Pauline: Do you remember when my mum was sixty? Dot: In August. Pauline: The fourth. Dot: 1975. Pauline: The hottest day of the year. Dot: Den and Angie, they put on a spread in the Vic. Pauline: And we all spilled out into the Square. The children were so young. Michelle, she fell down and scraped her knee. Dot: And Ian, he had chocolate all over his face. Pauline: Mum and I, we went and sat on that bench outside. She told hold of my hand and she said, "This is the business, Pauline. Here I am, surrounded by all my children, all my grandchildren. Makes me feel like the Queen." Dot: Queen Lou. Pauline: She used to sit in that chair of hers like it was her throne. Dot: It was to her. Lou to Michelle: There was a time when I was the apple of your eye. I felt like Queen Victoria. Ian: Dreamed of meet[ing] the Queen all my life — write the Beale name in history. Pauline on Lou: She didn't mind getting old. She said to me once, she said it was the best time of her life, just sitting back and watching us doing all the running round, doing all the work. She knew what she was for. She knew what she was. She was lucky. Rachel Kominsky: I bet she [Lou] spoilt you. Mark: Yeah, I guess she did in a way. She was a great old lady. Mark: I can remember when I was a nipper, a kid about six or seven, this old lady caught me in her back garden. She cuffed me right round the ear, I can still feel it now, and then she recognised me, knew that I was Lou Beale's grandson. So she took me in and gave me some sweets, tried to butter me up so I that wouldn't tell Gran. No one would upset Gran, or if they did, they wouldn't do it a second time. She was a terror, old Gran. She ruled the family with an iron hand. Woe betide anyone who crossed her. Arthur Fowler on Lou: Ten years [after] we were married, I'd still jump when she said, "Arthur!" Arthur to Pauline: I've always been very fond of this tie. You bought it for me on our tenth wedding anniversary. Amjad “AJ" Ahmed on Eid: remember the feasts we used to have? Masood Ahmed, AJ’s brother: Yeah. AJ: Table disappearing off into the horizon. Masood: You were only five then. Everything looked big. AJ: So many people. Masood on his mother: Do you have any idea of the sacrifices she made? Do you, AJ? She was up before dawn to go and work in a factory so that we had enough to eat, so that we had enough for new clothes and she never once complained. You’d walk through the door and you’d be greeted by this warm smell of cooking and it would wrap around you like a hug and we knew everything was going to be all right. AJ: It’s a nice picture, bro. I see you left Dad out of it. You might want to make out that our childhood was one cosy meal after another, but that’s not what I remember. Zainab Masood: When I was a little girl, I would have done all my chores, I would have read the paper to my father and cooked breakfast for everyone in the house by 6am. Zainab: I learned to cook as a child in Karachi. Ian: Do you remember Gran's cooking? Mark: Her cauliflower cheese. You could go swimming in it, couldn't you? Ian on Kathy: When I was a kid, I used to think that part of her was magic because she could stop the dinner ladies from making me eat that horrible liver. Rose Cotton to Andrew: You used to love fish pie when you were little, didn’t you? I used to cut those fishy shapes out of the potatoes. Little Mo: What made you happy when you was a kid? Alfie: Sausage rolls and ketchup for tea on Thursday. Monday was beans on toast, Tuesday was scrambled egg on toast, Wednesday was welsh rarebit and Thursday was the jackpot. Jim Branning: I used to do a very nice welsh rarebit when I was younger. Keith Miller: She was called Blodwyn. Max Branning on Jim: He’s always had a way with the ladies. Jim on an old recipe book: My Reenie's Bible, this is. She used to do Lancashire hot pot for me every other Thursday. Charlie Slater: Viv used to make me a chilli every Wednesday, full of beans and hot, and I hated it. I hate chilli. Lynne Slater: Well, why didn't you say anything then? Charlie: Good point. Why didn't I? Alfie on Nana Moon: I remember when I was a kid, she used to make me, as a treat, bread and butter pudding. