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EastEnders at 15: tragic moments; 1991-1993.

THE Square is rocked by the violent death Eddie Royle, the ex-copper who was landlord of the Vic for one year.

He had a brief fling with Kathy, but then, who hadn't? Before his untimely end, Eddie proposed to Irish girlfriend Eibhlin, but he reached the coffin before the altar.

The big question is who dunnit? Grant, of course, is top of the suspect list as he'd already beaten the poor guy half to death for having a go with Sharon.

Clyde Tavernier goes on the run with son Kofi, girlfriend Michelle and little Vicki after being framed for the dastardly deed. He's charged and imprisoned - but not for long. The real culprit turns out to be Mr Nasty, Nick Cotton.

Homeless teenager Disa O'Brien makes a slightly less dramatic exit this year after deciding Walford isn't for her.

A former streetmate of Diane Butcher, she arrived 13 months earlier on Christmas Day, leaving her new-born baby on Diane's doorstep.

It turned out Disa had been raped by her stepfather Ken - fathering little Jasmine - and when the teenager's mum found out she took her long-lost daughter and granddaughter in.

There's trouble in store for Ian Beale, not for the first time, as wife Cindy leaves with his cousin Simon Wicks, taking little Steven. The question is where did they go? London, Italy or Devon?

There's better news for Sharon as she ties the knot with hunky Queen Vic barman Grant Mitchell in a romantic Boxing Day ceremony.

Ricky, meanwhile, is busy getting betrothed to Sam, but they choose to elope to Gretna Green as they're scared of what Big Brothers might say.

Another brighter note, for Dot certainly, is the death of Charlie Cotton in July 1991.

1992 brings in shades of the eccentric as curly-haired Nigel Bates, an old school chum of Grant, arrives in the Square. He quickly strikes up a bizarre affinity with Dot.

Arthur Fowler, Walford's most unlikely love-rat, begins a comical affair with upper-crust Christine Hewitt after working in her garden.

Distressed Pauline confronts Christine after finding a passionate letter in Arthur's shed and the truth comes out.

There's more upset for the family in this year as Mark Fowler marries his Aids- stricken girlfriend Gill. Frail Gill bears the Fowler name for just 28 days before dying.

The Jackson family arrive and the Square is instantly set alight by fiery redhead Bianca, whose charm and grace know no bounds.

Another new face is market inspector Richard Cole - Tricky Dicky - who's certainly taken by Bianca, among others.

1993 is not a good year for the Roses. Now divorced from Kathy, barrow boy Pete Beale falls for gangster's moll Rose Chapman while her estranged husband is in prison. The pair flee London to start a new life, but Ian gets a call to say they've both died in a car crash.

There's drama for 'Chelle as her boyfriend of the moment turns into a maniac and starts stalking her around the Square. It ends up in high drama as he kidnaps Vicki.

It's hello to Sanjay and Gita Kapoor.

They firmly take their place as market traders with a clothes stall, but Gita becomes obsessed with having a baby and Sanjay can't stop gambling. Happy news when they finally have Sharmilla later that year.

Nicotine queen Dot Cotton smokes her last fag and downs her last tomato juice in the Queen Vic.

Her son's attempts to poison her, years of hell from Charlie and the chat in the launderette have finally got to her.

Another departing face is lecturer Rachel Kominski, who was always treated with a certain amount of mistrust in the Square because of her professional, middle- class standing. It was Rachel who saw 'Chelle's potential as more than a single mum and encouraged her to apply for college.

She also had an on-off six-month relationship with Mark. Her final months in Walford saw her reduced to working in the cafe, running a bric-a-brac stall and sleeping with Tricky Dicky.

Albert Square worked its magic with this casualty.

Christine Hewitt, who has been hanging around like a bad smell in Pauline's life, also decides enough's enough and goes back to her flowery living room and the gin bottle.

Arthur, given the choice, says he prefers Pauline.

Homeless waif Mandy Salter arrives looking for sympathy but gets none, and Cindy returns, is reconciled with Ian, and gives birth to twins Lucy and Peter.

hello to...

COMPLETE families emerged in the Square. The Jacksons arrived - that's Blossom, Billy, Carol, Alan, Bianca, Robbie and Sonja. Sanjay and Gita trundled in with faces like thunder. At least little Sharmilla could smile.

Tragic Gill Fowler was in and out as she married Mark then died of Aids. Nigel Bates was a welcome addition, as were Debbie and Clare Bates. Births included twins Lucy and Peter Beale.

Tricky Dicky Richard Cole was not a welcome face. Meena McKenzie isn't known for her charm, either.

Then there's homeless Mandy Salter - enough said.

farewell to...

EDDIE Royle was first out of the Square in this period when he was murdered by Nick Cotton.

Homeless teenager Disa O'Brien left to return to her mum after the truth about her abuse and rape at the hands of her stepfather came out.

Simon Wicks made off with scheming Cindy and baby Steven, leaving Ian heartbroken. She returned before too long and made him the father of twins.

Pete Beale died in a road crash with Rose Chapman, and Charlie Cotton also perished.

Clyde Tavernier got out of prison and gave Walford the bodyswerve.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 16, 2000
Next Article:Still worlds apart after 308 years.

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