EastEnders An Oral History 1985-2015

Discussion in 'UK Soaps Forum' started by James from London, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    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.
     
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1976

    Mick Carter: Feminine intuition, Shirl. I reckon when God was dishing it out, I got yours.

    Mick: I was born ready.

    Mick: I was born in this caravan. Aunt Babe used to tell me the story all the time. There was a storm that night and the ambulance got stuck in traffic and she had to deliver me here.

    Shirley: It rained all day. I remember that the most. And the caravan leaked, it had holes in the roof. The pain ripped me apart. I was terrified, I was just a little girl.

    Dean Wicks: It’s a miracle you survived.
    Mick: Aunt Babe had it under control. She can do anything, that woman.
    Shirley: She didn’t know the hell what she was doing. She was terrified something would go wrong. We all were.

    Shirley to Mick: There was a lot of blood, screaming. And the rain, it was smashing down on the van like the world was coming to an end and then there you were, all chubby and lovely and bawling your eyes out and the first time I saw you, I forgot about the pain. You were the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And I put my arms out to hold you, but they wouldn’t let me. I begged them, I pleaded with them to let me keep you, but I wasn’t allowed.

    Shirley to Mick: I’ve wanted to tell you every day. Every day since, I wanted to tell you that I was your mum.

    Shirley to Mick: She [Sylvie] told me that if I ever told anybody that I’d never see my baby again. So I went along with this thing. I pretended that you were my baby brother.
    Babe to Shirley: It meant you could still see him. It was for the best. It was a good plan.
    Stan: Didn’t work out though, did it?

    Shirley on Sylvie: It wasn’t all her fault. She didn’t even want me to do it at first.

    Stan to Tina: [Babe] was the one who persuaded Shirley and your mum to do what they did.
    Babe: What was the alternative? If it was left to Sylvie, Mick would have been shipped off to an orphanage. At least this way he was brought up in the bosom of his family where he belonged. Ask yourself this, Stan Carter — how would you have reacted if your fourteen year old daughter had waltzed through the door with a baby in her arms?

    Babe to Stan: Shirley wasn’t capable. It was either that or give him up. And Lord knows, you banged on long enough about wanting a son.

    Stan to Shirley: Do you remember the day you brought him home? Pig of a day, rain bucketing down. Your mum got out the car with Mick and came straight inside, but not you. You stood by the car, rain pouring down, just standing there, and I thought, in all my days, I’d never seen anyone look so unhappy.

    Shirley: We got back [to London] and Dad had the son he always wanted and me and Tina had a little baby brother.
    Phil: And nobody ever asked any questions?
    Shirley: No. Nothing was said. We just carried on. Aunt Babe and Mum took over and I’d grab a bottle of [vodka] and go down the park and drink to forget.

    Stan to Shirley: That’s always been your trouble — things get tough, you never face the problem, you just get rid of it.

    Sylvie on Shirley: Right handful she was. Always hanging round the park looking for trouble.

    Shirley to Babe: Whenever I fell, you picked me up. You taught me to do what was best for my boy. You’re the only mum I ever really had. You’re the only person that knew everything I was going through.

    Shirley to Babe: You were the only one that’s always been there for me.

    Babe: I kept this family together.

    Shirley on Mick: He was the most beautiful baby in the world.

    Shirley on Mick: He was such a lovely baby. Every time he saw me, all he could do was smile.

    Stan, speaking to Sylvie in 2014: Thirty-eight years, you let me believe I had a son, and no man deserves that.

    Stan to Sylvie: How could you do that to me, make me think the boy was ours? How could you lie to me like that?
    Sylvie: I did what I had to do.
    Babe to Stan: The question you should ask yourself is, what kind of man would believe it?

    Tina: Dad, how could you not know [Mick was Shirley’s son]?
    Babe: There were days back then he didn’t even know his own name.

    Stan: Forty was the beginning and the end for me, health-wise.

    Mick on Stan: He’s not my dad. He’s just the mug who got saddled with me.
    Tina: Mick, all his life he thought you was his son just like I thought you were my brother. We didn’t lie. We never knew.

    Mick on Shirley: Why couldn’t she have just told me [she was my mother]?
    Tina: I’m pleased she never or I wouldn’t have had you as my brother. Who would I have run to all them times if I never had you?
    Mick: It wouldn’t have made a difference to us.
    Tina: Yeah, it would.

    Tina to Mick: All our lives, it’s always been us two.

    Sylvie on Stan: Ask him about Elsie Lomaz. All over her in the Duke of Wellington and getting her hands on my housekeeping and she’s not the only one. He’s got loads of them. Tarts.

    Stan to Sylvie: I was starved of attention being married to you. A man needs a bit of comfort.

    Stan: Didn’t you used to drink at the Feathers in Old Kent Road, ’76 or thereabouts?
    Cora Cross: I never admit to anything before I got my bus pass.
    Stan: Only you remind me of a diamond girl I used to know. A bit of a goer she was when you got her on the gin.

    Charity Kase, drag act, on Minty Peterson: Look at him - he hasn’t had a jump since 1976!

    Minty on relationships: I was always a bit too picky, I suppose.

    Phil Mitchell, speaking about himself and Minty in 2006: Thirty years of friendship.

    Billy Mitchell to Minty: You’re like [Phil’s] oldest mate, aren’t you?

    Ben Mitchell, Phil’s son: Why Minty? That’s not your real name, is it?
    Minty: No. Your dad made that up.

    Phil to Minty: Right couple of herberts, weren't we, eh?

    Phil: I thought I was a big tough guy when I was fifteen.

    Nigel Bates: You spend your entire schooldays being told to work hard, play hard so you can pass your exams, leave school and get a job. "You can be
    anything," they say, "do anything, go anywhere you like. You could be a footballer, pop star, merchant banker." But nowhere in their list of limitless possibilities is "loser". Nowhere. I mean, the careers teacher never says, "Oh no, you don't want to be an electrician, mate, you want to be a loser." But that's what you're really cut out for. But nobody ever tells you that till you're there.

    Alfie Moon: I didn't really have a problem with school. It was more like they had a problem with me. I found school quite interesting. It's just their whole attitude hacked me off. I'll give you an example: I was really into history, you know — like punch ups in the village, "Hands up, first gets to be king" "Last one back to the castle, your head's getting chopped off" and all that. So anyway, about to sit the history exam, right, and this old bat of a teacher, she sends me home because I'm wearing trainers. What's all that about?

    Grant Mitchell on Walford Park: Me and Phil used to bring our kid sister down here in her buggy. Used to use it like a go-kart. She loved it. One of us used to get in the buggy, put her on their lap, the other one used to push them down the hill. Didn't tell Mum, of course.

    Marcus Christie, the Mitchell family lawyer: Little Samantha Mitchell, I knew you when you were a baby.

    Sam Mitchell: Marcus Christie was a friend of the family's for years.

    Phil on Marcus Christie: We go back a long way.

    Sam: I grew up trusting Marcus.

    Peggy: My daughter Samantha, she was quite different [to Phil and Grant]. I never had a minute's trouble from her when she was a nipper.

    Phil: Sam's always been stubborn, right from a nipper.

    Sam: That's the Mitchell rule, isn't it? You stand your corner, you stand and fight. But my earliest memory right from the start is you [Peggy] saying, "Look, leave her alone. She's scared. She's only a girl." And then Phil and Grant and dad would laugh and pick me up and swing me around like a doll, and you know what, Mum? Part of me loved it. And part of me would look at you and think, "I'm not scared. Why do you keep telling everyone that I am?" — making me out to be some sort of precious object that no-one can go near.
    Peggy: I never did that. You've got it wrong.
    Sam: Mum, I was just a kid, just a kid, and if someone tells you something over and over again, you start to believe it. And then you become that.
    Peggy: You're remembering this all wrong.
    Sam: And I'm thinking, "Why? Why did it happen?" Was it like that with Billy? Because he was always the weakest link as well, wasn't he? The runt of the litter. And the first chance he found, the first opportunity, he found someone who was even lower down that pile than him, someone that he could dominate, just like everyone else was dominating him.
    Peggy: You think I did that to you?
    Sam: Oh look, Mum, maybe everybody does it to everyone. Maybe everyone finds someone to kick and when you can't find someone, you kick the cat. Or the youngest daughter. I think it made you feel good, having me turn out like that — because you weren't in control of the boys, were you? Not as long as I can remember. And Dad. But me, I never got out of my box, did I — the one that you put me in.

    Peggy to Sam: Even when you was little, you always got it wrong — chose the wrong mate, a broken toy.

    Peggy: I made plenty of mistakes, especially with my Sam.

    Peggy: I had three kids and a drunk for a husband, and I got through it.

    Grant to Phil: Weren't all bad, was it? I mean, I know Dad was a waste of space before he died, but me, you, Mum, Dad, Sam — they were good times, weren't they?

    Phil: We used to get up at four o'clock in the morning, remember, to watch Ali's fights.
    Grant: Yeah. Sat in front of the telly wrapped up in blankets, it was so cold.
    Phil: You could see your breath.

    Ian: Remember when we were kids and we used to watch that wrestler on a Saturday afternoon?
    Mark: What — Big Daddy?
    Ian: Yeah, that's the one.

    Jean: When I was [seventeen, boys] was all I could think about.

    Ian: Everyone used to celebrate Pancake Day when I was a kid. My mum used to make a real fuss about it. I used to really enjoy that.

    Ian: Was I much trouble when I was little?
    Kathy Beale: No, you was no trouble. It was only when you grew up that the problems started!

    Kathy to Ian: Whenever you were ill, [Pete] went to pieces.

    Lou Beale to Ian: I remember you when you was knee high to a doll's house. "Stop picking your nose," your mum used to say. One day, you'd come in from the garden, you said, "Mum, I've been good today. I've picked me nose, but I put it all back".

    Shirley on Ian: Do you think his parents sent him to charm school when he was little?

    Ian on the gardens in Albert Square: My gran used to bring me over here when I was [little]. We used to just sit here and watch the world go past. Didn't know we were here, you see. It was like we were invisible. I liked that.

    Ian: I was lucky I had what I had when I was kid.
    Melanie Healy: Didn't you have any traumas when you were little then?
    Ian: Ups and downs like everyone else. Me dad used to get on at me sometimes, but end of the day, he was always there when it mattered. And me mum and me gran, they were brilliant.
    Melanie: You weren't lonely on your own?
    Ian: No, I had Mark and Michelle. They was like a brother and sister to me.

    Ian: I wish I'd had brothers and sisters to play with. Not much fun being the only kid at home. It got a bit lonely sometimes.

    Denise Fox: As a kid, I used to fantasise about being an only child.

    Heather: I never had that many friends when I was little.

    Cora: I’ve never minded my own company.

    Mark on Ian: He used to be a nice little kid. He used to follow me around.

    Ian on 45 Albert Square: I can remember playing in here with Mark and Chelle. Gran used to sit over here in her chair and there’d be Mum, Dad, Uncle Arthur.

    Ian: When I was a kid, my mum and dad were always rowing. I couldn't always go round to my gran's, but the one place I knew where the door was always open was Ethel's.

    Ethel Skinner on Ian: He was always round at my place, cadging sweeties and getting me to tell him about his dad and his Aunty Pauline, and what they were up to when they were young.

    Pauline to Ian: Ethel doted on you. She knew you all your life.

    Ethel to Ian: You always were a greedy little boy.

    Dot on Ian: That little boy what used to like to lick the bowl out when we’d made buns.

    Dot to Ian: I never met a boy with a bigger heart. You were the apple of Lou’s eye.

    Dot to Ian: Even when you was little, you was always the one who was going to make something of himself.

    Pauline to Ian: Even when you were little, you were always one for the family. You were always looking after Michelle.

    Pauline on motherhood: It's boring and that's the truth. It's just one long round of teas, clean sheets, organisation. You know, I can remember when
    they were little, looking forward to a trip to the dentist. I used to think, "Great, five minutes to myself."

    Michelle: Do you remember when me and Mark were kids and we used to hate going to the dentists? So on the way back, you always used to stop off at
    Willy's and you'd buy us a little present.
    Pauline: Yeah. [Mark] used to like those little toy post office sets.

    Charlie Slater to Kat: You used to like a [toy] windmill.

    Pauline to Mark: You and Michelle, when you was little, you used to buy me those tiny little [Easter] eggs.

    Arthur on Mark and Michelle: They always used to feed the ducks.

    Ian to his children: Your gran used to take me [to City Farm]. I used to love it.

    Lynne Slater: When I was a kid, we [used to] feed the animals in the little zoo in Clissold Park.

    Jim Branning to his granddaughter Abi: Once upon a time, a long time ago when I had a full head of hair and a bit of a spring in me step, I took your Aunty Carol over Clissold Park. She got her head stuck in the railings. It must be the [big] earholes, see — runs in the family, but I’m lucky, I’ve grown into mine. I was doing me nut, I was. It weren’t till the fire brigade got there and got her out and gave her a cup of tea — she thought it was the best thing that ever happened to her. Made her day, it did.
    Max : It weren’t Carol, it was me. You was all laughing, tears running down. I even got a bar of chocolate out of it after.
    Jim: Oh yeah, yeah, you’re right. It was you.

    Ian: There’s a lay-by by the junction just up from the substation [near Walford Common]. That’s where me dad used to park when we’d go for a Sunday morning walk. Mum always used to say that she could hear the electricity humming.

    Max on Carol: Never could make a cup of tea.

    Dot to Carol, Max and Jack: [Jim]’s your father. He brought you up and he fed and he clothed you.

    Kat Moon: I bet you used to get up to all sorts.
    Carol: With Derek looking over my shoulder the whole time? You’d be lucky.
    Alice Branning, Derek’s daughter: Overprotective?
    Carol: Yeah well, he was my big brother. He made it his job to look out for me. That's not to say he always got it right, but his heart was in the right
    place. Most of the time, anyway.

    Derek Branning on Max: I taught him to ride a bike. I gave him his first dead leg.

    Kirsty Branning: You’ve never had a female friend in your life.
    Max: Yeah, of course I have. I had one in infant school, I think.

    Yvonne Cotton on her son Charlie: He was a happy accident.

    Charlie Cotton, Jr: I was named after my grandfather. Nick was my dad.

    Charlie: With my family, they just give us all the same name!

    Charlie: I’m originally from Coventry.

    Dot Cotton to Nick: I always looked forward to you having a son of your own. I used to imagine it — the wedding, the patter of tiny feet. I even [kept] your christening gown.

    Dot: You had a wife and a son. Why didn’t you tell me?
    Nick: I wanted to.

    Nick: I was in a bad space when little Charlie was born.
    Dot: You could have come to me. I could have helped you.

    Nick on Charlie: I was in a mess when he was a boy. I was just a kid meself.

    Yvonne to Charlie: When you were born, I swear you cried for two years. The lungs on you. I remember taking you home from the hospital and thinking, “What now? What do I do?” I was terrified.

    Dot on Charlie: I wish I’d known him when he was little.

    Dot to Charlie: I was never able to do anything for you or my poor dear Ashley, not when you was babies.

    Written on the back of a photograph of Eddie Moon holding a baby: Craig 13/3/76

    Michael Moon, describing the photo to Eddie: Some blonde piece and she’s all smiles and she’s got this kid with her and he looks like he’s going to be a bit cheeky and he’s got your eyes.

    Michael to Eddie: You were a useless husband and a useless father. You put Craig into care. You flung [Craig] in a home so you could carry on lying and cheating on my mum.

    Tyler Moon to Eddie: How could you [put Craig into care]? He [Craig] was your own flesh and blood. What — because he didn’t fit in the Eddie Moon dream, because he was less than perfect?

    Eddie to Michael: Your mum, she couldn’t cope with either of you. She wasn’t right. She neglected you both.

    Michael Moon on his mother Maggie: The only person I’ve ever cared about in this world.

    Big Mo to Lynne: You used to [play knock and run]. I remember your dad telling me.

    Hazel Hobbs on Garry: He used to stomp off when he was a little ‘un. “I’ve had enough of you. I’m off to join the foreign legion.” Cupboard under the stairs, more like.

    Lynne: Everything [medical] to you is an x-ray.
    Garry Hobbs: Too many comic books as a kid.

    Phil on the Beano: Used to be me favourite. [Dennis the Menace] used to remind me of Grant.

    Arthur: Mark used to collect these comics. Mad about them, he was.
    Pauline: He and Michelle used to spend all day arguing over them.
    Arthur: I don't remember that.
    Mark: You should do. You always used to side with Chelle.

