale in EastEnders, said: “I am so sorry to hear the very sad news about Wendy’s death. I have many fond memories of our time together at EastEnders and will remember her with affection. Knowing that she is no longer in pain and suffering is the only comfort and I hope she rests in peace. My deepest sympathies are with John, their family and friends.”

Fellow actress Pam St Clement, who plays Pat Evans on the soap, said: “I was very saddened to hear of the death of Wendy, who was a friend and colleague for many years. My thoughts are with John.”

John Yorke, Head Of Drama Production & New Talent, said: “For 22 years, whether she was bemoaning Arthur’s bad luck, cursing her children’s wayward nature or reminding us all once again that it was ‘all about family’, it was impossible for anyone to mention EastEnders without the iconic image of Pauline coming to mind.”

Wendy Richard: A Tribute will show at 8.00pm on BBC One.

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