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I couldn’t stand it. Stan Carter: I remember when lasagne used to be foreign. Stan, speaking about Sylvie in 2015: She don’t like pork pie. Babe Smith: Forty years ago maybe, when you knew her. Jack Branning on sardine sandwiches: [Jim] always liked them. Heather Trott: My mum used to cut the crusts off. Heather: William and Holly, my nan and granddad. Little Mo: Me granddad was a Fredrick. Jean Slater: My nan was called Rosa. Not a tooth in her head. Heather: My old nan, she used to play the harmonica. Heather: My grandma used to drink sherry. Said it was good for her knees. Heather: My gran, she had some problems with bedwetting towards the end. Cora Cross: I used to play [cribbage] with my old gran, Grandma Ivy. She was a stickler for rules. Detective Constable Emma Summerhayes: My gran used to live over by the canal. Ian Beale: Whereabouts? Emma: Do you know Cavendish Road? Ian: Yeah, the old bomb site. Emma: Yeah, that’s it. Ian: My gran had a friend she used to go and visit over there, Dolly. She used to go on the 764 and they’d go out to bingo together. Used to go to a place just off the High Street. I think it used to be a cinema. Emma: The Empire? Ian: Yeah, that’s the one, the one that’s been boarded up twenty years or so. Don’t know why they haven’t knocked it down. Cora: When my nan was still alive, I never visited her from one day to the next. One day, she rang me and said she’d gone down with the flu. She sounded terrible. I was round there like a shot. Cora: My granny Allingham lived to be a hundred and three. That was something in those days. Michelle: My granddad got cremated. The coffin just slid away. You couldn't believe it had anything to do with him. Mark: Gran used to say to me that when we were born, we all had a date stamped on our forehead. We couldn't see it, but that would be the day that we die. Mark to Ian: Remember how Gran used to wind us up about the graveyard? "You better watch out after dark, boys." Ian: Yeah, I used to belt past there on the way home from school. Mark: And we were never allowed to cut our nails on a Friday because the Devil might come and get them. Mark: "Solomon Grundy". Michelle: That poem Gran used to say. Jean Slater to her daughter Stacey: I’ve got that book of poems your dad had from school. Jean: My mum was always telling me, “You’ve got a creative streak, Jeanie.” She bought me a book, “The Language de fleur” - French. I knew all the names of every flower once. Stan Carter: I’ve never really liked lilies, I suppose because they were Sylvie’s favourite. Jean to Stacey: Your nan used to say, “Look after your figure if you want to meet a man what’ll love you and hold you and keep you forever.” Jean: I used to have a good pair of legs on me. Zoe Slater: You don't have hardly no sex when you're married. It's a fact. Kat Slater: That's not a fact. That's just what Mum told Dad. Billy Mitchell, speaking to Jay Brown in 2010: When I was your age [sixteen], I didn’t get much action either. Charlie Slater: I haven’t had moves since Harold Wilson was in power and even then they weren’t that impressive. Harry Slater on Charlie: By the time he was twenty-five, he'd found his own chair and he's been sitting in it ever since. Kat to her father Charlie: You were always so serious compared to Harry. When I was a kid, I used to wish you were more like him. Kat: Harry was such a charmer. Everyone loved him. Harry on Charlie and Viv: I always envied you two. Charlie: You never said. Harry: So settled, sorted. The world couldn't touch you as long as you had each other. Charlie: But you never wanted settled. You always wanted adventure. Harry to Charlie: The years I spent messing things up, getting it all wrong. Different countries, different birds. It may sound all right to you, Chas, but it wears a bloke out. I'm not like you. You were with Viv for years. I've never had anyone special, not for more than a few months. Kat: I've only ever seen Dad do real off-his-head, in-your-face anger once — when he caught Mum packing her bags. I don't know who he was. I think he was the milkman. Little Mo, Kat’s younger sister: No, the milkman was a big fat bloke — you know, red face, watery eyes, puffy looking. Kat: Well, all I could get was that Mum had been leaving him notes in a milk bottle on the doorstep. Little Mo: What — and Dad found one? Kat: Mm. Ripped it up and wrote one of his own telling him, whoever it was, to back off. Couldn't hear everything. Must have been about five. Little Mo: Where was the others? Kat: All I can remember is, I'm sat at the top of the stairs in the shadows in me nightie and I'm watching Dad hitting the wall in the hallway. Proper hitting it, like punching it with his fist and kicking. And there was shouting, and Mum saying that nothing had happened and he's mental and how could she live with a bloke who's going to