    Pauline to Arthur: Do you remember how [Mark] would carry on if he didn't get his comic? You sat there reading your paper and him reading his comic.

    Pauline to Mark: You used to sit at the table with your dad making them model kits.

    Pauline: I remember when Mark and Michelle were little, Arthur and I were always tripping over their stuff.

    Arthur: When Mark and Michelle were little, we used to take them to that cartoon cinema.
    Pauline: We could never get Michelle out of there, could we? You [Michelle] used to scream your head off when we tried to get you out of the cartoon cinema.

    Kathy on Pauline: We had some fun when the kids were small. She used to laugh a lot more then.

    Pauline: We had some good times when the children were little.

    Den: I remember one Spring Bank Holiday Monday. It was absolutely chucking it down.
    Pauline: As it does.
    Den: The Square was a mud bath and your Mark and Ian didn't have a clue what to do with themselves so Pete grabs hold of them and takes them out in the Square and they start kicking a football about. Michelle and Sharon were watching from the windows upstairs so they decided to go and join them, and then Angie says, "Well go on then, Den. Go and keep an eye on them." Well by the time I got down there, all the dads were down there — Pete, Arthur, myself, and then Big Ron turned up — and your Mark dived to save a goal.
    Pauline: In the mud.
    Den: Yeah. And when he came up, he was covered in the stuff, absolutely caked in it, but grinning from ear to ear. Arthur started to have a go at him and your Mark started laughing and Arthur got the giggles and well, we all started. It was like we were never going to stop laughing.

    Liz Turner: I can still remember Owen with his first football, looking up at me with his gappy grin like he hadn’t been AWOL for half an hour down
    Woolworth’s. I swore I’d never let him out of my sight again.

    Den on Mark: He was always laughing and joking as a kid.
    Pauline: Yeah, he was.
    Den: Good looking little boy too, but then Arthur always did say he took after his mother.

    Alfie Moon: Fun's my middle name, sweetheart, and I got a lot of stick about it at school, believe me!

    Pauline to Arthur on the definition of fun: What you and I haven't had since the night the light fused in 1976.

    Jean Slater, speaking on 10th June 2008: Me and Brian met thirty-two years ago today. He was always so well mannered, polite.

    Jean on Brian: He was tall.

    Jean: Brian was seven years older than me. I like older men. I always have.

    Stacey Slater, Brian and Jean’s daughter: Me old man was Charlie's sister's son, which makes Charlie my great-uncle.

    Jean on Big Mo: Always was a hard-faced bitch.

    Jean to Stacey: When I got together with your dad, there were plenty of girls what were jealous, fancied him rotten. I mean, who wouldn’t? Big strong man like him. They tried to take him off me.

    Jean: All my life I’ve had people talk about me behind my back.

    Mark to Nick Cotton: Do you remember the last time we went up there [the Walford viaduct]? We were eight and you were nearly twelve. You made us climb all the way up there, but you were the one who couldn't come down because you were too scared. And Dot standing down here, yelling blue murder at you. "You're a wicked, wicked boy, Nick Cotton!" I don't know what you were more scared of, being up there or coming down to face your ma.
    Nick: Liar. I weren't scared of nothing.
    Mark: So why you go and pee your pants then?

    Pauline: Summer of '76. Remember how hot it was?
    Dot: Don't I just — standpipes, "Share your bath with a friend".

    Jean: It was the best summer, blue skies and so hot. We had a drought. It didn’t rain for weeks. We had a standpipe in the middle of the street. Can you believe that? And when it did rain, me and Brian stood in the road and got soaking wet.

    Pauline: Clacton Lido, we used to take the children there swimming. It was heaving. There'd be Michelle splashing about, doing the doggy paddle down the shallow end and Mark just used to run off with his mates. Used to be murder trying to keep an eye on him. "Don't go where I can't see you," I used to tell him. Then one afternoon, I lost sight of him. My heart was in my mouth. I was looking down in the pools to see if he was under the water. Then I heard this voice calling me and I looked up and there he was, up on the top diving board. I could hardly see him against the sun, just this little figure waving and shouting, "Look at me, Mum. Look at me." Then he ran and jumped. I couldn't watch. I had to close my eyes. I thought, "This is never going to be all right." And the next thing I know, he's climbing out the pool, a big grin on his face. "Did you see me, Mum? Did you see me dive?" and I said, "Yes, darling, you were brilliant." And he ran off, did it again and again. Didn't look like diving to me. Just looked like my little boy falling out the sky and I couldn't catch him.

    Pauline: Remember how [Arthur] taught you to swim?
    Ian: Yeah. I think I spent more time under the water than I did on it!
    Pauline: Got you there in the end though, didn't he?
    Ian: He had the patience of a saint.

    Michelle, showing off her school swimming badges: That one's the hundred metres, that one's for life saving, and that's for jumping in the deep end with my dad's pyjamas on and trying not to sink.

    Suzy Branning to Max: Remember that gold [swimsuit of mine] with the tassels?

    Barry Clark: The last time I went swimming was in the cut when I was little. Me mum caught me and I had to go to hospital to have me stomach pumped — chemicals in the water. Every time I look at water, I see them shoving that pipe down me throat.

    Arthur: Mark and Michelle, the place [was] full of their friends.
    Pauline: And the fights. They were always fighting.

    Arthur on Mark and Michelle: You've been at each other's throats since the day you were born.

    Charlie Slater, speaking in 2001: Kat and Lynne, they've been [fighting] since they were toddlers. Over twenty-five years I've been listening to them screaming at each other.

    Charlie to Lynne and Kat: Do you remember what your mother used to say when you fell out?
    Lynne: "There's enough trouble in the world."

    Derek Branning: Like my old dad used to say, “If you want something done properly, do it yourself.”

    Alfie: Mum used to say, "If you can't pass the buck, you've just got to hold your hands up."

    Alfie: "Who'd have kids?" That's what Mum always used to say. She'd go, "Who'd have kids? You'd be mad to have 'em." She didn't mean it, of course.

    Carol Jackson: My mum used to say that children were only borrowed. I never thought about it at the time.

    Manda Best: As my old gran used to say, “There’s nothing like a warm welcome.”

    Charlie Cotton Jr: My mum used to say, “God loves everyone.”

    Michelle: Sharon and I grew up together. She was the sister I never had. I was her family. I loved her and she loved me.

    Arthur to Sharon: You've been in and out of [the Fowler house] since you were a kid. You two girls have gotten into mischief ever since you were nippers.

    Pauline on Sharon: Her and Michelle, always in and out of each other’s pockets when they were growing up.

    Sharon to Pauline: You and Arthur have always been good to me. I always wanted to be [part of the Fowler family].

    Sharon to Michelle: Do you remember when we were kids and we used to play at weddings with your gran's dusty old net curtains round our heads? We used to take it in turn to be bride and bridesmaid. We never bothered much with bridegrooms though. Maybe we knew a thing or two back then.

    Kat Slater: When you’re a kid and you think there’s something under the bed and the more you think about it, the bigger and scarier it gets, and then when you finally get the guts too have a look, it’s just a pair of old socks.

    Kat to Charlie: When I was little, I used to be too frightened to go to bed because the curtains used to make shadows on the wall. And then one night, I must have been about six, you came into my room and you opened my curtains and you said to look at the moon because there was a man in it and whenever I could see the moon, nothing horrible would happen to me because he'd look after me. I really believed that. I used to go to bed every night with my curtains open so I could see the man in the moon.

    Zoe Slater: Did it work for you?
    Kat: It did for a long time.

    Kat: I never felt as safe and as happy as I was then, with Dad tucking me in and rubbing me head. That was the best time of my life.

    Sharon: Everyone always envied me when I was at school. I had the best clothes, the best everything. I had the glamorous mum. I'd have changed places with Michelle any day. To have a dad who sat down with his family in front of the box every night, I'd have passed up everything for that.

    Mark: Can't say I ever liked the name [Fowler] much. Sounds too close to Foul Up.

    Glenda Mitchell to Ronnie: Veronica was such a pretty name. You loved it when you were little.

    Minty Peterson: He must have been some kind of a man, your dad.
    Heather Trott: Yeah, he was a great dad. It’s because of him I always wear Alice bands. He bought me one when I was eight. I was going to a wedding and I didn’t get chosen to be a bridesmaid so he bought me a special, sparkling Alice band. He said I looked pretty.

    Heather, looking at a gingham dress: It’s just like the one I wore to Aunty Bridey’s wedding, the only party dress Mummy ever bought me. I wore a yellow hair band with a daisy on it. Everybody said I looked lovely and Uncle Ken said I was the prettiest girl there.
    Shirley Carter: [mocking] “I was the prettiest girl there.” Gordon Bennett, whose wedding was it — the Munsters?

    Sharon on Den: Here, Chelle, do you remember when we was kids and he was going to take us out? And I got all flash and wouldn't go unless he bought me a new dress. Ended up in me room all day and he took you out and bought you a new dress. I saw you smirking when I couldn't come. You had him all to yourself. Had a good time that day, didn't you?
    Michelle: Yes I did, as a matter of fact.
    Sharon: I know he gave you a kiss when he dropped you off because I was watching from the window, you looking up to him all lovey dovey.
    Michelle: Ah well, you see, I knew. That's why he gave me that kiss.
    Sharon: I made him promise never to kiss you again.
    Michelle: Too late. I was head over heels in love with him.
    Sharon: How old were we then, six or seven?
    Michelle: You must have hated me.
    Sharon: Oh no. I got two new dresses the next day. And I didn't stay in my room all day. Mum saw to that. Spoilt brat, that's what I was.

    Kat on her Uncle Harry: I loved him so much. I had done since I was little. He used to take me everywhere with him. Harry's little shadow, Dad used to call me. He was always so flash — big car, money, making everyone laugh. He was different then. I suppose I had a crush on him. I used to be cuddling him all the time. I never used to think anything of it. He told me I was special and I believed it.
     
  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

    Message Count:
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    Michelle on helping Arthur with the decorating: I can't look at a pencil or a pair of scissors without thinking of you shouting at me — "When I say pencil, you give me a pencil. When I say brush, you give me a brush ..."

    Lou to Michelle: I always knew when you was naughty when you was a child. You used to twist your fingers.

    Pauline on Michelle: She used to sing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'. She used to stand on that mat. How old was she, seven?

    Charlie Slater to Kat: You used to wake up every morning singing. You made me laugh every day. From the minute you woke up to the minute you went to bed.

    Heather on "Bugsy Malone”: We did that at my drama club. 'My name is Tallulah.'
    Ben Mitchell: You were Tallulah?
    Heather: No, I was Crowd, but I wanted to be — beautiful, up on stage. My big dream when I was nine.

    Phil: I didn't like musicals.
    Peggy: What was “Tommy” then? I seem to remember a certain young man doing his Keith Moon impressions with chopsticks and breaking my best vase.

    Sharon to Angie: You used to read me stories from "The Water Babies". Mrs Do As You Would Be Done By, I liked her.

    Mark: Didn't you used to read us ["The Pied Piper of Hamlin"]?
    Arthur: Yeah, I think I did.
    Mark: I used to have these nightmares about these big rats running all over the place.
    Arthur: Didn't do you any harm.
    Michelle: That's a matter of opinion.

    Andrew Cotton: I never had bedtime stories when I was a kid. Mum tried, but they always ended up being about her.

    Alfie: Do you remember when you was a kid, right, there was a story about the old lady who lived in a shoe? She had loads of children, all right, and it was full of mice and they used to use the lace holes as windows and there was a little washing line and that.
    Garry: We had Noddy. Lived in a mushroom.
    Alfie: What? No, Garry, you're wrong. Noddy never lived in a mushroom.

    Kate Morton: I must have been about three or four, and me and my mam had been to the swings and we're walking home and this police car stopped and my dad's inside and he says, "Hop in. I'll give you a lift home." I felt like a princess in a golden carriage, you see, because I know that my dad does the most important job in the world because he's a policeman and he fights the baddies and I know this because my mam's told me so. So there I am in the back of the police car and there's me dad in his uniform and I feel so proud of him, so proud. He might not have been much of a dad, but he was my dad.

    Kate on her father: He was always a drinker. All I can remember is whiskey and being scared of him. If it hadn't been for whiskey, he might have been a proper dad to me.

    Big Mo: When I was forty, I still had me face.
    Pat: Me too.
    Big Mo: And me figure.
    Pat: Me too.
    Big Mo: And I thought it was the end of the world.
    Pat: Oh, me too.

    Big Mo: I remember when I went up to Oxford Street. Treated meself to a nice little black number — velour, low at the front, low at the back, split up
    the side.
    Pat: I had a dress exactly like that.
    Big Mo: Then I got home, went upstairs, got it out the bag, held it up in front of me, looked in the mirror and I thought ...
    Pat: You're too old to wear that.
    Big Mo: How do you know?
    Pat: Been there, Mo, done it, got the little black dress.
    Big Mo: Did you take yours back to the shop?
    Pat: Yeah.
    Big Mo: Me too. Wished I'd have kept it.
    Pat: Me too.

    Big Mo: I was a perfect size ten.
    Pat: Yeah, yeah!
    Big Mo: I was!
    Pat: In your dreams.

    Pat: I got me [driving] licence. I passed first time.

    Nana Moon: Don't drive, never have.

    Dot to Marge Green: It beats me how your poor dear mother ever let you [work at Doris's guest house].
    Marge: You see, there wasn't much on offer, not down the labour, and me never being on the workforce before, it was either a metre maid, or collecting them shopping trollies in some car park, or Doris's.

    Kevin Wicks: I haven’t had a day off since I was sixteen and a half.

    Blossom Jackson: I worked on the sites for a while, building sites, catering for hundreds of men, all hungry for a greasy fry up after all that concreting
    and brick laying.

    Pete Beale on brick laying: Done my aunt's wall once, down the coast.

    Darren Roberts: I had a bit of trouble with a girl, and a few other things. After that, I proved I was man enough so I got on with being one.

    Darren’s mother to his sister Carmel: [Darren] was a bad boy. He let down your father's good name.

    Carmel Roberts: Darren was about sixteen when they chucked him out. My dad hasn't spoken to him since.

    Darren to Carmel: You know how it was, sis — me, the only son with four sisters. That's a pressure. You were the only one that understood that.

    David Wicks: Back in my day, if you wanted to know about women, you asked your mates.

    Alan Jackson: When you were a teenager, did you go for the steady sort?
    Carol Jackson: No, I didn't.

    David: I thought I knew it all. I didn't think there was anything for me at school. Except girls. I'm not proud of the way I was. I did a lot of crazy things,
    silly things.

    Carol: Trouble follows you wherever you go.
    David: Once upon a time, that’s just what you liked about me.

    Pat: Judy Webber, she used to hang around with my David.
    Peggy: What was I thinking about?
    Pat: That’s exactly what my David used to say.

    Joe Wicks, David's son: How old were you when you met my dad?
    Carol: Oh — thirteen, fourteen. I knew him when I was at school. We weren't together very long.

    David, looking around a gentrified cafe in 2014: It’s changed, isn’t it? Where’s all the filthy ashtrays gone? I used to love that jukebox over there.
    Carol: That time I caught you kissing Stephanie Dobson. In this caff.
    David: I didn’t think you and I were that serious, not then.
    Carol: Well I did.
    David: I was a teenager, weren’t I?

    Carol on David: He was always a rat.

    David to his and Carol’s grandson Liam: If I gave up on your nan every time she was angry at me, we’d never have got past holding hands.

    David on his relationship with Carol: I was a kid. It was a mistake.

    Masood Ahmed: Do you remember when you were a kid and anything was possible?
    Carol: Just.

    David to Carol: I remember once when we was hopping about together, you told me you was going to conquer the world. You said you was going to make it sit up and notice you.

    Carol: An air hostess, that's what I wanted to be when I was a kid. I remember asking about it at school. You know what it was?
    Alan: A chance to see the world?
    Carol: No, it was a job with a uniform.

    Carol: All the things I wanted to do, everything I wanted to be, it all went wrong. It's no wonder, the way I was. You couldn't tell me anything at all. I always knew best.

    Carol: I remember being [fourteen], excited about babies and weddings, all that rubbish. Couldn't wait. Didn't wait. David Wicks has a lot to answer for.

    David: When you know somebody when they’re young, it’s a privilege, you see, because you get to know the real person before life screws them over and teaches them how to hide their wounds. I knew you when you were young, Carol.

    David: You were pretty. You were one of the prettiest things I'd ever seen.
    Carol: You always did go for the good looking ones, didn't you, David?
    David: That's true. You were very attractive.
    Carol: You were full of it then, but then words always came easy to you, didn’t they?
    David: I’ve always believed in less talk and more action.

