There’s fireworks behind the Queen Vic bar in this iconic bonfire night episode featuring Peggy Butcher, Pat Evans and Albert Square Romeo Frank Butcher.
The Queen Vic pub has witnessed many an explosive love triangle and this hour-long special of EastEnders is one of the best. First airing on 2 November 2000 it features soap legends Peggy Butcher, Frank Butcher and Pat Evans (7.30 pm, see our TV Guide for full listings).
Landlady Peggy Butcher (Barbara Windsor) is in her element running the Queen Victoria with hubby Frank Butcher (Mike Reid) but what the former Mitchell doesn’t know is that there’s a fly in the ointment… Namely her old friend – and enemy, – Pat Evans (Pam St Clement)!
Frank and Pat have had a chequered past from a broken teenage romance to a fractured marriage. When Frank wed Peggy and Pat settled down with Roy Evans (Tony Caunter) it seemed like the Pat-and-Frank love story was at an end. But a couples holiday to Spain saw their former love reignited and they plotted to run away together.
Pat called it off at the last minute and they agreed to continue their lives, but there was one problem. Frank had left a Dear John letter for Peggy on the kitchen table…
We start the episode with a frantic Frank facing up to a fuming Peggy. He is filled with relief when he realises that she hasn’t found the letter, she’s just angry with him for sneaking out when there’s the bonfire night party to plan.
Frank heads out to find Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) after discovering he’d popped round earlier to see Peggy, worried that the letter was in his hands.
Meanwhile, cleaner Little Mo Morgan (Kacey Ainsworth) finds the letter in her cleaner’s apron pocket and hands it to Peggy. When a nervy Frank returns, and with an equally worried Pat offering to help behind the bar, Peggy announces to the punters that it’s time to declare the winner of the ‘Best Guy Fawkes’ Guy’ competition.
With a steely resolve, Peggy reads out the letter to the assembled crowd, including a devastated Roy. Cue a stunned silence, a couple of classic Peggy slaps to her betrayers and the punters being hustled out with a cry of ‘get aht of my pub’!
Bombshells, tears, recriminations and revelations follow…
While EastEnders takes a break, fans will get their Tuesday night Walford fix with classic reruns replacing the regular episodes. EastEnders will return with brand new episodes later in the year.
EastEnders replacement programming continues on BBC1 on Monday at 8 pm