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Summary[]

Den is ready to walk out on Angie and leave everything behind, including his successful like as a publican, but then some devastating news from his wife turns their love-hate relationship on its head.

It’s early morning in the Vic. Den’s quiet, tense and ready for battle. Angie senses his mood and when he says he wants to talk she blabbers on about nothing, rushing around the house trying to tidy up. Den follows her, finally pushing her down on the couch to get her attention. He reminds her that their marriage is now a sham and all their shared dreams have come to nothing. Interrupted by the window cleaner, they head downstairs.

In the bar, Angie tries to stall Den’s onslaught but he tells her straight. He’s leaving her. A clean break. Willmott-Brown has lined up another pub for him and Angie can have the Vic. Once again, the window cleaner interrupts.

As she runs upstairs, Angie demands to know who’ll do his books for him and Den is forced to mention the dreaded name - Jan. Angie starts an attack on Jan but suddenly changes tack and agrees with Den, admitting she’s beat - he can have his divorce. Shocked, Den tries to cash in on this reasonable behaviour by discussing practical details, but Angie tells him it’s too soon. She needs time to think. Den leaves the room and Angie slumps in despair.

Angie tells Roly that there’s no way Jan is getting her hands on Den. She wipes away her tears and prepares to drop her bombshell. She reminds Den that she hasn’t been well for months. Den counters by saying he’s spoken to Doctor Legg and any illness she has is drink related. Angie descends into a hysterical tirade, revealing she only has 6 months to live. Her performance is convincing and Den begins to believe her. Angie starts to go into the details of her illness but Den can’t handle it. In utter shock, he tells her he can't leave now and she must forget everything he's said this morning. He's consumed by guilt and asks Angie’s forgiveness for all he's done. Den realises his plans for a new life are in tatters while Angie smiles to herself, knowing she still has him for another while.

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Notes[]

  • This was the programmes first two-hander. It was the idea of the writers at EastEnders who concluded to create this episode following the popularity of Den and Angie to the public. Just two characters to appear in a half-hour drama was unheard of in a bi-weekly serial back then, however, once it was done it set a precedent and the programme has featured two-handers, three-handers, four-handers and single-handers! It set off a legacy that would carry on for years and years.
  • The window cleaner that appeared in this episode was not recognised for his role, so wistfully the actor who characterised him is currently anonymous. The "cleaner in the background" as he is known to many of the public, had such an influence on the episode more than the producers and executives had presumed, and even now when the episode is re-aired, he's right back into the public eye and mostly found humorous.
  • This episode was repeated on BBC Four on 22nd May 2016 in tribute to its director, Antonia Bird, who had died three years before. The episode was transmitted on the same day the BBC Four documentary "From EastEnders to Hollywood: Antonia Bird" aired.
  • Due to the substantial cessation of filming on continuing dramas and therefore EastEnders taking a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this episode was given a special repeat under the EastEnders' special EastEnders: Iconic Episodes on BBC One at 7.30pm on 23rd June 2020 and was dubbed 'Den and Angie'.
  • Radio Times synopsis: 'All we got is this... a shambles. A lie. A pretence.'
  • Viewing Figures: UK broadcast - 22,400,000 viewers (chart placing unknown).
October 1986 episodes
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