    Carol: You were my first love, David.

    David on Carol: A teenage sweetheart, nothing more.

    Carol on David: I’ve loved him since I was a kid, since I was thirteen.

    Carol: My mum used to say, “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.” Of course, she was talking about my dad. With some people it’s booze, drugs, fags. With me, it’s always been David.

    Carol: You got me [a ‘Greatest Hits of 1976’ cassette] for my fourteenth birthday.
    David: You spilt coke over that if I rightly remember. We didn’t have [a cassette player].
    Carol: You promised you’d get me one for my fifteenth.
    David: And I did.
    Carol: And you promised me you’d get me ‘The Greatest Hits of 1977’.
    David: I did that as well.
    Carol: You promised you’d never hurt me.

    David: Do you remember Clive Salisbury’s fourteenth birthday party? I’d been drinking some dodgy concoction. Sick as a dog I was.
    Carol: Oh yes, cider and pernod and black.
    David: Classy. Anyway, you cleaned me up and you put my head in your lap and you were stroking my hair.

    David: Do you remember that time we snuck that bottle of Asti out of your dad’s drinks cabinet?
    Carol: Oh yeah. You held my hair back whilst I threw up at the side of the road.
    David: Always the gentleman.

    Pat: Did you ever love Carol?
    David: No. We were kids, Mum. What do kids know about love? We were just having a bit of fun, that's all.
    Pat: I reckon Carol loved you, before her brothers put their oar in.

    David on Carol's sister April: She was the one who got us in to see "Jaws", do you remember? Oh no, you wouldn't because you spent half the film under the seat.
    Carol: Yeah, well I was only fourteen.
    David: It was a laugh though, weren't it?

    David: Do you remember [watching “King Kong”]? I always used to call you my Jessica Lange.
    Carol: You were hoping that I’d call you my King Kong. We never did get to the end of it.
    David: Too busy snogging, that’s why.

    David on April Branning: She was all right, April. Only one of [Carol]'s lot I had any time for.

    Derek Branning on April: That slob.

    David on April: Lovely girl. Not as lovely as [Carol], of course.

    Max Branning on Carol: Lovely girl. I used to know her well. Very strong-willed.

    Max on Carol: You know what our sister’s like.
    Jack Branning: No, I don’t. Never have done. You’ve always been closer to her, haven’t you?
    Max: And that ain’t saying a lot, let’s face it.

    Pat remembering Carol as a girl: I can see a kid in a school uniform with a safety pin through her ear.

    David, speaking about Roxy Mitchell in 2012: Big mouth, bit wild — reminds me of someone I used to know [Carol].

    Whitney Dean on an old photo of David and Carol: Look at his spots!
    Sonia: How old were you here?
    Carol: Thirteen, fourteen — I can’t have been much more. That photo was taken at some grotty school dance. All we used to talk about back then [was how we were] going to live on a desert island somewhere. Mind you, that was as much to get away from Derek as anything else.

    Carol looking at another photo of her and David: Look at me posing away, not a care in the world.
    David: You always did make me laugh.
    Carol: You were trying to look like John Travolta and I had a bad hair day.

    Alfie: I wanted to be John Travolta. I used to go to Youth Club with a quiff, menthol cigarette, and me nan made me these black satin trousers, right, and there used to be a queue of girls just waiting to be Olivia Newton-John. Till the gusset went.

    Nick: We used to have a laugh. Remember when we took my bike to Southend? What was that film we saw?
    Yvonne: ‘Grease’. You called me Sandy for weeks afterwards.

    Yvonne: My mother always warned me, “Never trust a boy on a bike.” She was right.

    Nick: The Vonny I used to know, the one that rode on the back of my bike, she weren’t scared of no-one.
    Yvonne: Except you.
    Nick: Me?
    Yvonne: You broke my heart.

    David to Carol: God, I was such an idiot. They were great days though, eh? We didn't have a care in the world.

    Carol on ‘Misty Blue’ by Dorothy Moore: Summer of ’76, if I remember rightly.
    David: Me and you in my mum’s front room.
    Carol: We bunked off school.
    David: Probably.

    Pat to David: I walked in on you and Carol Branning once. You give me that look — defiant.

    Pat: You said David was [the one].
    Carol: Yes, he was. Not that you approved. I’ve still got the bruises to prove it.
    Pat: You gave back as good as you got.

    Carol on David: He was the first bloke I went with. We was just kids back then. We didn't know anything. So of course, I fell pregnant. I was fourteen.

    Carol: When you're young, you experiment, you make mistakes. So I ended up with Bianca.

    Carol to daughter Bianca: You were just something that come along after a bit of unexciting groping and fumbling down by the canal.

    David on Walford Canal: That's where we used to — that's where Bianca got started.
    Carol: Great start, weren't it, eh? Fumbling in the bushes by a dirty canal.
    David: It weren't that bad. I used to get so nervous. I used to get this tight knot right in my stomach right there, just waiting for the evening to come.
    Carol: You could have fooled me. You were always so cocky.
    David: Well, that was part of my macho image, weren't it? You used to have to sneak out of your house, avoid your brothers. That [summer] was [hot].
    Sweltering down there, even at night.
    Carol: Yeah, all them little midges getting in places that they shouldn't.

    David to Carol: I’ll say what I said that night in ’76, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

    Carol: I’ve always loved you, David.

    David to Carol: I know you think I didn't care about you, but I did.

    David on himself and Carol: What we had was short and sweet, young love and all that.

    Carol: Everything was there for us — not easy, not simple, but it was there. We just threw it away.
    David: No, we didn't throw it away. It was taken away from us.

    Sonia on Carol and David: Must have been dead romantic. Must have been like Romeo and Juliet, the whole world against you.
    Carol: It was nothing like Romeo and Juliet.

    Jean on herself and Brian: We got tickets for a free [Queen] concert in Hyde Park. It was the perfect end to the summer. [Starts singing ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen].

    Buster Briggs on The Clash: Camden, ’76. Me and Shirl, we snuck in by a side door. Best night of my life.

    Carol: I went up the West End for the pregnancy test. When they told me it was positive, I didn't believe them at first. I didn't want to believe them. Well, I went and bought meself an ice cream and sat by the fountains in Trafalgar Square. It was freezing. It was November. I knew they weren't lying. I sat there and I thought, "What am I going to do?" I thought, “I daren't tell my mum”. I knew she'd skin me. So next day, I sent David a note at school asking to meet me at dinnertime. Only he never showed. So I caught up with him after school when he was with his mates. They was all messing around with fireworks and well, he didn't want to talk to me. He chucked this banger thing at me, and when I screamed, he laughed. They all did. Anyway, they started walking off so I followed them. He turned round to me and he told me to leave him alone. He called me a dirty tart and they laughed, but I wanted to tell him so I stuck right behind him. So eventually he had to leave his mates. We went and sat in a bus stop. Cor, it stunk in there — you know, how they do. Anyway, I told him I was pregnant. He just turned and looked at me and he said, "What's it got to do with me?" I said, "You've got to be the dad. I've never been with anybody else." So I just kept saying it over and over — "I've never been with anybody else." In the end, I suppose he believed me because he turned round and he said, "How much it gonna cost?" I said, "What?" He said, "Get rid of it." I said I didn't know if I wanted to get rid of it, I might want to keep it. He was scared. I could see it in his eyes.

    David on Carol’s pregnancy: I never told no one. Mind you, I had no one to tell. My mother was hardly the maternal type in those days, too busy getting herself dolled up for her latest fella to stop and listen.

    Pat to David: The next thing I know, you come home and told me you got [her] up the spout. You was only fourteen. It's the day I stopped thinking of you as a kid.

    Pat to Carol: The way you was going at it, Bianca could have any one of ten fathers. You had more traffic through you than the Blackwall Tunnel.

    David: Me, a dad? I couldn’t even work out what football team to support and then one quick fumble and — bang, you have to decide whether this thing gets to become a real life person. I mean, no kid should have to go through that on their own.

    Carol on David: He wanted nothing to do with it. Neither did Pat. A few days later, he came up to me after school and he hands me this envelope with a hundred quid in it, all in dirty five pound notes.

    Jim Branning on Carol: I stood by [her].

    Max Branning: You up the duff at fourteen - that’s what you’re like, that’s what you’ve always been like. You lose your heart, Carol, just like that [snaps his fingers] and your family have always got to be there to pick up the pieces.
    Carol: You were seven years old, Max!
    Max: Well, Derek sorted him out, didn’t he, eh? Our brother, he saved you, babe, from a broken heart.
    Carol: Is that what he saved me from?
    Max: Yeah, he did. David Wicks was a wrong ‘un.

    David to Joey Branning, Derek’s son: Your dad hated me and, to be honest, I hated him as well. This was a special kind of hate that he saved just for me.

    Derek Branning to Carol: All I’ve ever wanted to do is protect you.

    Derek: You were fourteen.
    Carol: And I was in love, Derek. I know I was foolish, I admit that, but it was my choice.
    Derek: It wasn’t just you he [David] messed with. It was my life as well. You remember Jackie Bosch? I went with her for ages when I was seventeen, eighteen. Sixteen, she was. Beautiful, she was. Lovely face, gorgeous figure, like an angel. She was the only woman I ever loved.
    Carol: A teenage crush.
    Derek: A crush? A crush? I loved her!

    Max on Derek and Jackie Bosch: You used to go out.
    Jackie Bosch: I hardly think I’d call it going out. We went the pictures a couple of times. Can’t for the life of me remember what you [Derek] took me to. You made me sneak in the fire exit. I tell you what I do remember — wandering hands. I used to see quite a lot of boys round then. I was a bit of a looker. And [Derek] — hands everywhere. I ain’t being funny, but your breath didn’t half reek.

    Jackie to Derek: You were the one that used to bully David Wicks, weren’t you? Didn’t your sister have a thing with him?

    Jackie to Max: He was a right bully, your brother. I never liked a bully.

    Derek: David Wicks, he got inside my head, got me believing things that I shouldn’t, got me believing things that weren’t even true, got me all riled up, got me jealous, give me the green-eyed monster, got Jackie a slap or two. She was devastated. She was appalled. Her brothers weren’t too pleased either, stabbed me in the back, literally. Look, that’s what I got from him [shows a scar on his back]. He nearly killed me.

    Rainie Cross, looking at the scar on Derek’s back: Did that hurt?
    Derek: No, I barely felt it.

    David: Do you know that stab mark down [Derek’s] back?
    Joey: Yeah.
    David: Nothing to do with the fella that stabbed him — my fault, apparently.
    Joey: Well, logic never was Derek’s strong point, was it?
    David: No.

    Derek to Carol: I was in the hospital for weeks. I nearly died. You came to see me with the old lady, you remember? Bag of grapes, worried look on your face. Fourteen years old, pretty as a picture. I can see it like it was yesterday. He [David] poisoned the only thing that was good in my life. He messed with you, he messed with me.

    Derek, speaking to Carol in 2012: David Wicks got everything he deserved and you know he did. If it wasn't for him, me and Jackie Bosch ... I know I've done wrong. I was the man I was. I had my happiness spoilt thirty-six years ago.

    Max on Jackie Bosch: I’ve listened to you banging on about her for years, Del.
    Derek: That woman broke my heart.
    Max: I didn’t think you had one.
    Derek: I might still have one if I’d stayed with her, wouldn’t I?

    Derek to Carol: You were such a smart girl. You could have had a hatful of O-levels, A-levels even, but you threw it all away.

    Derek on David: He ruined our sister’s life.

    Carol on getting pregnant: It ruined my life.

    Derek to Carol: If you’d have only listened to me, if you’d have only listened to your big brother, you’d be in a palace now [2011]. Me round, Sunday lunch, carving. We could have been so close.
    Carol: Yeah, and if you hadn’t stuck your nose in, I might ...

    David to his daughter Bianca: A couple of weeks after your mum told me she was pregnant, her brothers got hold of me. They jumped me on the way home from school one afternoon. Took it in turn to kick the living daylights out of me.

    Derek to David: Me and the lads — you being too thick to get the message. I bet you can remember just how much it hurt, that last beating I gave you.

    Pat on Derek: He nearly killed David.

    David on himself and Derek: We were close, you know, in the old days. He broke my nose, punctured my lung, broke four ribs.

    Derek on David: Fourteen, he was. Squealed like a pig. Those were the days.

    Derek: “Not the face! Not the face!” That’s what David Wicks used to say. It was like his catchphrase — “Not the face!”

    David: Derek got out this knife and he held it right up to my face, right up so I could see it, and he said, "You go near my sister again and I will kill
    you."

    David: I was in hospital for a week. I didn’t even get a visit.

    David to Bianca: Me mum took me out of school and by the Christmas we'd moved away. That was the last I heard of [the Brannings]. Never saw your mum again. I knew nothing about you, I swear.

    Carol to David: If you'd have had your way, you'd have had [Bianca] flushed down some hospital toilet.

    David to Carol: You told me you was going to have an abortion.

    Pat to Carol: David told me you had an abortion.

    Carol to Bianca: I didn't want an abortion. I wanted the baby. I wanted you. I loved you from the minute I knew I was expecting you.

    Bianca to Carol: It’s always just been us, since you were Liam’s age.

    Derek to Bianca: [Carol] was determined to keep you. She loved you so much. You know, her and me nearly came to blows over you, and you want to know why? Because I waved a hundred pound under her nose to get rid of you, to have an abortion. I even marched her down the clinic, but would she? No, she wouldn’t — a plucky little fourteen year old and she wasn’t going to give you up, no matter what happened.

    Carol to Bianca: Shall I tell you why I never told you [about your father]? Because David Wicks was just somebody I went with. No big deal. I was a kid. He meant nothing. He walked out on me. It was me that he didn't like, me that he left, not you. I never told him [about you]. He just went off. I thought I'd never see him again. David didn't want to know. So I wanted him out of my life and out of yours.

    Carol to David: When you left, I wanted to die. I wanted to kill you as well.

    David: When Mum took us away, I thought about you a lot.
    Carol: Yeah, I thought about you too. I hated you.

    Carol: David Wicks, my knight in shining armour. Soon went rusty when he left me pregnant.

    David to Carol: I know you thought I was a pig, but I did care for you. It was just everyone else, wasn't it, getting in the way. My mum, your mum and dad, not to mention your brothers. If me mum hadn't moved us away when she did, I'd have been dead meat.

    David: We were so young. What do you know at that age, eh?
    Carol: I knew that I loved you and I always would. I got over it, of course, got on with my life, another layer to my armour, but feelings that strong, well, they don't ever really go away. Just bury them deep inside.

    David: Do you ever wonder what it might have been like if [Derek] had left us alone?
    Carol: Us? There was no us. Maybe I would have married you and had loads of kids, but let's face it, it wouldn't have lasted. My life would have been a
    nightmare. You really hurt me, David.

    Louise Raymond on her and Terry's daughter: Tiffany was as good as gold during the day. I had to lie beside her at night otherwise she'd never go off. Had to sing her to sleep every night. Her little face ...

    Ian: What did you want to be when you grew up?
    Simon Wicks: A pop star like everybody else, I suppose. How about you?
    Ian: Rich.

    Ian: I wanted to be a drummer in a rock band.

    Nick Cotton: You never did like the Sex Pistols, did you, Ma?

    Simon: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a train driver.

    Heather: I used to want to be an artist or an actress or a trombone player or a ballet dancer. You know, I very nearly was a ballet dancer.

    Tina Carter: I never did ballet!
    Sylvie Carter on Tina: Started when she was three. Took her every Saturday morning for a year or more. Looked a picture in her little tutu. “Natural grace,” that’s what her teacher said.

    Tina on Sylvie: She loved dancing.

    Grant: Tell me what you wanted to be when you grew up.
    Nina Harris: A barmaid.

    Kathy on Nina: She's Ted niece, at least by marriage.

    Irene Hills: Nina [is] my sister's girl.

    Kathy to Nina: We used to have Christmases together when the kids were young. You'd just started wearing a bra, as I remember.

    Pauline: I've been looking through the old Nativity Play photos. It was 1976, wasn't it?
    Ian: Yeah. I was Joseph, Michelle was Mary. I was so nervous, I forgot all me lines. Me dad never let me live it down.

    Ted Hills: Last time I saw you was New Year's Eve. You must have been six or seven.
    Ian: Yeah, I remember. You didn't buy me a present.
    Ted: It was a flying visit.
     
