It is a sad sad day. Fred Elliott is no more. Even if you hadn't read John Savident bitching earlier in the year about having to leave due to the increase in episode numbers and consequent rubbish storylines (he knows not of what he speaks) , you'd have suspected something was up when the ordinarily emotionally botoxed Ashley announced "I don't know what I'd do without you, dad" in the butcher's shop last week.
And last night, after a highly improbable love triangle storyline involving Audrey (aka Mrs Popoff) and the peculiarly thyroid-looking Bev, he had the kind of heart attack that could only ever be considered predictable in a man of his girth.
'pparently, Bev and Mrs Popoff have a fantastic bitchfight on Wednesday, which I anticipate to be pure comedy. I fully expect Liz McDonald to get involved, while wearing full warpaint and a leopard print bustier top, Tracy to hit someone over the head with a stiletto shoe, and Ashley to suffer a mild blow to the head while attempting to break it up, causing him to spend half the remaining episode in the Rovers with a piece of his own rump steak slapped on his forehead.
If Eastenders did a bitchfight, someone would get stabbed, someone would cry for the entire duration of the episode, Dot Cotton would bemoan the state of modern society and launch into a dull soliloqy about the Blitz, and Wendy Richard would hover in the background making the kind of sounds that shatter crystal.