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100 best EastEnders characters; Walford's greatest numbers 25-01.

Byline: IAN HYLAND and SARA WALLIS

ALBERT Square has been home to a whole host of colourful characters, from murderous villains to serial love rats and everything in between.

With EastEnders running classic episodes while the soap goes on a short hiatus, including Sharongate and Den serving Angie divorce papers, we've been enjoying a look back at the best 100 characters of all time.

And today it's time for you to have a Butcher's at our top 25 Walford residents - with Sharon, played by Letitia Dean, our top pick. She said: "Wow I'm surprised and honoured in equal measures to take the top spot!" ian.hyland@mirror.co.uk @HylandIan Tell us what you think: YV yourvoice@mirror.co.uk ANGIE WATTS Permed pub landlady Angie (Anita Dobson) spent three years in Walford battling alcoholism and her feckless husband Den. Their Christmas Day divorce papers episode pulled in a record 30 million viewers in 1986.

PATRICK TRUEMAN With his trilby, twinkly eyes and taste for rum, Patrick (Rudolph Walker) has been the go-to guy for a friend in need. Storylines include an affair with Pat, the death of adoptive son Paul, a mystery attack and racist abuse.

PAULINE FOWLER Walford's original matriarch. Pauline (Wendy Richard) endured a fairly miserable existence for 21 years, punctuated only by moments of light relief in the laundrette with Dot. Died alone on Christmas Day 2006.

GRANT MITCHELL Grant (Ross Kemp) and Phil were the self-styled Kray twins of Walford with a hint of violence. Marriages to Sharon and Tiffany were a disaster. After moving to Portugal, he made a brief return for mum Peggy's funeral in 2016.

ALFIE MOON Some thought it was crazy to cast Shane Richie in a serious drama but, thanks to Alfie's enduring double act with Kat Jessie Wallace), the former game show host proved them all wrong. Terrible taste in shirts though.

DAVID WICKS Smooth talker David (Michael French) was Pat's womanising son. He had a fiery relationship with Carol and kids Bianca and Joe, and an affair with Cindy, before moving to America in 2014 after splitting with Carol.

SONIA FOWLER Memorably described by her mother-in-law Pauline Fowler as "daughter of a scrubber, lesbian, under-age mother who gave away her own baby". Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) can add trumpet player to that list.

FRANK BUTCHER Wheeler dealer Frank (Mike Reid) won over Pat and Peggy. Bad dad to Ricky and Janine, he conned his way through life but could charm the ladies with nothing but a spinning dickie bow. He died from cancer in 2008.

MICHELLE FOWLER Memorable moments included Michelle (Susan Tully) having a secret baby with Den Watts at 16, witnessing Den's "assassination", exposing Sharon's affair with Phil, and having a secret baby with Grant.

y ARTHUR FOWLER Family man Arthur (Bill Treacher) was often "down the allotment" to escape nagging wife Pauline. An unlikely jailbird after stealing to pay for Michelle's wedding, he had a mental breakdown and died in 1996.

IAN BEALE Ian Adam Woodyatt) has the resilience of a cockroach. He has survived five marriages, one attempted murder, homelessness and several bog washes from his nemesis Phil.

PHIL MITCHELL Walford's original hardman, no one has seen Phil (Steve McFadden) smile in 30 years. After Sharongate, alcoholism, drug addiction, a car crash, run-ins with gangsters and the "Who Shot Phil?" plot, who can blame him? 21 LINDA CARTER Bun-haired, flamingo-loving Queen Vic landlady, played by Kellie Bright. Linda recently developed a drink problem following a spate of personal traumas and marital issues with Mick.

20 CINDY BEALE Homewrecker Cinds (Michelle Collins) worked her way through most of Walford's men in 10 years, but settled for boring Ian. She hired a hitman to kill him, was jailed for attempted murder and died in childbirth in 1998.

PEGGY MITCHELL Peggy (Barbara Windsor) was one of the Big Three matriarchs with frenemies Pat and Pauline. Famed for her catchphrase "Get outta my pub!" and her attempts to keep her sons on the straight and narrow.

DOT BRANNING Ooh I say! Chainsmoking busybody Dot (June Brown) has put up with plenty, including son Nasty Nick, cancer, a euthanasia storyline and losing her eyesight. A tragicomic icon, she made a quiet exit in January.

PAT EVANS Former prostitute who was as bold as her earrings. Pat (Pam St Clement) was involved in many slanging matches with Peggy including the classic "You bitch! You cow!" slapping altercations that took place 10 years apart.

KAT SLATER All hoop earrings and trowelled-on makeup, Zoe's "muvva" has been played by Jessie Wallace since 2000. From baby swap drama to her split with Alfie, a lottery win, affairs and a murderous son, Kat has seen it all.

JANINE BUTCHER A regular nominee for soap bitch and/or villain awards. Frank's daughter, most notably played by Charlie Brooks, has "seen off" three hubbies before being charged with murder. Last seen heading for Paris in 2014.

DEN WATTS Dirty Den (Leslie Grantham) was a love rat with a stormy marriage to Angie. "Shot dead", he shocked daughter Sharon by saying "Hello, Princess!" 14 years later. Second wife Chrissie killed him with the Queen Vic doorstop.

STACEY SLATER Bipolarsuffering Slater cousin. During her 16 years in Walford, Stacey (Lacey Turner) has perhaps endured more misery and trauma than any other character in the soap's history. Still, Lacey has won stacks of awards.

MEL OWEN A vicar's sister with an unholy taste in men, Mel (Tamzin Outhwaite) dumped Ian after his tall cancer tale about daughter Lucy. She married criminal Steve, had a fling with Phil and was kidnapped by Dan. Killed off by a lorry in 2019.

NASTY NICK COTTON Famous for his trademark "'Ello, Ma", drugaddicted jailbird Nick (John Altman) caused nothing but misery for his long-suffering mother Dot. She finally gave up on him as he lay dying from heroin poisoning in 2015.

MAX BRANNING Often topping lists of soap bad boys, Max (Jake Wood) is notorious for family feuds, flings and brushes with the law. Christmas Day 2007 reveal of his affair with Stacey was one of the soap's best doof-doofs.

SHARON MITCHELL Dirty Den's princess is our all-time Queen of Walford.

During three stints in the soap, Sharon (Letitia Dean) has been involved in some of its most memorable storylines, from her love triangle with Phil and Grant Mitchell right up to her recent scandalous affair with Phil's employee Keanu, who was almost 30 years her junior.

The affair resulted in Sharon having her second child, at the age of 50 - so there's lots more drama to come.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:IAN HYLAND and SARA WALLIS
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2020
Words:1104
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