Thursday 25 September 1986

…Star Trek and Tomorrow’s World were some of the TV I watched tonight.
It was Lofty and Michelle’s wedding day in EastEnders…

There had been plenty of other occasions when a TV programme or film had become a subject for shared gossip in the classroom; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service earlier this week, for example.

But this was the first time that I can remember almost the whole school being excited by the transmission of something. People were going about reminding each other to tune in, and talking about where and with whom they would be watching.

It was impossible not to get caught up in the hysteria. Then again, this was during the absolute peak of EastEnders’ initial imperial phase, and in the 19 months since its launch the show had burrowed deep into the national consciousness. Plus there had been acres, oodles and hours of pre-publicity about the on-screen nuptials.

As for the episode itself, I only got to see some of it thanks to a quarrel over whatever was on the other side. But it was enough to be suitably armed for the mass post-mortem examination that I knew would take place in the playground tomorrow.

In retrospect it’s in no way the greatest moment EastEnders’ history, but was and is enormously enjoyable and bears, it goes without saying, no relation whatsoever to the tone, pace and quality of the serial today*.

*All of which are lamentable.

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