lose it over a couple of pints of gold top and a tub of whipped cream? Then he starts banging his head against the wall. Yeah, Dad, “quiet life Dad” - he's banging his head against the wall. I thought he was going to knock himself out. Little Mo: You sure you never dreamt all this? Kat: I can see it, Mo. He's banging his head so hard and he's roaring. And Mum's got two carrier bags and that big stripy bag and it's spilling over with clothes. And she just stands there and it was like he'd gone mad. He was so angry. And he's saying, "You push and you push me, and I will break — I will break," he's going. Little Mo: Then what happened? Kat: Well, she threw the stripy bag at him and stormed into the living room. He started picking up all her clothes and folding them up. Then he sat at the bottom of the stairs with a jumper on his lap and he just cried. Kat: It wasn't just that night — it was after, it was the fallout. Do you know, I think that done my head in more than watching Dad concuss himself — because the next day, they were just back to normal like nothing had happened. It was all "cups of tea" and "what's for dinner?" It was like I'd dreamt the screaming and the house shaking and the stripy bag. I'm just a kid and I'm going, "You got bruises on your head, Dad. There's a dent on the door what's got paper over it." And they made out like I'm the only one that could see them. I just thought it was such a fat lie, hiding all that, burying all that. Little Mo: I remember that dent. Kat: But they weren't hiding though. They were just hanging on. All them boring details, all them dinners. You take it for granted. You mess about with it, give it no respect and you lose it. Mum and Dad knew that. Charlie: Was I a good father to you? Lynne: Course you were. Charlie: You must have been the only one then. Lynne: No, to all of us. Kat: You've always been a good dad to us. Charlie: You know that's not true. Kat: I trusted you, Dad. I adored you when I was a kid. I hung on to every word you said — the son you never had and the daughter that showed you up. Charlie: We did our best, didn’t we? Kat on Charlie: He might not be the best dad in the world, but he's always tried the best he could. Owen Turner: My dad was my hero. Owen on Beech Brook: My dad brought me here when I was a kid. Garry Hobbs: My dad never took me [to Upton Park]. Garry: My old man — he went out to get his hair cut, never came back. I was five. He moved away with his bit on the side. Nina Harris: [My] dad ran off when [I was] only three. Irene Hills: I know she's my sister, but he left your mum — not you. Cindy Beale: I always used to find Bonfire Night a bit funny when I was a kid because I was at Catholic school. All the boys used to run after us shouting, "Remember, remember the fifth of November." It wasn't very funny when they threw bangers at us. Diane Butcher: Didn't you have a bonfire and fireworks? Cindy: No, not always. I always remember Father Flynn going on about fireworks like they were some sort of sin. I used to think I was really wicked if I even looked up at a rocket. Pat Wicks: My David got burnt once when he was a kiddy. From then on, that was it - no more fireworks at home. Simon Wicks: I never did have a proper home. Not one you could call home, anyway. Simon to Pat: Do you remember Number 89? 89 Cannon Street. Damp all over the place, soaking wet beds every morning and we had cockroaches big as dogs. And what about Pay Street? Cor, there was a place, wasn't it — Pay Street? You had to hide anything worth having else they robbed you blind. Pat to Simon: I know what a rotten time you had when you was a kid, all the abuse you had to take because of me and my reputation. "Good old Pat, the East End bike." You didn't deserve that. Pat: They used to call me a loose woman, but I held me head up. I decided I didn't have to answer to nobody so long as I gave it me best shot. David Wicks speaking to Pat in 1994: At thirteen, you're not a kid anymore, are you? When I was that age, I knew I hated you. I knew you slept around. I knew I was never going to amount to much. I knew everything I know now. Pat: David was a law unto himself. So was Simon and all. Simon to Pat: All my life with you, Mum, it's been kisses and cuddles one minute — the next, you clip me round the ear hole. Pat on Simon: We used to be close once, like you wouldn't believe it. Cindy: Were you jealous of [Simon]? David: No. Cindy: Never? David: Never. Cindy: He was Pat's favourite, wasn't he? Bet you didn't get a look in. David: Nobody got a