Tuesday 20 February 2018

Web mix-up as soap fans lose plot

Bobby Beale, played by Eliot Carrington, was revealed as the killer of Lucy Beale in the BBC One soap, EastEnders
Bobby Beale, played by Eliot Carrington, was revealed as the killer of Lucy Beale in the BBC One soap, EastEnders

The final twist in the EastEnders' murder-mystery brought in three million more viewers than usual, a handful of complaints and a case of mistaken identity that briefly made an American student an online sensation.

More than 10 million people tuned in to each of last night's two episodes which finally revealed Lucy Beale was killed by her younger half-brother Bobby.

Ratings specialist overnights.tv said 10.84 million watched the first episode, with a peak of 11.9 million, for a 44.7% share of the audience, while 10.3 million watched the second episode, with a peak of 11.2 million, for a 41.8% share.

The figures were well above average - last Thursday's edition was watched by 7.1 million people but not everyone was happy with it.

F our viewers complained the BBC misled the public over who killed Lucy by supplying false information in publicity about the suspects, while another complained about the absence of a helpline to support viewers affected by the storyline.

The audience figures are dwarfed by the numbers who watched some of the soap's previous big moments.

When Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) and Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) married in 1997, the episode was watched by 22 million viewers. And that was outdone by the show on Christmas Day 1986 show when ''Dirty'' Den Watts handed a divorce letter to wife Angie, which drew 30 million.

The revelation that Bobby was the killer brought to an end almost a year of speculation about how the 20-year-old Walford woman met her death.

The mystery was only cleared up when the schoolboy was discovered standing over his sister's lifeless body.

Standing in the front room of their house and clutching what appeared to be the murder weapon, Bobby told his stepmother Jane: "Whatever she says, she started it. She made everyone unhappy."

The family's reaction to the shock news will play out in tonight's live episode.

But i t was not the only revelation - Luc y's grandmother, Kathy Beale, played by Gillian Taylforth, also returned to the soap almost a decade after she was thought to have been killed in a car crash.

She was last seen on the show in 2000 and had been a regular fixture on the long-running soap since 1985.

It was also a big night for a c onfused American student - Bobbie Beale - who took the online flak for her fictional namesake.

The Californian teenager started receiving menacing tweets at the climax of the murder mystery which marked the show's 30th anniversary.

One viewer tweeted the cosmetology student saying "murderer", with another asking "why did you kill Lucy?".

The second tweet proved particularly perplexing for Bobbie, as Lucy was also the name of her pet dog.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I got about three tweets this afternoon saying 'why did I kill Lucy?' and I was pretty confused because I thought it was talking about my dog, because my dog's name is Lucy.

"I got more than 1,500 new followers and my tweet got 15,000 retweets - it was just crazy.

"I definitely didn't kill my sister and I definitely didn't kill my dog."

Press Association

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