Not content with ruining Christmas, New Year, Good Friday and pretty much every other major celebration in the calendar, EastEnders are now coming for Mother’s Day.
As you can see from the image above, it’s Claudette, Old Mother Hubbard herself, who is to have her special occasion utterly ruined. She’s being blackmailed by Kathy’s dreadful husband, Gavin, so does the only reasonably thing – lamps him one round the bonce with one of Kim’s prized candlesticks.
In real life it’s reassuringly uncommon to be killed, maimed or otherwise incapacitated by a blow to the head, but not in soapland. There, death by blunt force trauma is one of the most common ways to go, and with an amazing variety of weapons.
Death by ASHTRAY
The trend was started by EastEnders bad boy Steve Owen, who went to extraordinary lengths to hide the fact he hadn’t bought his on-off lover, Saskia, a card for Valentine’s Day – he smashed her skull in with an ashtray! Romance was dead, and so was poor Saskia.
Death by CROWBAR
Back in the more innocent times of 2003, it was actually pretty rare for soap characters to meet horribly violent fates, so it was a real shock when Corrie “crimper” Maxine Peacock found herself on the sharp end of Richard Hillman’s crowbar. Richard had actually been trying to murder Emily Bishop, who cheated death due to her hair being so firmly set that she might as well have been wearing a crash helmet.
Death by DOGGY DOORSTOP
Original EastEnder Den Watts has the rare (although by no means unique) distinction of having been killed twice. The first time around he was shot by a bunch of daffodils, which was pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Things didn’t improve much the second time, when wronged wife Chrissie saw him off with Pauline Fowler’s doggy doorstop. Ouch!
Death by FRYING PAN
Speaking of poor old Pauline, she also met her maker after a bang to the head, collapsing under the Albert Square tree on Christmas Day. Initially, Sonia thought she was to blame, as she’d thumped Pauline a few days earlier. But it turned out to have been Pauline’s dodgy husband, Joe, in the kitchen, with the frying pan. I think was supposed to be ironic, as Pauline had famously dished out the same punishment to her first hubby, Arthur. Actually, it was just a bit horrible.
Death by HAMMER
Being more northern and earthy, Coronation Street killers tend to favour everyday household tools as their instruments of death. John Stape took a hammer to crazed Charlotte Hoyle’s head just minutes before a tram crashed into the Street, and could probably have got away with it if he hadn’t subsequently kidnapped her parents and locked them in their own cellar for several weeks. Let that be a lesson to us all – quit while you’re ahead.
Death by JEWELLERY BOX
Lucy Beale suffered her fatal injury in the very same room as her Auntie Pauline, which is pretty bad luck however you want to look at it. This time the weapon was a jewellery box, and the assailant her little brother, Bobby, who killed her because she was, erm, after she… y’know, I’m still not exactly sure why he did it. In fact, I reckon it’s outrageous that he got the blame at all, considering half of the Square had lined up to give Lucy a battering in the week before her death.
Death by PRISON
Actually, now I come to think of it, Arthur Fowler died of a knock to the noggin as well – sustained during a prison brawl the day before he was due for release. There’s a bench dedicated to him in the middle of Albert Square – perhaps someone will be walloped to death with that one of these days.
Death by PIPE
The most recent Corrie victim was Tina McIntyre, who was cruelly dispatched by Rob Donovan. He’d initially pushed her off a roof, a fall which she’d survived, despite the fact that it would have killed ANYONE it happened to. But she made the fatal mistake of goading him about what a rubbish murderer and all-round loser he was, so he picked up a handy bit of piping and finished the job.
Death by QUEEN VICTORIA HERSELF
Archie Mitchell came a cropper after being nutted by the Queen Vic bust, which was launched at him by Stacey Slater during one of her bipolar episodes. The poor old bust has itself been broken and glued back together more than once over the years. Archie wasn’t so lucky.
Death by CHAMPAGNE
Ronnie Mitchell likes to see her victims off in style, so she took a champagne bottle to villain Carl White’s napper, then finished him off with by slamming the boot of her motor on his head and then having the car crushed into a cube for good measure! Now that’s thorough.
Death by NO.6 CORONATION STREET
The unluckiest house in soapland for head injuries has to be 6 Coronation Street. No fewer than three of its owners have met untimely ends through having their heads caved in, which is quite something when you consider that it was only built in 1989.
Its very first occupant, Des Barnes, was the earliest victim of the curse. His stepson had got involved with some nasty drug dealers, who came round and gave him a gruesome pasting. The hapless Des managed to hang on for a few days, but eventually succumbed to his injuries.
Next up (or down, more accurately) was Tommy Harris. He wasn’t actually dispatched in the house, but it’s still a bit of a grim coincidence. He was set about with a wrench in Kevin’s garage by his teenage daughter, Katy, who was furious that he’d tricked her into having an abortion.
Then there was horrible Charlie Stubbs, who was slain when Tracy Barlow took umbrage at his philandering ways. His death scene was unintentionally hilarious, as it required Tracy to perform a “sexy dance” before polishing him off with a heavy figurine. WHAT a way to go!