  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1977

    Charlie Slater, speaking in 2002: I've been driving [taxis] twenty-five years.

    Big Mo: The black cab drivers' do — all the girls wear bright colours. They all get dolled up. I can remember my Viv — always wore fuchsia pink. She loved it. She used to show them what's what.

    Little Mo: ‘Chanson D'Amour’ was my mum's favourite record.

    Phil, speaking to Faith Olunbumbi in 2011: When I was your age [sixteen], if I’d [defaced] somebody else’s property, I’d get a good hiding and count meself lucky if I got away without any broken bones.

    Charlie Cotton Jr on Nick: He never settled on the outside. He kept getting into trouble, letting [Mum] down and one day, he was off.

    Yvonne to Charlie: Your father left and I was on my own.

    Yvonne: Since then, it’s just been me and Charlie. It’s always just been me and him.

    Yvonne to Charlie: Nick screwed your life up.

    Cora Cross to her daughter Rainie: That was my first mistake - begatting you.

    Big Mo: Motherhood rots your brain. Remember our Vivienne? Three babies in seven years. Never got a word of sense out of her all through the 1970s.

    Big Mo on Viv: She didn’t take advice.

    Jean Slater: Viv never really liked me. She was strong, I was weak. She always knew what she was doing. I was always dithering. A clever lady and
    capable. She was the rock of your family. I always wanted to be like her. Viv always knew the right thing to say, the right thing to do.
    Charlie Slater: Could have a tongue on her though.
    Jean: She was always fair, though. I mean if she gave you a tongue lashing it’s because you deserved it.

    Billy Mitchell: You and Viv, how did you manage to cope so well? Big family, lots of kids, it must have been a struggle when they was young.
    Charlie: Yeah it was. It was really hard sometimes, but you know what? I wouldn’t change one single day of it.
    Billy: Not even the bad times?
    Charlie: Especially them. They’re the ones that tested you, a bit of fire.

    Vanessa Gold: If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
    Eddie Moon: Everything.
    Vanessa: It can’t have been all bad.
    Eddie: Well, maybe just the bad bits then.
    Vanessa: A few of those, were there?
    Eddie: Just a few.

    Michael Moon on his mother: I remember her chasing mice round the flat with my cricket bat, screaming her head off. Even now when I smell her perfume, I'm right back there, sitting on her lap, listening to her sing Clash records. “I want a riot” - she loved that song.
    Eddie: Yeah. She smashed up our radio because the DJ spoke over the start of it.

    Yvonne Cotton on Nick: All my friends thought he looked like Joe Strummer.
    Dot: Who?
    Yvonne: From the Clash.

    Billy Mitchell: Do you know who Joe Strummer was?
    Lola Pearce, Billy’s granddaughter: No, who’s that?
    Billy: He was a legend.

    Billy: When I was a kid, I had a goldfish called Strummer. I used to dream of getting him [an aquarium-sized] tank.

    Michael on his mother: I remember her helping me get worms for my fishing.
    Eddie: It wasn’t her who dug the worms out of the mud. It was me, Michael. I used to take you fishing down the canal.
    Michael: I remember the fishing in the canal.

    Buster Briggs: Caught a shark once. Big thing it was. I’d have reeled it in and all if it hadn’t bit through the line.

    Carol Jackson on her baby: Everybody said I should get rid of it. I had to fight to be allowed to have my baby.

    Carol: I kept it, David. Don't ask me why. I just did.
    David Wicks: You didn't ask me. You didn't even have the courtesy to let me know.
    Carol: I should have told you, but I didn't know how to say it.

    Carol to Bianca: I chose at fifteen to keep you. I was at the clinic, David's sweaty money in my hand, ready to pay up and get on with my life, but I
    didn't. Why, I don't know - because I felt I was wrong, because I felt I was to blame in some way - I was stupid enough to get myself pregnant, I had to see it through. The story of my life, finishing off jobs I should never have started. I had a child in there and I needed to protect it. I signed my life away.

    Jean Slater: I’m not wanted — the story of my life.

    Charlie Slater on Kat: Story of her life — things not working out.

    Eddie: “Only Eddie” — the story of my life!

    Carol: Same story my whole life — one big hamster wheel round and round till you drop off.

    David: Have you ever had an abortion, Mum?
    Pat Butcher: What kind of a question's that? No, of course I haven't.

    Natalie Price to her mother Andrea: I can't help it if I was a mistake.

    Andrea Price: They said the second one would just fly out. It's no joke having a thirty-six hour labour.

    Andrea: You're the reason I lost my figure.
    Natalie: Mum, loads of women have two children close together.
    Andrea: It's just having two kids in two years didn't help any. I got stretch marks. It put your dad right off. You can't be a cabaret singer if you've got a stone full of flab to shift. Losing my figure cost me my career and my husband.
    Natalie: Well, if I made you so unattractive, how come Dad stuck around to have Jack?
    Andrea: Biding his time until someone better looking came along.

    Dot Cotton: I wish there’d still been National Service when my Nick was eighteen.

    Dot: Do you remember the Silver Jubilee? That was a lovely day.
    Pauline Fowler: We had a street party.
    Dot: People brought what they got, we all shared. Arthur did that treasure hunt for the children and everyone was getting tiddly on Ethel's punch.
    Pauline: We had that big table all round the Square.
    Dot: Oh, them table cloths. Sixteen loads. I had service washes backed up for days.

    Kat Slater: I had a great aunt once who had chronic constipation and she spent fifty years on the throne!

    Glenda Mitchell to Ronnie: Your Aunty Peg swears blind that me and your dad were at this boxing do in Romford in July 1977 and I know for a fact that we were in Marbella.

    Eddie to Michael: That club I used to train in, you hated that place.

    Michael Moon: Cooper Hall [a boxing venue] over Bethnal Green. Like our front room, weren’t it, Dad?

    Ava Hartman: I wanted to be a tennis player [when I was twelve].

    Ava: I don’t think I even thought about boys at [that] age.

    PC Jenkins, speaking in 2015: Please state your name and date of birth for the tape.
    Linda: Linda Carter, July 1st 1977.

    Carol: I didn't exactly have it easy. I had to leave school and have a newborn baby. When she was born, everybody said, "Oh, you got to get her adopted." I had to fight every inch of the way to keep my daughter. Nobody knows what it was like for me, the decisions I had to make. I was a kid.
    Pat: I do, Carol. I was there, remember? Yes, you had it hard and it wasn't fair.

    Carol, speaking in 2013: I’ve survived childbirth and God knows how many Royal Variety Performances — I think I can cope.

    Carol to Bianca: You were two weeks late, and I tell you, every day past that due date felt like a year. I thought you was never going to come out.
    Bianca Jackson: Yeah, but you was glad when I did though, weren't you?
    Carol: You know I was.

    Derek Branning to Bianca: I was there when you were born — not your granddad, not your grandma, not your dad — me, your Uncle Derek, and when she [Carol] first held you in her arms, she was the most radiant creature I’d ever seen. She loved you then.

    Carol on Bianca: A little freckly face. My little girl.

    Carol to Bianca: The only mistake I ever made was having you. I should never have bothered and then life would have been a lot happier for us all.

    Max Branning: You always did like fighting dirty, didn’t you, Carol?

    Carol: Mouth first, brain later. I've always been the same.

    Bianca: My mum was so young when she had me. She must have been really scared.

    Carol: I was fourteen years old. I should have been thinking about me O Levels and going out with me mates, not changing dirty nappies. I gave up my future for my child. I did everything for that girl.

    Carol on Bianca: I hoped for a daughter that loved me, that wouldn’t rip my heart out.

    Carol to Bianca: I spent years scraping around, struggling to bring you up. It was me that brought you up, me that fed and clothed you, me that went out to work all the hours God sent just to make ends meet, me that gave up everything.

    Carol to Bianca: I gave up everything for you. I gave up my youth, my freedom, my ambitions.

    Carol: I was a failure when I was pregnant with you at fourteen.
    Bianca: Me dad walked out you, your family tell you not to have me but you do, you’re fourteen — that ain’t a failure, that’s brave.

    Bianca to Carol: Mum, since you were fifteen you’ve just looked after me my whole life.

    Bianca: You've always worked. I've never known you not to.
    Carol: Yeah. When you were first born, I used to take you with me. I was an usherette at the pictures. The lady in the box office used to have you in your carry cot on the floor while I collected the tickets.
    Bianca: Didn't they mind?
    Carol: No. Trouble was I never got to see any of the films. I always had to come and feed you.
    Bianca: Sorry.
    Carol: I didn't care.

    Carol: I never wanted Bianca to find out about [her paternity] and I really tried to protect her from it all.

    Jim Branning: Carol was a kid herself when she had Bianca so she's the only [grandchild] I've really known since a baby. She's always been my favourite.

    Pauline: Did Pete not know he had a grandchild?
    Carol: No.
    Pauline: He always wanted a granddaughter.

    Den Watts: Sharon always wanted a brother.

    Den: I always wanted a son, even had a picture in me head of what he'd look like, sitting on me shoulders watching football, rolling on the ground, picking him up from his first day at school.
    Dennis Rickman: I had the same pictures.

    Den: I never ever saw a picture of Dennis as a baby, never held him, never bought him any toys, and I'm not saying I would have been the greatest father, but maybe I wouldn't have minded finding out.

    Dennis to Den: Are you sure you didn't know about me? It's just she [Paula] always said you did and it was because of me, me being like I am, that you weren't around.
    Den: It sounds as if your mum might have had a few problems.
    Dennis: Yeah — me.

    Jay Brown: Christie Malone — he was a decent fighter. He was from round here [Walford].
    Phil Mitchell: We used to fight as amateurs together.
    Jay: Did you fight him?
    Phil: I knocked him out.

    Jay: How old were you when you knocked out Christie Malone?
    Phil: About your age [sixteen]. A week after I put his lights out, a scout from the ELC, that’s the ...
    Jay: East London Championships.
    Phil: Yeah, that’s right. He come down to Walford and, well, I broke me hand. So Christie got the nod instead of me.
    Jay: So if you hadn’t have broke your hand ...
    Phil: We’ll never know, will we?

    Phil: [The real reason] Christie Malone got scouted instead of me [is because] Mum and Dad, they were away at Butlin’s with Aunt Sal, Grant was with the cadets and none of me mates were going to championships, and the truth is I didn’t want to go on me own. I bottled it. I did break me hand but not until the day after. I just used that as an excuse.

    Masood Ahmed: AJ saw “Star Wars” seventeen times.
    Tamwar: Seventeen times?
    AJ Ahmed: That was just the cinema release.

    Masood Ahmed: I was the only one who wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Everyone else wanted to be Han Solo. He was the coolest one.

    Zainab Masood: My first kiss was a poster of [film star] Santosh Kumar and all I’ve thought ever since was, “I bet he tastes of paper.”

    Alfie Moon on ‘Wonder Woman’: I remember that, Saturday nights back in the day. I used to watch both of them.

    Ian Beale: Remember that "Star Wars" do we has as kids? You sat [upstairs at the Vic], crying in your Princess Leia outfit.
    Sharon Watts: It was only because Mark Fowler was playing with me buns. Took Mum ages to get that hair right.
    Ian: You sat up here crying your eyes out. Your dad came up here, sat down, cuddled you, talked it through with you. Then he carried you downstairs, didn't he?

    Sharon, looking at a photo of Den: I took this one with the camera he gave me for me eighth birthday.

    Sharon on Tenerife: It's where Mum and Dad used to take me when I was a kid. It was perfect for us three. We had a great time playing on the beach. Dad couldn't get me out the sea because I liked it so much, and they were nice to each other for a change. It's the best holiday we ever had.

    Dennis, looking at Sharon's old holiday photos: Is that you? What are you wearing?!
    Sharon: Dad made me wear a T-shirt in case I got sunburn.
    Dennis: Very flattering! [On another photo:] Now that's more like it, quite a movie star!
    Sharon: That's us admiring Dad's sandcastle. It's supposed to be the Queen Vic. Mum thought he was mad.

    Heather Trott: When I was a kid, I used to stand outside the travel agents looking in at those big posters of blue sea and white sand and I’d imagine I was there.

    Garry Hobbs: I used to go to the seaside every weekend in the summer when I was a kid.

    Den: All those customised watches in the back of the car, eh? Cost me ten bob a time, they did.
    Angie Watts: Ten bob? You told me fifteen! You took my post office savings, you crafty so and so.
    Den: All those automatic watches in the back of the car, all wound up from the vibrations. Then we broke down. That guy stuck his head in the window. "Can I help you, sir?"
    Angie: He kept sticking his head in the window. There was five hundred of them, all ticking away.
    Den, adopting an Irish accent: "Is it possible to tell us the time, to be sure?" And he still didn't tumble.

    Eric "Chalky" Whiting: You always sailed a bit close to the wind, Den.

    Pete: Old Eric Whiting. He used to run the Duke of York's before Fat Harry took over.

    Chalky to Den: All you've ever cared about is looking after Number One.
    Den: I didn't hear you complain when I put those trannies your way. And that's just for starters. How about when I tipped you off about the Weights and Measures, eh? Remember when you sold the Duke of York's? Remember who taught you how to fiddle the books so you could get a better price?
    Chalky: Angie.
    Den: Yeah, but it was my idea.
    Chalky: And as I remember, you insisted on a cut.
    Den: You didn't do too badly out of it yourself.

    Kim Fox, Denise’s sister: I was born with the looks. Dee got the brains.

    Denise on Kim: She’s always had a very overactive imagination.

    Kim: It don’t matter where you come from. With class, you’ve either got it or you ain’t. Me and Denise, we’ve always had it. Innit, Dee?

    Kim on Denise: She always had good taste — ish.

    Denise Fox: You are our mother's daughter.
    Kim: Thanks.
    Denise: That ain’t a compliment.

    Kim: Me and Dee, we weren’t that close to our mum.
    Denise: Speak for yourself.

    Kat Slater on her sister, Little Mo: I've known that girl since the day she was born and she has never lifted a finger to hurt anyone.

    Big Mo to Little Mo: Your mother used [baby paracetamol] and you used to guzzle it down.

    Charlie Slater: All my girls had [green poo]. Babies’ poo changes [colour] all the time. Little Mo went through the rainbow.

    Kat: I cleaned the inside of Dad's cab once.

    Kat: Here Dad, remember that time when it was Mum's birthday and we all went out in the cab and you picked that bloke up and took him to Euston just because it was on the way?
    Charlie Slater: Well I had to get some money to pay for the dinner, didn't I?

    Kevin Wicks: I’ve done it large up west more times than I want to remember.

    Kathy Beale to Pete: Do you remember the night when you, me, Den and Angie went up west for a night out? We went up in your old van. There was me and Angie all dolled up. We were sitting on a bag of spuds and a net of onions.
    Pete: Oh yeah. Just after Den done one of them dodgy deals of his.
    Kathy: And we ended up in that posh restaurant. Remember that doorman?
    Pete: Oh yeah, and he had that big waxed moustache. He looked like a sergeant major. His boat race when you and Angie got out the back door!
    Kathy: Yeah, me stinking of onions.
    Pete: And Denny said, "There you are, my man", and gave him a stick of celery for a tip.
    Kathy: And Angie said, "I hope it's warm in there, young man, because I forgot to put my knickers on." Here, do you remember, Den started chatting to one of them waitresses?
    Pete: I also remember you and Angie was chatting up them waiters. All three of you were chatting up. I sat there like a right lemon. And didn't your one take it serious? Try to talk you into taking him out later?
    Kathy: My hero here. You went and thumped him, didn't you? He ended up on his bum. I remember we was asked to leave.
    Pete: Angie said I was a spoil sport. Fancied you, that fella.
    Kathy: Yeah well, I didn't fancy him, did I? Greasy git.

    Kathy on her brother Ted and "Uncle" Jimmy: The last time I saw these two together, they were betting on who could drink the most neat gin without being sick.
    Jimmy Doyle: Which I won, of course. And Edward here had to drag me the entire length of the East India Dock Road singing "Danny Boy".
    Ted Hills: I was stitched up.
    Jimmy: No, it was a fair bet. If he'd won, I [would have] had to eat fifty boiled eggs, like in that film. That's why I didn't feel guilty about making him pay his bet.

    Alfie Moon: "Cool Hand Luke", Paul Newman — I wanted to be him.

    Ted: If it hadn't have been for Jimmy, I could have ended up in nick or at the bottom of the canal. He stuck by me and my business through a lot of very hard times. We've been through a lot together. Whenever there was any trouble on the site, he was there. He's even gone without wages when times were hard.

