EastEnders has filmed a last-minute scene making a reference to Michael Jackson’s death.

Denise Wicks (played by Diane Parish) will mention the sad news to Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker), as she wishes him a happy birthday.

It is not the first time the soap has hastily added in references to real-life stories of massive interest.

Barack Obama’s election as president of the United States and England’s participation in the World Cup are also events which the soap has referred to with a speedy bit of extra writing.

EastEnders executive producer Diederick Santer said: “There are some news stories and events which get everyone talking, and this is one of them.

“Given the quick turnaround, it’s only a small scene, but I hope it reflects to some extent the impact Michael Jackson’s death has had.”

An EastEnders spokeswoman said: “We always aim to reflect topical events that we think will strike a chord with our audience.”

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