Tag Archives: Pat Butcher

EastEnders: Farewell, Fat Pat

The demise of the beloved Fat Pat was both swift and agonisingly slow. Swift because, although she’d had a few dodgy moments with the old ticker, it wasn’t until a doctor officially told her she officially had cancer that she started to go downhill fast. So fast, in fact, that I’m entirely put off doctors. They can apparently kill you just by telling you you’re not well. Pat went from her usual lumbering round the Square under the weight of enormous earrings and the cares of the world, to slumping over the kitchen sink sporting the finest blue rings around her eyes a makeup artist has achieved since Night of the Living Dead.

Yet her actual death seemed to take forever. It was the longest hour of my life. The scriptwriters had apparently decided that Pam St Clement was due at least an Oscar, if not an All About Soap Bubble Award, for her moving and gritty portrayal of a woman expiring from The Big C (which, in Bianca’s interpretation, seemed to stand for Complications. Anyone enquiring about Pat’s health would be informed by Bianca that it was “’Er ‘eart. And… Complications”).

Pat refused to take her death lying down, and insisted on getting up to put the kettle on. “Pat!” everyone admonished her. “You should be resting!” Pat didn’t want to rest. Pat wanted a nice cuppa, or preferably gin. You can’t blame her, really.

The entire neighbourhood called by, ostensibly to pay their respects, but mainly to work out their own personal issues via the medium of Literally Staring Death In The Face. Tanya obviously found it an upsetting experience, both because Pat is one of the few people in Walford with a worse reputation than she has and because she, too, is suffering from The Big C. Derek Branning called in to be even more horrible than usual, and Dot had some kind words and a Bible so Pat wouldn’t go to the hereafter unprepared. Janine, still filled with the spirit of Christmas, popped round to repossess Pat’s house, but even she was forced to reveal her softer side when Pat told her she was the only daughter she’d ever known (erm, what about Diane, proudly displayed in a photo frame adjacent to Pat’s bedside?). Ian popped in for a blub, and Bianca spent a lot of the episode looming around the door frame looking like she had even more Complications than Pat.

And everyone was uttering the D word. Not death – not in front of the kids – but David, as in Wicks, as in the son of Pat, the father of Bianca, and the actor known as Michael French who plays Nick Jordan in Casualty. Every knock on the door, every approaching car, every close up of a shoe – surely this must be him? Nope, it’s Michael Moon. That one’s Ricky. Oh, it’s Ian back again. But finally – the Wicks who was never known as Wicksy (that was Our Simon) turned up. He was introduced to his grandchildren, but poor Whitney was left to introduce herself – presumably no-one could quite work out how to explain her. After a heart to heart with his dear old mum he decided he couldn’t ‘andle it and it took quite a tussle in the rain from Carol to get him to come back indoors, so Pat could die in his arms.

And she even had her own theme tune at the end.

Posted by PLA

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Eastenders: Pat’s All Folks!

WARNING: this article contains SPOILERS

Sad news for Eastenders fans with the announcement that Pam St Clement is quitting her role as Fat Pat Butcher/Evans/whatever else, leaving a void huge in more ways than one.

While many regularly slapped cheeks on the Square may relax with the departure of part two of the ‘you bitch, you caaaahh!’ double act, it’s undoubtedly a big blow for a show which is going through an arguably rocky period.

Pat is a constant in Eastenders; one of those characters which it’s difficult to imagine the show without. They say that no character is bigger than the show, but Pat comes pretty damn close (and that is not a fat joke I’ll have you know!)

The character that takes in every waif and stray, dishes out advice to those in need and harsh words to those in the wrong. Think of a storyline or a family and Pat will have played a part somewhere.

And she’s had her own set of adventures along the way. Knocking down and killing innocent pedestrians ( a Butcher family trait which Frank and Janine kept strong. Ricky’s turn for a roadkill next!), having torrid affairs with her on/off husband, driving around in an ice cream van partially intoxicated, witnessing her husband drop dead of a heart attack and (worst of all) cornering Patrick Trueman in the car lot wearing nothing more than a fur coat are just a  few of her adventures. Pat will be missed, there is no doubt about it.

Certainly, the show will survive without her but I feel that her departure will signal a big transition period for the show where it’s firmly placed roots will begin to disappear. I am sure that it won’t be long until June Brown leaves as Dot either.

For me, Pat was Eastenders;  moreso than other so-called legends such as the preachy and irritating Dot, the pantomime Peggy and the permanently miserable Pauline. I just hope that she gets a truly fitting exit. Walking away after the pub blowing up or dropping dead suddenly in the snow just simply won’t be enough for our Pat.

For a special character deserves a special send off.

Posted By Our Man In The North

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