    Ted: We did a job together some years ago.
    Kathy: What sort of job?
    Ted: Don't matter. Jimmy got two years. I walked — because Jimmy kept his mouth shut.

    Ted to Jimmy: You could have grassed on me, but you didn't. You spent two years of your life banged up.

    Irene Hills on her children: When they were little, we were too tired to enjoy it. I always told myself, "One day, there'll be other chances. One day, I'll have grandchildren."

    Irene on Ted: He used to blame me for this sort of thing [the fridge not being defrosted]. Never lifted a finger himself.

    Maureen Carter, Irene's aunt: [Irene] was never a natural when it comes to housework.

    Big Mo: Viv, she loved a clean and tidy house.

    Glenda Mitchell: I was always hopeless in the kitchen.

    Archie Mitchell: I never really got into the housekeeping thing meself.

    Dot: My Charlie, he hated washing up. Said it was woman's work.

    Dan Sullivan: My old man never cooked anything.

    Lofty Holloway: My dad never did a stroke around the house. He was the breadwinner and me mum just washed net curtains day in, day out. Inside, she was all twisted up and discontent. You could see it. It was horrible.

    Trevor Morgan: My mother died when I was eleven. I never had a family.

    Alfie: My mum always used to make tea [in times of crisis]. No one ever drank it. She used to make it, leave it there for an hour, then pour it down the
    sink and start all over again. God, it was right horrible tea it was.

    Heather: Mummy used to make me gargle with salt water.

    Pat Wicks: Didn't bring my two up, they did it themselves. Couldn't stand either of them till they were fourteen, going on fifteen.

    Simon Wicks on his childhood: I never remember being hungry and I never remember not being loved.

    Pat to Simon: It was me giving hell down the police station that time they pulled you in and you'd done nothing. You were pleased enough to have me around then, all right. That teacher who kept picking on you soon stopped after I sorted her out.

    Pat: I lost count of the amount of times I had to see the headmaster over my two about one thing or another.

    Shirley Carter: I was always in trouble at school. I swore when I left school, I’d never set foot in one again.

    Simon: I had some childhood, I did. All right, so they looked after me, but me stepdad - it was like living with a nutter. I used to have this picture in me room, right, a shipwreck. I used to pretend that him and Mum had drowned. See that way, I could imagine the sort of parents that I wanted, the sort of father who'd come and make things right instead of just rowing all the time. Mum and him played every game there was. Rules weren't in it. Me and my brother were just ammunition for them. I learned a lot.

    Pat to Simon: You've called [Brian Wicks] "stepfather" all your life, only he wasn't.

    Simon: I used to feel sorry for my stepfather. My mum wasn't any more faithful to him than she was to Pete. There were always fellas hanging around. I hated it.

    David Wicks to Pat: You were married and obsessed at the same time. Remember how you used to sneak off to see Frank?

    Ricky Butcher: All the years I was growing up, you and Dad were —
    Pat: Off and on, yes. I knew it was wrong, Ricky. I knew it was killing the rest of my life, but I could sooner have stopped breathing than stopped seeing Frank. That was just something on the side. He'd never have left you lot. God knows I asked him often enough.

    David on Frank: He was the only person that she ever really loved.
    Carol Jackson: She loved her kids.
    David: No.

    Pat: I got [two] failed marriages behind me and each one started the same way, passionately. They started the same way and they ended the same way, in disaster. I was so lonely after [each] of them.

    Simon: [Pat and Brian] might have had things going on, but they managed to keep a good atmosphere.

    Pat: I always liked Kevin [Wicks, Brian’s nephew]. He was a good laugh.

    Simon: We used to have this Social Studies teacher at school. He had long ginger hair tied back in a ribbon. He manicured his nails and kept his money in a pink leather purse. He was drunk most of the time so we used to call him Ethelred the Unsteady, on account of his leanings.

    Nigel Bates: I had this science teacher, Mr Bunky. Real stickler, he was. Bad case of dandruff. Always wore the same old pair of corduroy trousers. Bunky Burner, we used to call him. Bunky Burner, bunsen burner - get it?

    Heather Trott: I was never any good at science.

    Heather: I failed French at school. I kept getting “he” muddled up with “she” and “you” muddled up with me.

    Nana Moon: Do you remember that con you did when you were a boy?
    Alfie: Which one?
    Nana: The bike one.
    Alfie: The one with the pretend puncture? That was a good one.
    Nana: Well, it was a good one until that teacher came along that you had a crush on. And do you know? All the patter, all the front, they all fell away. We could see straight through you.

    Nigel on his female teachers: All I ever got were spindly old bags with greasy hair and a bad case of dandruff.

    Peggy Mitchell: Minty, you've always been very loyal to this family.

    Phil Mitchell: What about the time your girlfriend dyed your hair blond and it all went green?
    Minty Peterson: Yeah, and I had to wear that stupid woolly hat all through the summer until it grew out. I looked a right plonker.
    Phil: Did she ever pass her hairdressing exams?
    Minty: I don't know. She dumped me. Cheek, eh?

    Rod Norman: I had [pink hair] when I was at school. When I wanted to go a gig, I had to con the old lady I was going up the Festival Hall, you know, classical and that. Had a mate who worked there, used to nick me the programmes. Poor cow, must have come as an awful shock when she finally twigged.

    Minty on “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac: I liked it when it first come out.
    Adam Best: I suppose you can’t deny its appeal in populist subculture but it didn’t really challenge the status quo, did it?
    Minty: No - not after “Rockin’ All Over the World” anyway.

    Nigel: I remember the first time I heard ["Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" by The Carpenters]. I was trying to snog Maureen Prescott at the time. You remember her — braces on her teeth, big girl. Lovely mother.
    Grant Mitchell: Oh yeah, I remember. I tried to date her once.
    Nigel: What, Maureen?
    Grant: No, her mother.
    Nigel: You old devil. Kept that quiet.

    Nigel: My love life as a teenager was a total disaster.

    Phil: The longest you went out with a girl was three weeks.
    Grant: There was Sue from Hornchurch with the legs.
    Phil: You started going out with her on Halloween and she chucked you on Bonfire Night.

    Archie Mitchell: I used to love Halloween — carving lanterns, apple bobbing, telling scary stories to the kids.
    Ronnie Mitchell: You were good at that.

    Ronnie on ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’: That used to be my favourite [book] when I was little.

    Grant to Phil: Debbie Smith, do you remember her? I'd just started going out with her and you said she came onto you. You said she was begging for it. You told me about it, we fronted her. Made her look a right prat.
    Phil: Yeah.

    Minty on Phil: Always did have a way with the ladies.

    Phil: I was brought up to kick the crap out of anyone who even looked at his bird in the wrong way.

    Phil: My old man used to say to me, "Never fight over women. Can get to be a habit."

    Alfie: "Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen" - that's what Dad used to say anyway. He didn't always get it right.

    Grant: What did the old man say? If someone's beating the crap out of you, you just cut your losses and run like hell.
    Phil: Yeah, and he also said wait for them the next day with a ruddy big stick.

    Archie, speaking to Jack Branning in 2009: When I was your age [thirty-seven], I was out enjoying every minute.
     
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Walford Gazette headline about Johnny Allen: “I CONFESS - NIGHTCLUB BOSS CONFESSES TO STRING OF GANGLAND MURDERS ... Tony Monroe KILLED IN 1977.”

    Barry Clark: There used to be a big gang of them tearaways - Graham, [Darren], Nick Cotton, Rod Norman.

    Dot: When my Nick was young, it was fists. None of these here knives. Well, not many.
    Pauline: They were a bit wild, you know.

    Carmel Roberts: Darren and [Graham] were great mates.

    Kathy Beale: [Nick] was always getting [Barry's] brother into trouble in the old days. Nothing serious, just a couple of people mucking about in cars.

    Dot on Graham Clark: He was always leading Nick into bad ways when they was young.
    Charlie Cotton: From what I heard, it was the other way round. Graham was the one that got caught.
    Dot: That weren't Nick's fault.

    Dot on Nick: He was such a lovely little boy. He’d do anything for anybody, but then he changed. He turned onto the drugs.

    Dot: I tried the best I could.
    Nick: The best you could turned me into a killer.
    Dot: I never turned you into a killer. What turned you into a killer was the heroin.

    Dot to Nick: You started dying the moment you injected your first poison, heroin. How old was you — nineteen, eighteen, younger? You were the cross I had to bear.

    Dot to Nick: I wasn’t an affectionate mother, not after you was a child. I hadn’t been brought up that way, I didn’t know how, and then when you were a teenager, your eyes, when you were on the drugs, they frightened me. I wore meself out praying to Jesus that he’d change your life.

    Dot, talking to God about Nick: I brought him up to believe in you, to love you, but he changed when he was led astray by those wicked drugs and he laughed in me face, he jeered at me faith.

    Pauline: [Nick and Graham] were breaking into these fruit machines. Graham got charged and sent to the remand, but Nick done a runner. It was obvious he stitched him up. I'm not saying Graham didn't get what he deserved, but that Nick was supposed to be his best mate, wasn't he?

    Graham Clark to Nick: I thought you and me were great mates back in the old days. Then suddenly I find out you dropped me in it, left me to carry the can. That upset me.

    Barry on Nick: He was an addict then. He'd have done anything for a fix.

    Darren Roberts on the gang: We all got split up, didn't we? I haven't seen Mickey Fyed since I was fifteen.

    Darren: I was fifteen when I left school and since then I've never asked anyone for a penny. Anything I've done, I've done for myself by my own efforts.

    Phil Mitchell: I [walked out of my exams early].

    Kevin Wicks: I never had [much] learning when I was young.

    Barry: My mum used to tell the headmaster [I was too easily led astray]. He reckoned it was me who did the leading.

    Graham on Barry: Mum used to wait on him hand and foot.

    Ian Beale: I haven't played [Subuteo] since I was a little nipper. I used to win all the cups, the leagues, the championships, everything. Mark was always second.
    Mark Fowler: You what?!
    Ian: You never beat me once, did you?
    Mark: It wasn't worth playing. You'd scream blue murder if I beat you.
    Ian: I did not!
    Mark: Yes you did.

    Ian: Bar of chocolate, board game, me, Mark and Michelle — hours of fun.

    Denise Fox: Handstands was my thing — “Bow to the King, curtsey to the Queen, show your knickers to the football team.” Then you tip ...

    Arthur Fowler to Michelle: When you and Mark were kids, you looked up to me. I was something. I was the earner, the husband. I was the centre of [Pauline's] little world.

    Arthur on Michelle: We wanted so much for her and Mark. We wanted to give them the whole world.

    Arthur: When you were kids, we did the best we could, but there was never any money to spare.
    Michelle Fowler: No, but you loved us.
    Arthur: No two kids was loved more.
    Michelle: Well that's all that matters.
    Arthur: No. No, it should be, but to get on in this world, you got to have money. You got to have privilege, there's no other word for it, and we couldn't give you that because we didn't have it to give.

    Pauline to Mark: You kids, you had far more than me and Pete ever did.

    Michelle: We didn't really go further than Leigh on Sea for our holidays.
    Felicity Barnes: And you always went there?
    Michelle: Year in, year out. We quite enjoyed it.

    Arthur: Our Michelle, she was a timid little thing. I always remember, there was this dog on the beach at Leigh on Sea. Stamping and snarling it was. Frightened the life out of her. I chased it off and gave the owner an earful. Put her off dogs for life, that did. Didn't put her off Leigh on Sea, though. She always loved the seaside.

    Pauline: Do you remember nagging your dad to get you a dog like ...
    Mark: Shep [from Blue Peter].
    Pauline: Shep, that's it. And that bloke was always saying, "Get down, Shep!"

    Pam Coker: I’d have loved a dog but my Les was never keen. Worried about slobber on his tailcoat.

    Suzy Branning: I wanted a dog since I was [twelve], but Mum said she had enough to deal with.

    Carol Jackson to Derek’s daughter Alice: The time Derek brought that dog home, right scrappy little thing. Turns out someone was trying to drown it so your dad jumped straight in after it despite the fact that he could barely swim. Your granddad gave him a clout when he found out and said he had to get rid of it. He never did. He was a stubborn so and so even back then. What was he called, that dog?
    Jack Branning: It was Biggles. The only book Derek ever read.
    Max: Don’t sound like the brother I remember.

    Carol on Derek and Biggles: Always by his side. Proper little double act they were. It was a scruffy little one. Stunk to high heaven. We had him for years.

    Rose Cotton: Andrew’s always been a sucker for a lost cause. When he was a kid, he brought home a right scruffy stray dog. Great lump she was, matted fur and a dodgy eye. A weak later, we all had fleas. Then she took a bite out of his ankle.

    Mark: Benjo, he was our dog when I was a nipper. Man's best friend, he was — loyal, devoted — but we couldn't train him so Mum just had to get used to it in the end and stopped trying.
    Lisa Shaw: What happened to him?
    Mark: He drove us all mental.

    Andy Hunter: When I was a kid, we used to have this dog. Loved me to bits. He'd sit there looking at me for hours because I was his world. All that dog
    wanted in life was to make me happy.

    Alfie: I used to have a pet dog when I was a kid — Harry.

    Michelle to Arthur: Remember when I was little? A right daddy's girl, weren't I? Never gave you a moment's peace. I mean, who built me a den in the backyard? Who mended me bike? Who was my elephant and carried me round the front room?

    Charlie Slater on Kat: She hung on my words. My daughter, my little shadow. Kat was proud of me.

    Arthur to Michelle: Do you remember when you had [your own little vegetable patch]? You were so proud of it.

    Garry Hobbs: I'm useless with plants. Never had a garden.

    Sam James: Gardening’s about putting down roots and reaping the rewards. That’s what my dad shared with me when I was young.

    Blossom Jackson on her grandson Alan: His mother always kept him on a tight leash. Temper tantrums weren't allowed in our house.

    Blossom on Alan: When he was a boy, he would never let you know what was going on [in his head]. I remember one time, he must have been about nine or ten, he came to stay with us for a week in the summer holidays. He was all right for the first day or two, but then he turned all quiet and moody. I thought some of the other kids must have been picking on him. I even went round and asked some of their mums and dads. No one knew a thing and he wouldn't tell me. In the end, it turned out that a friend of his had been stealing and he didn't know what to do about it.

    Phil: I've led a very sheltered life. Bus shelters, mostly.

    Ricky Butcher: I spent a whole holiday [sheltering from the rain] once. Me and me mum and dad and Diane went to Clacton, stayed in this B&B. Every day we got turfed out after breakfast and they wouldn't let us back in until after tea. It poured down every flipping day. The worse thing was finding a bus shelter with room in it because there was all these other poor sods that had been turfed out of their B&Bs as well.

    Ricky: Dad took me and Diane [on holiday]. I tell you, we were so worn out afterwards he had to carry us up the stairs, one under each arm.

    Pauline to Michelle: First day back [at school], tantrums all the way, clinging to your mother. Then you'd see some friend or other - I wouldn't even get a kiss good-bye.

    Pauline to Michelle: [Arthur] used to go down the school, dinnertimes, and watch you in the playground. You weren't supposed to know. He just wanted to make sure you weren't being picked on. You hated going to school.

    Michelle: When I was little, I really enjoyed learning.

    Arthur on Michelle: I always knew she was clever, really sharp. She got this prize from primary school, a dictionary. What did she get that for? Good conduct, that's it. Cor, I was so proud.

    Mr Franklin to Michelle: You used to have curly hair. Friends with Kelvin Carpenter. Always had a lot to say for yourself — "Mouthy Michelle Fowler."
    Michelle: You were a great teacher. You were one of the best.

    Heather Trott on Paddington Bear: He was my friend when I was little.

    Heather: My ninth birthday, my dad got me these Paddington Bear books and he said when I was ready, one day after school I could be Teacher, I could be Mrs Minchington, and properly read him one of my stories from the new books in his shed. I chose Friday. I practiced every single day to myself till Friday, till I almost knew "Paddington at the Seaside" off by heart. Then Friday came and I was ready. That day, it seemed like it lasted the whole of the summer holidays. I came home from school and he wasn’t back yet so I sat and I waited in his shed. And then I looked all round the garden for me dad and I shouted and nothing, not even a note on the pillow, nothing. Just gone. Just dropped like a big sack of spuds.
    Shirley: You know it wasn’t because of you. You know that. Your dad left because of your mum.
    Heather: It was still me he left. It was still me, nine years old, with this hole or this knot or something wrong in my tummy. And I’ve still got this feeling after all these wasted years. It’s like I’m still sat there in the shed, just waiting for him to come home, just to walk up the path. All of those things he chose to miss — Christmas Day, Father’s Day, birthday. Every single day I’m meant to be happy, I’m left with this knot. It’s like all those tears have gone down the wrong way and I’ve swallowed them. I know it’s not my fault, but that’s what he’s left.