look in with her. Simon on Pat: She was always saying she loved me, but I never believed her. Pete Beale on Simon: He never did get on with his mother. Simon: "Just like your father, you are." My mum used to say that to me. Pat: I was a lousy mother. David to Pat: You were the world's worst mother. I've only realised in the years we ain't seen each other just how bad you were. Me and Simon could have gone missing for weeks and you wouldn't have even noticed. David on Pat: She always was partial to a little brandy. Do you know, when I was a kid, I used to think all mothers smelt [of it]. Simon: [Pat] used to raid my money box all the time. What I really hated was being in the free dinners queue at school. That and never having a proper football kit. "Blame your father," she'd say. Sharon Watts: Pete always paid up his maintenance, didn't he? Simon: Oh yeah. Kept her in fags and booze. David on Pete: We never got a light off him. He never even give [Pat] child support money. We never had it easy. Mum was out getting legless every night, the house was full of strange blokes. Where was my saintly dad then, eh? He was off with his new family living the life of bleeding Riley while we was running round the back with the backside hanging out of our pants and hiding behind the door every time the rent man came. Pauline: I never realised. David: No, because we wasn't mentioned. We was the dirty secret of this family that no one wanted to talk about. "Oh, just pretend they don't exist. That'll be all right." Never mind, could have been worse. Could have ended up in a children's home — we didn't. So at least my mum managed that much. She's not totally useless. Pauline: I should have done something. David: Yeah, but you didn't, did you? David on Pete: If he’d been a proper dad to me and brought us up together, do you reckon you and me would have got on? Ian: Depends. Would you still have slept with my wife? David: I have to be honest, Ian. It’s a distinct possibility. Pete to Ian: Me and your mother never had two brass farthings to rub together. Kathy Beale on her and Pete's television: It was a black and white one. Pete: Arthur got it second hand. Wouldn't work when there was a full moon. Ian: When I was little, I thought the best [car] that I'd end up with would be a second hand old banger like me dad's. Ian: I grew up in a council flat. No money. Mum lugging bags of shopping up the stairs because the lifts were always broken. Dad bringing home just enough money from the market to keep us on the merry go round. Billionaires every Saturday afternoon when Dad would get home, check the pools coupon. We'd be paupers again by half past five. Week after week, year after year, just going around in circles. Pauline: Do you remember when Pete tried to fix the central heating in the flat? Ian: Oh, do I? It was the middle of winter. I ended up having to wear an extra pair of socks just to go to bed. Kathy to Pete: You never tried to better yourself. You name me once in our married life when I didn't have to pull me weight and all. How do you think it felt, having to thank Angie for her cast offs? Pauline to Kathy: You were so la-di-da with your smart clothes, your fancy flat, your little boy done up like a dog's dinner. Underneath it all, you were still the same trollop you always were. Jane Collins: Pauline must have seen you in the buff before. Ian: Not since I was six. Ian: When I was little, I couldn’t imagine that Aunty Pauline and Uncle Arthur ... Christian Clarke: When did you know you were straight? Ian: I’ve always known I was normal — you know — straight. You just do, don’t you? Nigel Bates: I was [thirteen] and your hormones sort of take over. Clare Bates: I thought you didn't have any girlfriends in school. Nigel: No I didn't, but Grant did. Nigel Bates: How long you were in love with one person for when you were thirteen? Grant Mitchell: Nicola Osgood. Nigel: Nicola Osgood? Janice Farney! Grant: Karen Brown. She had lovely — Nigel: Oh she did, didn't she? Mind you, we never really went out with any of them, did we? Grant: You might not have done. Nigel: It was all wishful thinking on my part. Peggy: When my two boys were [teenagers], they never had any problem with the girls, and neither did their mates, because they all learned one thing - a girl likes to be charmed. Denise Fox: I bet you was always the kid at school who carried the books home for the girls. Kevin Wicks: Yeah, you got me there. Nigel: All those hormones and terrible chat up lines. I always used to say the wrong thing. Phil: I ain’t [talked to a woman through a locked bedroom door] since I was fourteen. Phil: I have been standing up birds since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and come the apology — all right, they've gone up like rockets and hit the ceiling — but I've used all my expertise and ingenuity to un-ruffle a few feathers. Grant: What was that girl [at junior school]'s name again? Big girl, pigtails. Tracy something. Phil: Martin. Grant: Yeah, Tracy Martin. Right little raver, she was. She dropped you for some kid with spots, didn't she? Phil: She never dumped me. I chucked her over for Marianne Clarke. Grant: Marianne Clarke? Do me a favour, I was going out with Marianne Clarke. You mean she was two-timing me? Peggy to Phil: You never had any sense where women are concerned. One ping of knicker elastic and the blood leaves your brain and heads south. Peggy on Phil: He's always been able to handle his drink, Grant as well. Phil: I proposed to someone once. I was fourteen. Val Parks, her name was. I'd just drunk two bottles of cider and I asked her to marry me. I chucked up all over her bedroom carpet. Kathy: I take it she turned you down? Phil: Funnily enough, she did. Kathy: Did you ever see her again? Phil: Sort of. She went out with Grant a year after. Kathy: Did that a lot, did you - share girlfriends? Phil: Now and again. Carol Jackson: I proposed to a boyfriend once. Kim Fox: Were you drunk? Carol: Off me face. He said no, thank God! Peggy on Phil: He always had [an addictive personality]. Lofty Holloway: I smashed up a greenhouse. I don't know why I did it. It weren't being used or nothing. There was a gang of us. We smashed it to smithereens. All our dads had to chip in for the damage. Mine went spare. He started shouting at me and hitting me — only he was swearing while he was hitting me and my mum, my mum can't stand swearing so she went into one, and then they forgot all about me and started having a go at each other. Paul Trueman: You can make yourself not care — you know, eight or nine years old, trying to be good but never succeeding, you get beyond it. Because it's always about kids getting hit in the papers and that, isn't it? I used to want [my mother] to [hit me], yeah? Wind her up, get her, really make her want to ... [I was a] poor little kid, that poor little kid. Her and Anthony, so close, and me all on my own. I just used to want her to hit me too, to just let me in. She was never going to though, was she? [I was] her big mistake. Heather Trott: Dad used to say Mum learnt to be tough when she was in the parachute regiment. He was joking. Rod Norman: Me mother was always having these wine and cheese parties for her cronies from Amateur Dramatics. She thought it was posh. She used to make me stand up and sing in front of them all. She wanted me to be a naffing actor. The only way I got through it all was nicking stuff out of their glasses. It was horrible. What she reckoned to be singing and what I call it's two different things. Her belting out poxy Anna from "The King And I" could stop the traffic as far as spittle goes. She had this wobble in her high notes could turn your stomach over. Greg, director of Walford Amateur Dramatics: Derek [Harkinson] and I have worked together before. His Brigadoon is quite something. Rod: I'm addicted to [jumble sales]. It was me mum set me off. She was always looking for "bits of tat", that's what she called it, for her musicals. She had this big wicker basket full of fox furs and shawls and fans and that. Rose Cotton: I used to have three wardrobes full of lovely clothes. Frivolous fancies, but they made me feel good about myself. I used to have the job of a hostess in a nightclub. I had to look really smart, tres chic. Clientele was very select. I loved that job. Best I’ve ever had. Cora Cross: Why did you leave - fresher model come along? Andrea Price: I was in a band. People used to say I sounded a lot like Dusty. We used to do a cover version [of ‘All I See is You’]. We were really good. We should have stuck at it rather than listen to [Dave, her husband]. I gave up everything for my Dave and look where it got me. Lauren Branning, Cora’s granddaughter: Granddad drew? Cora: He kept it quiet. Called them his doodles, but he had talent. Every anniversary, he drew a picture of me. Said he'd do one for all the years we'd be together. I got eighteen. Lauren: You really loved him. Cora: He was the whole package. I was quite a looker back then, but those pictures - he saw something in me no one else ever did.