    Heather on her dad leaving: It was my fault as well. He couldn’t stand living with me. I was horrible. I was a greedy lump, always in tears, always in
    trouble. He couldn’t stand it.
    Minty: You were only a kid. How could you know?
    Heather: Mummy told me.

    Heather to Queenie: It wasn’t my fault Dad left. That was a cruel thing to say. I was only a little girl and he loved me. If your marriage broke down, then that’s between you and Dad, not me.

    Phil: I've been in the [motor repair] trade ever since I left school. I've been knocking out dodgy motors all me life.

    Kevin Wicks: I’ve been selling cars all my life.

    Minty Peterson on how he became a mechanic: It was me dad.
    Emma: He's a mechanic too?
    Minty: No, no. He just thought it would be cheaper if he got one of the kids to fix the car.

    Minty: I served my time [as a mechanic].

    Minty on himself and Phil: We used to work in a haulage company together.
    Ben Mitchell: Driving lorries?
    Minty: Yeah. Big ones, yeah.

    Charlie Slater, speaking about car maintenance in 2004: It's all too easy these days, that's the trouble. Take torque wrenches for starters. I mean, in the old days a mechanic used to be able to feel how tight a nut should be. And all this diagnostic stuff — good old mechanics used to hear a cylinder missing fifty paces away.

    Charlie: Years ago, when I visited garages, you could eat your lunch off their working benches.

    Phil: I remember when I got my first car. Polished it for a week.

    Minty: I used to have an Alvis.

    Phil: Diane Baker's been rigging motors for years. I did a bit of "repair work" for her and her old man a few years ago.

    Phil on himself and Tony Woods: We used to be in business together.

    Phil on Sidney Gibbs: He always did have ideas above his station.
    Billy Mitchell: He always looked up to you and Grant.

    Derek Harkinson: I remember watching Mary and Alex [his children] playing around the [Christmas] tree when they were [young].

    Mark: I can remember doing the Nativity at infants. Chelle was the Angel Gabriel one year. Wasn't very angelic, though. Kept throwing a wobbler because her halo fell off.

    Ian: Michelle was the Angel Gabriel.
    Sharon Watts: Kelvin was Joseph.
    Ian: You were the Virgin Mary.
    Sharon: And you were ...
    Ian: I was the innkeeper.

    Joe Macer on a silver crown made out of tinfoil: Your handiwork, is it?
    Martin Fowler: Michelle.

    Blossom Jackson: I always used to get my husband the same thing [for Christmas] every year — a bottle of Jamaican rum, the very best — and he never complained once.

    Audrey Trueman: I used to make a real effort at Christmas. The kids love it, don't they? All that excitement — the carols, the presents, Midnight Mass ...

    Heather Trott on Midnight Mass: Mum would never let me go.

    Audrey: ... and then Mum would start complaining about the gravy, my ex head off out and Anthony, well, if that boy wasn't making his brother cry, he was sticking something in his ear. You know, we once spent a full Christmas Eve in casualty because he got some little marble thing stuck in there.

    Heather: Mummy never used to make a fuss at Christmas. She always said Santa wouldn’t bring presents to little pigs.

    Shirley Carter, speaking to Tina 2014: Why’d you get [Stan] a present? He never got you any when you were kids.

    Dot, showing Nick’s daughter Dotty an old photograph: There’s your father. That was at Christmas.
    Kirsty “Dotty” Cotton: Look at Dad’s flares!
    Dot to Nick: Do you remember that beautiful vase Ethel give me that year? Blue crystal it was.
    Nick: Oh yeah. I remember flogging that to get some cash to buy some heroin.
     
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1978

    Emma Summerhayes born 1978

    Alfie Moon, showing a scar on his left side: My appendix, 1978, that is.

    Big Mo: I've haven't felt as rough as this since Clacton, 1978.

    Charlie Slater, speaking in 2003: Look, I don't want to make anything worse than it already is.
    Big Mo: Charlie, you've been saying that for twenty-five years. It ain't exactly been a great strategy.

    Shirley Carter on Stan: All the years of grief he put us through.

    Shirley to Stan: All you’ve ever wanted to do is to hurt me.

    Phil: Your old man, he never …?
    Shirley: No, nothing like that.

    Stan Carter: We never had stability.
    Shirley: Who’s fault was the lack of stability?

    Shirley on Stan: When he used to drink, he couldn’t even tell us apart. No matter what we did, he’d just cut into us, tearing us, until one day we just stopped talking. There was silence at the table. And the worse thing was we started turning on each other because that’s his trick. He makes you hate yourself.

    Sylvie Carter, speaking in 2014: Are you in pain, Stan? Are you wondering when it will stop, when you’ll start feeling better? I’ve had years of this, courtesy of you and your drinking. I could have you locked up for what you do to me. Shouldn’t have had to run. I could have a life with my kids, but you took that from me. You gave me no choice but to leave because you, Stan, are a monster.

    Stan: Wives don’t leave husbands.
    Sylvie: They do if they can’t breathe.

    Stan: Never did know how to treat a lady. That’s probably why Sylvie left me in the first place.

    Stan: I did love you, Sylvie. I know I wasn’t good at showing it but when you left, it broke my heart.

    Cora Cross on Sylvie: When did you last see her?
    Stan: Soon after Mick was born. She left me and the kids to fend for ourselves, not a thought for our welfare.

    Mick to Sylvie: You left me when I was a little baby. You left me when I was a few months old, little Mick.

    Patrick Trueman on Sylvie: When was the last time you saw her?
    Shirley: When I was fifteen.

    Shirley, speaking to Sylvie in 2014: [Tina]’s forty now, older than you when you walked out on us.

    Babe to Sylvie: You left [Stan], didn’t want him. Walked out and left me to pick up the pieces.

    Shirley to Sylvie: Everything fell apart when you left. Daddy couldn’t cope.

    Stan: We were broken. I couldn’t cope.

    Babe: You thought Sylvie left you because of the kids, so you gave them up, washed your hands. You used them.

    Mick on Sylvie: She left, but we had Aunt Babe and we had Shirley.
    Stan: Shirley did us proud.

    Mick on Shirley: She should never have been responsible for me and Teen. She was just a kid herself. It was too hard for her. She done a good job.

    Stan Carter to Mick: [Shirley] always loved you, always took care of you.

    Stan: I don’t blame you for not telling me [about Mick’s parentage], but after your mother left …
    Shirley: How could I? Mick was the only thing that made you smile.

    Mick to Stan: That time when you painted our room red when we were kids.
    Tina Carter: Yeah, who paints a kid’s room red?
    Stan: I got a job lot from a mate in Soho, didn’t I?
    Linda Carter: Paint from a strip club — charming.
    Mick: Bet Mum was thrilled with that, weren’t she?
    Stan: Your mum weren’t there. She’d been gone a few weeks by then. That’s why I did it, take my mind off it.
    Tina: Yeah, that and the paint was cheap.

    Tina to Mick: The only time I remember Dad decorating we all ended up in A&E because of you.

    Shirley: After Mum had left, I tried. I tried to keep it together but I couldn’t hack it and then one day, I just snapped. Mick was about one and we’d been doing some painting. It got everywhere. You know what kids are like. I put him in the bath, tried to clean him up.

    Tina to Mick: You slipped in the bath or something. Yeah, it’s me, Shirl, Dad covered in emulsion. It’s snowing. You’re bawling your eyes out.

    Shirley to Mick: You were covered in paint. You wouldn’t stop crying. All I did was put you in the bath and try to wash it off, but all you did was keep smashing your hands in the water.

    Shirley on Mick: The taps were running, he was screaming.
    Phil: You held him underwater, your own son?
    Shirley: I never meant to. I never wanted that. It was just in that one moment. That one moment.

    Stan to Mick: I remember so vivid that song, ‘I’ll Never Smile Again’ [by Frank Sinatra] on the radio in the kitchen. I remember because we were sent home — the snow — and I thought, “You must be joking, Frank. I’m grinning from ear to ear!” And then I see water dripping down the wall. Race upstairs, someone’s run a bath, fallen asleep. On the landing, Tina’s crying, carpet soaked. Into the bathroom, she’s over the bath, arms in the water, staring down. “What you doing, you silly cow?” Turn off the taps, takes ages, there’s water all swirling, and then I see something held down. Push her away, shouting. Pull you out, limp.

    Shirley on Mick: I didn’t know what I was doing until Dad burst in and dragged him out.

    Stan to Mick: Lay you on a bed. Panic. Can’t think what to do. And then a little cough. I thought I was going to fall over. Frank was still singing up through the floor, her still staring in the water.

    Shirley on Mick: When we got to the hospital, Dad wouldn’t let me see him.

    Mick: The nurses, they thought the paint was blood.

    Shirley on Mick: A bloke who nearly drowned when he was one and hasn’t been near water since.

    Phil on Mick: That’s when they took him into care?
    Shirley: No, not at first but things were never the same after that. They came back to the house, they saw Dad’s empty bottles and what a mess I was in and it was only a matter of time before they took Mick and Tina away.

    Stan: It was hard in those days without Sylvie. Shirley did her best, but she was young.
    Tina: She was great. She always had our dinner on the table. She always had us ready for school.
    Stan: You had your moments, eh, Shirl? Some better than others.
    Shirley: We all struggled.
    Stan: Yeah, but like I said at the time, it wasn’t your fault.

    Shirley: After what happened in the bath, I couldn’t trust myself anymore. I hurt [Mick], like I hurt everyone, and I figured out that it would be best that he had a mum that wasn’t there rather than have a mum like me.

    Phil: How old was you back then anyway?
    Shirley: Fourteen, going on fifteen.
    Phil: No wonder you couldn’t cope.
    Shirley: That’s no excuse.
    Phil: And what about the dad, where was he in all this?
    Shirley: He was long gone.

    Stan: The little ‘uns had to go into care.

    Babe to Mick and Tina: It was [Stan] wanted to get rid of you.
    Stan: I thought it was the right thing to do.

    Linda Carter to Stan: You drove your kids away. You pushed them.

    Mick on Stan: He abandoned us.

    Shirley on Mick: Once he was taken into care, that was it, I’d lost him. He never had the chance for me to screw up his life.

    Mick: I remember my foster parents had a purple kitchen. And I had, like, this little toy car, it was like a little cortina, and my foster mum, what was her name?
    Shirley: Jill. You really loved her. You used to scream your head off when we used to come and take you out for the day.

    Mick, looking at the children’s height chart in Stan’s flat: Why is my height even on here? I was in care then.
    Shirley: He [Stan] used to measure your height when you came home for visits. Wanted you to feel part of the family.
    Mick: No, he wanted other people to think I grew up here. That [height chart]’s a lie. I was never here. No-one was here.

    Stan on his flat: It’s years since it felt like home.

    Tina: Social services, they sent us miles away when Mick’s foster family give him up.

    Aunt Sal on Roxanne “Roxy” Mitchell: A born actress, like me.

    Ben Mitchell: What was your mum’s name?
    Roxy Mitchell: Glenda, like the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz.
    Ronnie Mitchell: That was Glinda.
    Roxy: Was it? Oh. All these years ...

    Laurie Bates: At twenty-seven, I got married again, to Marion. I loved her. She wasn't beautiful, she wasn't clever. A lot of people would have said she
    was ordinary, whatever that means. All I know is that her and me, well it felt right. We sort of fitted together. I didn't have to pretend to be anything. I could just be, I suppose. We both wanted kids. That could come later.

    Big Mo: Jimmy was in so much pain one night, I was at me wit's end, and then I had an idea. I got Gladys next door to come in and keep an eye on him and I got a night bus down to Piccadilly. I hung around that all night chemist and then I saw some junkies come out who'd just picked up their 'script. So I went up and asked them if they'd sell me some. They did. Told me how much to use. My heart was pounding and I was shaking, I was so sure I'd get arrested, but that night, Jimmy had the best night's sleep he'd ever had in weeks. When you love someone, you don't care about breaking the law. I've never told anyone that.

    Charlie on Big Mo: She really loved [Jimmy].

    Pat Evans: Did Jimmy never ask to see me when he was dying?
    Big Mo: He was too ill. He'd stopped caring about anything except for just getting through each day.
    Pat: Did he know he was dying?
    Big Mo: Yeah.
    Pat: And he never once asked to see me?
    Big Mo: Oh, I don't know. Once maybe, in passing. It was a terrible time.

    Extracts from an unsent letter addressed to Pat Harris, 20 Furrow Walk, London: "I don't have a lot of time left and I'd like to think we could let bygones be bygones. You were the best sister in the world and Mo's been the best wife. I'd like us to be friends again because, as I'm about to find out, life is too short. I've really missed you over the past few years and now that my time is ... deep with regret ..."

    Big Mo: I did a terrible thing [not giving Pat Jimmy's letter, but] I couldn't take the risk of her turning up, making him doubt me again. Not at a time like that.

    Charlie: [Reconciling with Pat] was Jimmy's dying wish.
    Big Mo: I know.

    Pat on Jimmy: He must have died hating me, thinking it was all just spite and malice on my part. Maybe it was.

    Big Mo: When Jimmy died, a little bit of me was relieved — all that fighting, fighting to get hold of them drugs he needed, him fighting to breathe, day, night.

    Jimmy Harris's gravestone: "Beloved husband of Maureen. Dad to Viv, Billy and Jean. 1941-1978."

    Pat on Big Mo: The woman didn't even tell me [Jimmy] had died. She left me out of me own brother's funeral. I didn't even know he was dead till I saw an old schoolmate.

    Big Mo: When my old man died, I was hoping Omar Sharif would come riding by — on his camel if he had to. I’d have let him do anything in the name of comfort.
    Jean Slater: Why didn’t [he] turn up?
    Big Mo: I still think he did, only I was out at the time!

    Big Mo on her granddaughter Little Mo: I used to ask [her] mother [if] she was dropped on her head as a baby.

    Charlie on his daughter Little Mo: Do you know the first thing I ever remember Little Mo saying? It was "Sorry."

    Big Mo on Little Mo: No fight in her, never has had.

    Kat Slater to Little Mo: You never could lie, could you, Mo?

    Little Mo: All my life, people have told me that I’m too thick, too caring, too soft for my own good.

    Billy: I’ve tried. All my life, I’ve tried.

    Pat Butcher to David Wicks: You always did have the gift of the gab.

    Pat to David: When you took a girl out, you'd be in that bathroom for hours and when you came out, you'd smell like a men's toiletry counter. There was one girl, whenever you took her out, you'd use a whole bottle of aftershave.

    Pat, mid-anecdote: He [David] had another bloke's bird, they were sworn enemies, and he can't smell a rat — I ask you!
    David: Come on, Mum, I never knew at the time he knew I was seeing her. He had this cat stuck up on the roof. He asked me to go and get it because he was afraid of heights. So he puts the ladder against the side of the house, I climbs up it, gets onto the roof. As soon as I'm up there, he whips the ladder away.
    Ricky Butcher: So what happened to the cat?
    David: I discovered it wasn't a cat in the end, actually, but it was black and furry. It was his mum's wig!

    David on Pat: She always taught me never to refuse anything that was going free.

    Pat to David: All my life, I have tried to keep you on the right path, away from the bad, but you don’t listen, David.

    David: Everything I learnt about lying and deceit and adultery I learnt from you. I am what you made me.
    Pat: All my fault, isn't it?
    David: Most of it, yeah.
    Pat: None of it yours? It was me that nicked everything that wasn't nailed down, was it?
    David: You never cared what I did.
    Pat: Me who forged stolen cheques, was it?
    David: Well, you might as well have done. Because you taught me everything I know.
    Pat: You're right. I created a monster.

    David: I look back at my childhood and you were never there.
    Pat: I brought you up for sixteen years.
    David: No, no, no. We occasionally spent the night under the same roof. That ain't the same thing. You left me on me own and I had to get on with it.
    Pat: Things were different then. I had no support.

    Pat, speaking to David in 1993: Last time I saw you, you were screaming blue murder at me and walking out with a suitcase.

    Simon Wicks to Pat: You didn't care about [David]. Why do you think he run away?

    David to Pat: You never loved me, never, not one moment in my whole stinking life, not really, Mum, not like a kid should be loved, not when it counted.

    David: I was only sixteen when I left home. Did that give you any sleepless nights?
    Pat: Of course it did.
    David: Get out of it. You were glad to see the back of me. Why didn't you ever come looking for me?

    Michael Moon: My dad, he messed me up. That’s what they do, your parents. They may not mean to, but they do.

    Michael on Eddie: He was never there for her [his mother], never, or me.
    Ronnie Mitchell: My dad was exactly the same.

    Eddie Moon: I was always too busy [for family]. Always had things to do, deals to sort, people to see.

    Michael on his mother: Did you ever hit her, Dad? You’ve got a temper on you — shacked up with a mad bird — drove you to it, I suspect.

    Eddie: It was like a sick game — who could hurt who?
    Michael: You destroyed her.
    Eddie: We destroyed each other.
    Michael: Well, you won.

    Eddie to Michael: You never had anything good to say about me, did you? You were always a mummy’s boy.

    Michael on his mother: There was a picture in her bedroom, an old black and white one, one of those old portraits, but she’s young in it. She’s wearing a white frilly dress with a bow and she’s not happy about it, but she’s wearing [a St Christopher medal] round her neck.
    Jean Slater: What happened to it?
    Michael: My dad took it down. Said she wasn’t that person anymore.

    Michael on his St Christopher medal: It was a gift from my mum.
    Jean: “To Michael, Love Mum.” She gave it to you to keep you safe, didn’t she? To protect you.

    Michael: She was very religious, my mother. Heaven and Hell, very very real to her. This St Christopher, he's the patron saint of travel. She gave my brother Craig one as well. She said that he couldn’t help her, where she was going. Imagine that, imagine sending yourself to Hell.

    Vanessa Gold: No one’s ever really liked you, have they, Michael? Except maybe your mother. She got away from you the only way she could.

    Michael: Thirteenth of September, 1978 — the day my beloved dad killed my mother.

    Eddie, speaking to Michael in 2011: I was younger than you [are now, thirty-nine] when your mother passed.

    Eddie on Michael: I killed his mother. That’s what you think, isn’t it, Michael? I was so cold, so neglectful, so callous that she had no choice but to do away with herself.

    Michael: You killed her with your neglect and your wandering eye. You are the reason why she couldn’t take it no more.
    Eddie: Maybe.

    Eddie on Maggie, his wife: She was angry at me, raging. Maybe I looked at a waitress the wrong way. She said she was going to do something big, make me sorry.

    Eddie: What I did, that was a mistake.

    Eddie: I left Michael in a house alone with a woman that shouldn’t have been alone, a woman that had problems and I knew it. You know the last thing I said to him that night? “Look after her,” I said. “Look after your mum.” I thought he’d like it, you know, being man of the house. I turned around and she was standing in the doorway, looking in at us. I should have seen it coming. I should have seen it then, the way she was looking at me as if she was telling me — “You look after me, Eddie,” that’s what she was saying. “Not some six year old kid. You, like you promised you would when we got married.”

    Michael: While Eddie was out getting hammered, my mum was at home eating sleeping pills. He may as well have poured the pills down her neck. She did it because of him, because of him, because of who he is, because of the man he is, because of the evil piece of scum that he is.

    Michael on his mother: She topped herself with sleeping pills and a big bottle of sherry and I found the body when I was six.

    Alfie Moon on Michael: His mum was forty-one when she died.

    Eddie: She wanted you to find her. She knew you were playing out in the yard and you’d soon be in for your dinner.
    Michael: She wanted her six year old to find her corpse?
    Eddie: It was a stunt, for revenge, attention, I don’t know. She thought you’d find her and call 999 to get help.

    Michael: I kept playing and dinner got burnt. Then I came in too late.

    Michael: I was playing in the yard and I come in the back door. I knew something was up. The house was dark, through the kitchen and down the hall. I look in the utility room. There’s nothing. I see a foot on the sofa. She’s got her slippers on. I just knew.
    Ronnie Mitchell: What did you do?
    Michael: Nothing, nothing, just sat there and waited for me dad to get back — with this. Sat there with this [his St Christopher].

    Jean to Michael: You should have curled up and died when she did.

    Eddie on Michael: When I got back, it was him I saw first. Bent over her, he was. She was just lying on the sofa. I thought, “Good boy, he’s brought her a cup of tea or something. He’s looked after her like I told him to.” Then I came a bit closer. I saw the pills.

    Eddie on Maggie: I found her at 9pm. I know that because I could hear the clock striking, nine little chimes.

    Michael: Nine chimes when my mum topped herself. It was nine o’clock pm.

    Michael to Eddie: What colour were her eyes? They were blue, weren’t they? But then they turned grey, do you remember, when she was lying there? The colour just drained away.

    Jean on Michael: The day his mother committed suicide, the light went out in him.

    Michael: Have you ever cuddled a dead body? She was very cold, my mum. She was very cold. It was horrible, really, but you just can’t ... you can’t do anything. What can you do? You just can’t ... you can’t do anything. What could I do, what could I do?

    Michael: I used to think what if I’d done something, called a neighbour? Maybe she wasn’t dead. Maybe I could have saved her.

    Janine Butcher to Michael: “Mummy was sad. She was so sad that she committed suicide. Your mummy just didn’t love you enough” — the words that you heard when you were a little boy, the words that made you into a twisted, messed-up freak.

    Eddie Moon: Michael barely knew his mother. He was too young. He’s put her up on a pedestal.

    Michael on his mother: Why didn’t you tell me what she was really like?
    Eddie: To protect you.
    Michael: You should have just told me the truth.
    Eddie: You were a little boy whose mum had just killed herself, a damaged little boy.

    Eddie on Maggie’s suicide: It was the most painful and difficult period of my entire life.

    Eddie to Michael: When your mum died, I wasn’t what Craig needed. I got letters from his carers, but I stayed away.

    Tyler Moon on Eddie: He abandoned his own son.

    Craig Moon to Michael: You’re the eldest. You’re the one Dad kept.

    Michael to Eddie: Did you never just think to introduce us [he and Craig] — you know, Sunday afternoons, a burger place, normal family stuff?
    Craig: It’s all right. I was fine.

    Eddie: I thought if I could keep everything separate, I could keep you all safe — Craig from rejection, you from the truth about your mother.
    Michael: Your plan didn’t work though, did it? Craig missed out on a family and I ...
    Eddie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. I ruined all of us.

    Carol Jackson: I had a best friend when I was [sixteen]. Lied through our teeth for each other, we did. I mean, that's what best friends are for. In my
    day, you looked out for your mates. You think you know everything when you're sixteen, that's the trouble. I know I did.

    Shirley Carter: When I was [sixteen], I’d have gone for anything [in trousers].

    Shirley: I used to ditch [maths] for a beer and a bundle over the rec.

    Pauline Fowler on Mark: There he is, ten years old, kneeling on the chair, rolling out bits of pastry for Arthur. Quite grey. Still had to bake them though.

    Lynne Slater to Kat: I remember my tenth birthday. You cried all day till Dad had to give you one of my presents.

    Nigel Bates: Ilford Palais, eighteenth birthday — Deirdre Kelly threw Guinness all over me.

    Kate Morton: I decided I didn't want anybody else ordering me around. I can't remember how old I was exactly — six, seven.

    Alfie Moon to his cousins, Danny and Jake: Ever since the pair of you were old enough to walk, you've been dumping troubles on my doorstep and it's always Danny that starts it.

    Danny Moon to his brother Jake: We're a team, always have been. I've trusted you my whole life.

    Jake Moon to Alfie: I used to love it when you used to come round when I was a kid. Always brought something with you. Always had a laugh, didn't we?
    Alfie: Yeah and then we all flew off to Neverland, didn't we, Jake?

    Alfie on his favourite age: Fourteen, definitely fourteen.

    Ian Beale: What was so good about being young?
    Alfie: The possibilities.

    Alfie: When I was a kid at school, I was the kid that always got the biggest conker in the world. I'd soak it in vinegar, bake it in the oven so it would be hard like concrete, and then a bloke looking like David Beckham would come along with a conker the size of a baked bean and smash mine to a million pieces — and I'd be left there, standing with a piece of string dangling, while Golden Balls would be on the other side of the playground with everybody around him. It's all right — that's the natural order of things. It's the same with fighting. While Mr Floppy-Haired Git With The Six-Pack was knocking hell's bells out of all the kids and giving them brain damage, I'd get them in a headlock and let them go just before they went purple, but make sure they were all right — and then they'd get up and give me a right good kicking. But the thing was, you see, I'd always get up and that freaked them out. They'd knock me down, I'd get up and I'd be laughing. They'd knock me down again, I'd get up and I'd say things like, "Watch the face, mate, because I'm taking a bird out tonight." They'd still keep knocking me down and I'd still keep getting back up. And after a while, they stopped hitting me and they started to like me, and that's how I found my way in the world. I knew where I was. I knew where I fitted in. Everyone really liked me. All the girls at school, they were like, "Where's Alfie?" at playtime. "Where's cute, cuddly Alfie? He's got cuddly cheeks. Look at him!" I was like an honourable bird, I was — "Alfie Moon. Aw, bless him." But then Mr Six Pack would come along and he'd give them all a good seeing to. But because I was his mate now, he'd come back and give me all the gory details.

    Nana Moon to Alfie: Bob Woolcher, the [friend] you was at school with. I did like him.

    Peggy Mitchell: Geography was the one O Level you got, wasn't it?
    Grant Mitchell: I cheated.
    Peggy: If you cheated in your O Levels, how come you only got the one?

    Peggy on Phil and Grant: One O Level between the pair of them.

    Bianca Jackson on Carol: Left school, no qualifications.

    Carol: I didn’t listen to my mum and dad either.

    Ian: I remember my old man working all hours, getting up early, hands chapped from the cold. I always vowed I would never spend the rest of my life on that stall.

    Nick Cotton on Pete Beale: Pete the Potato, they used to call him. Stood out there flogging fruit and veg, all weathers. I used to whip things off him all the time. He never done nothing about it because he was scared.

    Pauline: Ian loved the market. He was always out there on a Saturday helping his dad.
    Mark Fowler: Only because he got paid for it.
    Pauline: Be fair, everyone did. You'd see whole families working the stall at the one time. It was ever so friendly.
    Mark: Yeah, until the arguments started.

    Pete Beale on Mark: He helped me [on the stall] all the time when he was a nipper.

    Mark: I spent more time on that stall when I was a kid than I did at school.

    Pete to Mark: [Lou] had this vision, you know, us all working on the stall together — "family business" — but the trade weren't about. It's something your gran always thought of you doing. Something she always wanted.

    Pauline: Beryl's been selling kitchenware on the market for years.
    Mark: I used to put her stall out every morning before I went to school.

    Mark: I haven't slept in bunk beds since I was a kid.

    Arthur Fowler: Mark used to [sleepwalk] when he was troubled about something, moving school or something like that.

    Michael Moon: I used to sleepwalk when I was little.

    Dot: My Charlie, he had a friend [who sleepwalked]. He was called Hubert and he was a terror. They had to lock the house up at night like Fort Knox in case he got out and done himself a mischief. See, they lived on a dual carriageway.

    Mark on Pauline and Arthur: When I was a boy, all I wanted was to keep them happy, but I never could.
    Michelle Fowler: Of course you kept them happy.
    Mark: What - skiving off school, playing dumb? Don't make me laugh.

    Mark on himself and Ian: We used to bunk off.

    Mark: Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was get away from Albert Square. Go anywhere, it didn't matter, as long as it wasn't here.

    Mark: When I was a kid, always the answer was just to head off into the wild blue yonder.
    Michelle: That's called running away.

    Lofty Holloway: I left home when my mum and dad started having goes at me.

    Charlie Slater on Kat: She always was a tough little thing.

    Kat on Charlie: I can't remember the last time he hugged me. Not since you [Belinda, her younger sister] were born.

    Arthur: Mark had a bit of trouble when he was younger.
    Pauline: Kid's stuff, mucking about on building sites.

    Arthur: Mark was a bit of a handful. The times I've been down to his school to sort something or other out. Seems like the end of the world when you're going through it.

    Arthur to Mark: When you were a kid, we were arguing all the time. Sometimes over nothing.

    Mark: I remember when I failed my cycling proficiency test. Went all moody about it. Mum tried to cheer me up with some sweets, but I remember thinking, "I don't want your sweets. Just want to pass me cycling proficiency test."

    Pauline to Mark: You always hated being fussed over.

    Lou Beale on Mark: He was always a cantankerous little git.

    Michelle on Mark: He was just boring.

    Phil, looking through old photographs with Charlie Mitchell's son Jamie: Cop a load of your dad's barnet! We'd just got back from a weekend in Brighton. It was mental. Your dad had just copped off with this girl that he'd met in a club, but it turned out that her boyfriend and a bunch of his biker mates were in there as well.
    Jamie: How old was you?
    Phil: Seventeen, eighteen. There was a massive punch-up at the end of the night. That's where we got all them cuts and bruises.
    Jamie: Was my mum around then?
    Phil: It's funny the things you forget — the girl in the club was your mum. Charlie never looked at another girl after that.

    Little Mo: I used to love driving with Dad in a cab.
    Big Mo: Yeah, that was when you was kids.
    Little Mo: Used to take us all over London.

    Little Mo: Sometimes you used to take us out on our own.
    Charlie: Yeah well, that was just to show you what your old dad did to put the fish and chips on the table.
    Lynne Slater: Yeah well you never made it seem like that, did you, eh?
    Kat: We always had a laugh, didn't we?

    Rose Cotton to Andrew: You used to love the [Christmas] lights when you were a little boy. Do you remember when I used to take you?

    Little Mo to Charlie: I used to love [seeing the Christmas lights] — up Oxford Street, down Regent Street — all the kids in the back [of the cab], Mum making you sing carols. That's all I ever wanted really, was to get married, to be like youse two.

    Billy Mitchell: A family of me own, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

    Little Mo: The last few days before Christmas always reminds me of being little, you know, wondering about all the nice surprises I’m going to get.

    Charlie Slater to his daughters: Every Christmas, I used to buy a big box of chocolates, but no sooner were they opened than you lot were fighting [over] who's to have first choice. All except Little Mo. She'd always wait patiently till it was her turn. And then when she'd chosen, she'd always look at me and say thank-you.

    Charlie: Always a special day, the Slater family Christmas. My Viv was always big on that.

    Lynne: It's Christmas Day. You know Mum's rule — no strangers, just family.
    Kat: A quiet day at home with the family. That's how Mum had it. That's how it's always been.
    Lynne: It's a family tradition — presents after lunch.

    Michael Moon: I always had this thing as a kid. I always wanted to tear down the decorations come Boxing Day. You know, because after the presents go, the trees and the tinsel look a bit tawdry, don’t they? A bit forlorn.
    Pat: You must have been a happy child.
    Michael: I think I just wanted to get rid of the old year, make way for the new one.
     
  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1979

    Pauline Fowler: I’ve never been that keen on Abba.

    Ian Beale: Never could stand [Abba].

    Glenda Mitchell to Ronnie: Abba, you used to love them, you and Roxy.

    Heather Trott: I quite liked ‘Chiquitita’.

    Minty Peterson: For me, it was Agnetha. You know, the blonde one with the ... Didn’t matter what she wore, you know, whether it was silk or velvet, that bum of hers was a force of nature. It was like two boiled eggs under a hanky, as opposed to two little boys fighting under a blanket.

    Nick Cotton: I always preferred brunettes, meself.

    Phil Mitchell to his son Ben: Me and Grant were the same when we was your age [eighteen] — always getting into bother.

    Grant Mitchell: I remember when I first joined the army. They like to pick on the new ones.

    Phil: I don't know why you signed up in the first place.
    Grant: I wanted to do something for myself, didn't I? It's not easy being the younger brother, you know. It was like you'd already done everything. I mean, I got a football medal, you already had half a dozen; I got a girlfriend, you were already on your twentieth. By the time I was seventeen, it was the only thing I could think of that you already hadn't done.
    Phil: Thought about it once. Didn't really fancy it though, all that running about with people shouting at you.
    Grant: Just as well you didn't because Plan B was to join the Old Bill.
    Phil: You were going to be a copper?
    Grant: It was the only other thing I could think of to make people stand up and take notice.

    Phil to Peggy: Have you always been such a nag? Is that why Grant joined the army when he was just a kid? Just to get away from your nagging? Is that why the old man used to knock you about — just to shut you up?

    Lofty Holloway on the army: Do you know the reason I joined up? It was because of my dad. Only time he ever seemed happy was when he was talking about the army. Then she [Lofty's mother] would start putting him down and he'd kind of go quiet and dry up. So I thought I'd join up and then I can tell Dad stories about the army and she won't be able to stop us.

    DCI Chapman to Grant: You were trained — unarmed combat, how to use a knife.

    Grant: Halfway through basic training, this guy cracks up, goes completely doolally. He reckoned the sergeant major was the Devil. Mind you, we all thought he had a point. They booted him out of the army, of course. They said he was schizophrenic. Later on, I heard he's a milkman in Dagenham.

    Big Mo: I knew a bloke called Ferreira who run a tapas bar in Dagenham. He spoke like Maurice Chevalier.

    Phil: When you was on exercises and that and you didn't know where you were, say you were stranded, what did you do?
    Grant: Ask for a helicopter.

    Peggy Mitchell to Grant: Never did like you in that uniform. Made you look old.

    Lofty: Me auntie used to tell me that it's not the uniform that counts, it's the man inside it.

    Phil to Grant: The army screwed you up.

    Peggy to Grant: The one good thing the army ever did for you was to instil a bit of self discipline.

    Grant: There's nothing wrong with orders so long as you believe in what you're doing.
    Tiffany Raymond: And you did?
    Grant: Most of the time. When I was in the army, life was so simple, straightforward. You knew who you were and where you were going. I was happy.

    Lofty: It used to be great in the army, everyone singing together and that. I loved all that. The happiest years of my life. You knew where you was in the army. You could trust people. Nobody trying to stab you in the back. Not like Civvy Street. There's no order in Civvy Street.

    Auntie Irene to Lofty: Why did you like the army so much? I think you liked it because of the uniform, because it made you feel the same as everybody else and that's a nice comforting feeling, isn't it?

    Grant on the army: It's about being part of a group. The individual doesn't count as such. You live together, you work together, you take everything that's thrown at you together. They depend on you totally and you depend on them totally. You sleep together, you eat together. And if you're lucky, you go out and have a laugh together.
    Phil: And if you're unlucky, you die together.

    Grant, mid-way through an army reminiscence: ... Then you said, "Sorry, sir, but the young lady was obviously in distress. I thought it best if I take her straight to the M.O."
    Terry Mason, soldier in the same company: That's all I could think of!
    Grant: And there she was in the bottom of a motor with a groundsheet over her - oh yeah - "to keep her warm."
    Terry: Something like that, yeah.
    Grant: Still don't know how you got away with it.
    Terry: Well, what you didn't know was that she recognised Harris. He'd smuggled her in there the week before. As soon as he saw who it was, he couldn't get shot of her quick enough!
    Grant: You lucky little —
    Terry: All right, so he didn't put me on a charge, but he made my life hell for weeks. I think he couldn't stand the thought of me following him. Make him look bad, wouldn't it?

    Grant on "Tiny" Johnson: We called him Tiny because he was so big. We played football together in the platoon 5-a-side football team.
    Phil: You told me you never got picked.
    Grant: Of course I did. I played midfield.

    Tiffany: Did you ever play Kings and Queens when you was a kid?
    Grant: It's not something I remember Phil and I did a lot of, no.
    Tiffany: Me and Simon [her brother] used to do it all the time.
    Grant: I bet you did. I won't ask you who was who.

    Tony Hills to Simon Raymond: You told me that when you were little, you went through that time of wondering if there was something wrong with you, not being able to explain your feelings, not knowing who you were or what you were.

    Irene Hills on homosexuality: There's never been any of that in our family.

    Zainab Masood: There were no attacks on homosexuals in Pakistan because there are no homosexuals. We didn’t even have a word for it. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until I came to this country.

    Patrick Trueman on homosexuality: My background, where I come from, we don’t think them kind of things.

    Gary Clark: We've had poofs round this neck of the woods ever since ever since.

    Grant on homosexuality: It's always been there. What about that bloke Eddie from the boxing club, mate of Dad's? He lived with that bloke John for years.
    Peggy: Eddie Karlin?
    Grant: You must have known they were a pair of old queens.
    Peggy: I knew no such thing!

    Gary Clark to his brother Barry: I've always known you're gay.

    Irene: Once upon a time, [homosexuals] stayed firmly in the closet. It was a private matter.

    Angie Watts: We used to have a couple of gay blokes used to come in [the Vic]. Smashing fellas, they were. Always telling me their troubles. Some people think they're off another planet, but they're just the same as me and you. Half the punters didn't even know, really.

    Angie to Den: Remember that evening we went to Chez Thingy? I've never seen food so beautifully presented as there. Nouvelle cuisine, they called it.
    Den Watts: It might have looked beautiful to you, darlin', but there wasn't enough food on the plate to feed a budgerigar.

    Angie: Remember that night we went out with Sonny and Ree when they got their Roller? We had that fancy hat do at the pub. Oh it was a lovely night, wasn't it? Lots of booze, lots of laughs.
    Den: And do you remember the highlight of the evening — when you threw that glass of Muscadet over the head waiter?

    Angie to Den: I make it [1979] that we had our last meal together - at the Royalty, the meal we won for Best Pub of the Month.

    Sharon Watts: There was one time Dad was fixing his car. He'd been under the bonnet for about two hours and he came out covered in grease and oil. He ripped his shirt. Mum had been on at him all day and she pushed Dad too far. They had this massive row just out there [outside the Vic on Bridge Street]. Do you know what he did? He ripped her engagement ring off with his greasy mitt and told her she could shove the marriage, and threw the ring on top of the Vic roof. Mum was in tears. She was inconsolable.
    Pauline: Well, that's typical.
    Sharon: They never found it. Do you know what he did though, Paul? He went out and bought her a bigger, flashier, more expensive one — all sparkly and lovely.
    Pauline: Well, that's Dennis Watts all right. He certainly knew his way around women.

    Den: When I met Jan, I knew she was the one for me. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. I had to have her.

    Den on taking Jan to Henley: That was a glorious day.
    Jan Hammond: And a picnic.
    Den: Yeah, I was supposed to take Ange up West. When I got back, she chased me round the pub.

    Alfie Moon on his mother: She used to love a picnic. Boiled eggs and ham, that’s what I remember.

    Sharon on Angie: Egg and chips were her forte.

    Sharon: I missed out on picnics. [Den and Angie] were always too knackered. I remember me and Chelle went up west once, went to see "Annie" at the Victoria Palace. We'd been saving up for months. Anyway, we had a picnic on a traffic island outside the station. The pigeons were bombing us from all directions.

    Heather Trott: I always wanted to be Annie — Daddy Warbucks taking me away from it all.

    Johnny Allen to Tina Stewart: Do you remember how you told me about that time when you were younger and you went to that musical? And you were really excited about it, but your brother threw up in the theatre, too many sweets, so you had to take him outside and you didn't see the end of it?

    Hazel Hobbs on Garry: I used to let him get away with murder just to see him smile. I mean, I’d do anything just to see him smile. Well, nearly — I mean, toys, games, sherbet for breakfast. I loved him so much, his front teeth fell out.

    Jack Branning: I used to like [liquorice sticks] when I was a kid.

    Sharon: Do you remember when the Guides took us on a visit to see how a police station worked?
    Michelle: Yeah, and me and you were too frightened to let them lock us up in a cell.

    Angie: Do you remember when we had old Mad Ron in the public, threatening to take on all comers with a broken bottle?
    Sharon: Dad sent me upstairs, but I hid in the corridor to see what had happened.
    Angie: All the blokes were shaking in their shoes. I just went up to him and I said, "I think you'd better give me that, don't you? Before you hurt yourself." And he went home, quiet as a lamb.

    Den: Always helps to send a woman in when there's trouble. Helps diffuse the situation. Mind you, I was always there to help if things got nasty.

    Eric McCarthy: The Queen Vic? I got chucked out of there once. Redheaded woman, all eyelashes and bosoms.

    Cora Cross: I’ve thrown drunks out of pubs.

    Jeff Healy on Dr Legg: So he actually punched the bloke?
    Dot Cotton: He got hold of Jack and pinned him up against the wall in the Vic and he said to him, "If I ever have to treat your wife for a black eye or a bruise again, even the tiniest scratch, I shall haul you down to the police station meself." Very noble it was.
    Pauline: He stopped the bloke from hitting his wife. Horrible thing, wasn't he?
    Dot: She left him a couple of years later.
    Pauline: Good for her.
    Dot: Good old Dr Legg. He tried so hard to keep his private life separate from his professional.
    Pauline: Yeah, but he got better at it as he got older.

    Dr Legg to Dot: One thing I learned over forty years of a being a GP on the Square, you’re wasting your time telling anybody to do anything, least of all you.

    Angie to Sharon: You growing up — I missed it all, didn't I? Too busy with other things. I had too much else on my mind — running a pub, earning money, your dad's bit on the side.

    Sharon: Jan appeared on the scene and that was it. Mum never stood a chance.

    Den to Angie: If things were right between us, I never would have looked at [Jan].

    Angie to Den: When you first started seeing Jan, I wanted you more than anything else in the world, but no matter what I did, you didn't want to know, did you? So I kept trying harder. I tried to dazzle you.

    Johnny Allen on Angie: I remember carrying her upstairs once after a party — me and Lou Beale's boy, Pete. She was singing all the way.
    Den: There was always someone carrying her upstairs.

    Jan: When you're someone's mistress, you have to settle for what you can get and that suited me quite well at first. If he didn't turn up, I had my own life to lead, my own friends to see. It seemed like the ideal arrangement. But of course, something had to spoil it. I started to miss him. Little things would happen during the day and I'd want to talk to him about them. Nothing earth shattering, just silly little things. But when you're a mistress, you don't have any claim on your man. You can't phone him, or at least you shouldn't. You have to understand that if you were to see him in the wrong place at the wrong time, he'd cross the road to avoid you. He wouldn't even say hello. Of course, I knew that all along, but somehow it didn't seem so important at the start. I thought I could cope.

    Angie to Jan: We talked about you — me and Den — when it started. [It was] like he was two different people then. We talked about me and him, and you and him, as if we were two completely different sets of people.

    Jan: You didn't tell me [Angie and Sharon] were real people. You didn't really tell me anything about them at all.
    Den: I thought if I kept you apart, I wouldn't feel so much of a rat.

    Angie: We ended up in separate bedrooms.

    Sharon: I used to think marriage was something to do with sleeping in different rooms. He [Den] used to watch football on the telly, try and help me with my homework. He never rinsed the bath round, always left the top off his shaving cream and he used to buy me loads of presents so I'd be on his side and not hers.

    Sharon on Den and Angie: Individually, they were the best mum and dad anyone could want, but together they were the worst. Being on my own with them was brilliant. Dad made me feel special, called me his princess. Then when he went out, me and Mum used to curl up on the sofa, pigging out on chocolate, watching old black and white films on the TV — all the old weepies, you know. Mum used to call me an old softy because I always cried. She never knew why. I used to watch her face. When the hero got his girl at the end, she was right in there with them. See, I knew that's what she wanted. That's what she wanted and it couldn't be further away from what she had. I was crying for her. I remember, just before the bloke turned up to sweep her off her feet, the girl always had time to check her lippy in the mirror just before she opened the door. I remember Mum saying, "That's romance that is, darling. You'll never get a man without your lippy on." She used to do it when Dad got home, as soon as she heard the front door go. I used to hate him when he didn't notice.

    Peggy: "A girl's got to do the best with what she's got, hasn't she?" That's what my old mum used to say, God bless her. Eighty-four years old she was, and she never answered the door without some lippy on.

    Peggy on Eric: I always used to make an effort for him. Pride, I suppose. Always got me hair done once a week. Kept meself smart.

    Elaine Peacock: What have I always said? “Leave your troubles at the bar door. Paint that smile on so the punters never know.”

    Cora Cross: I never saw the point of make-up meself. I mean, you can plaster a brick wall all you like, but at the end of the day, it’s still a brick wall.

    Cora: Never, never go to sleep on a row. Fight it out and then make it up. That’s how you keep the passion alive. At least it was with me.

    Phil on his grandmother: I remember when she died. I remember how upset you were, how you and Aunty Sal were trying to ...
    Peggy: Your nan spent her whole life looking out for us kids — making do, getting by, going without so that we could have — and your Aunt Sal and me, we made sure we paid her back when she was ... when she wasn't well. We looked after her, we cared for her. We'd have done anything for our mum.

    Peggy on a locket and chain: This was my mother’s, the only thing of value she had. Her mum gave it to her.

    Kim Fox to her niece Libby: Grief can do strange things to people. When your great-uncle Jeremiah, God rest his soul, lost Aunt Hettie, God rest her soul, he shaved off all his hair and didn’t utter a single word again for the rest of his life. It’s true. And when Uncle Jeremiah himself passed, your gran sat on the verandah taking pot shots at the pastor with a air rifle. She was quite a good shot. He couldn’t sit down for a month.

    Sharon: Do you know what I really used to hate about my old gran? The way she'd go on at me whenever we used to go and visit. "Why don't you go and do something, Sharon? Go make something of yourself." She was right, mind you, but I really used to hate it.

    Little Mo: Kat and Lynne, you know what made them happy — really happy? It was when we went to Grandma's house, Dad's mum, and they used to play at being pop stars. Grandma had these two candlesticks on her dressing table and they'd be straight upstairs, singing into the mirror, holding these candlesticks as microphones. They had terrible voices, mind.
    Alfie: So what were you doing then when they were playing at being pop stars?
    Little Mo: Oh, me and Belinda were still little so we mostly sat on the bed and watched them. Sometimes Belinda would get up and stand in front of the mirror and put her nose in the air and pose. She wanted to be a model, a supermodel.
    Alfie: What about you?
    Little Mo: I just sat on the bed and watched them all, held on tight to me dolly.

    Pauline: Do you remember when you were a youngster and everyone used to come round here for their Sunday tea? There'd be me and Arthur, Mum, Pete, Kathy, and Ethel lots of times.
    Ian: Me, Mark and Chelle upstairs listening to the charts on the radio.
    Pauline: Yeah, and us shouting upstairs for you to turn it down.
    Ian: Never heard you.

    Sharon: Do you remember Sunday afternoons? You'd come and listen to the Top 20 down in the bar. Mum and Dad always had a sleep in-between closing up and seven. Michelle: Oh yeah, the coke and crisps used to be out. I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven.
    Sharon: And you used to panic in case we missed Number One!
    Michelle: Well we never heard it all, did we?
    Sharon: We always knew what it was though, but then me dad would come in and we'd have to clear out.
    Michelle: You know I wrote to Radio 1? I said they ought to have the Top 10 on earlier because didn't they realise that people that had pubs had to open at 7 o'clock so they always missed the Number One? In the letter, I made out I was you. I didn't use your name or anything - it was my mum and dad who had the pub, it was me who had the mate round.
    Sharon: Did they write back?
    Michelle: Yeah.

    Michelle on Den: I always looked up to him. He always had money, he always looked the business. People round here wanted to be with him, talk to him, buy him a drink. People round here looked up to him and so did I.

    Michelle on Mark: Last time he listened to me was when I was ten years old and thought I'd found out where babies come from.

    Ian: Remember when we used to play up here [the allotments] as kids? Your old man used to go ballistic, didn't he?
    Mark, quoting Arthur: "If you hit that ball against my runner beans once more, I'll swing for you so I will."
    Ian: What a life, eh? All we had to worry about was avoiding our dads.

    Mark on mud fights with Ian: You always got covered and I didn't.

    Sharon: We went up to the allotment when we wanted to skive off. Got caught by Arthur once. Thought we'd had it. Then we realised he couldn't grass us up because he was skiving and all.
    Pauline: Oh that man, soft as butter.

    Ian on the allotments: I used to go up there when I was a kid. Something bad would happen, I'd go up to the allotments, talk it through with my Uncle Arthur.

    Ian: There isn’t a hiding place in Walford that I haven’t used at some time or another.

    Michelle: I used to love coming [to the allotment] when I was a kid. The bonfires.

    Michelle: I used to have [a rabbit] when I was [ten years old].
    Clare Tyler: Were you allowed to keep him at home?
    Arthur: Oh no, no. We had to keep it up [the allotment] in that shed, didn't we, Chelle?

    Lucas Johnson: I had a rabbit once.

    Tony Hills on his pet rabbit: I remember when he died, I was that cut up, I wouldn't speak to anyone for a week.

    Sam Mitchell: Remember when I was a kid — how many goldfish did I kill? How many hamsters did I let the cat eat?

    Archie Mitchell: You always were too sensitive, even as a kid. Remember you found that pigeon flapping round the driveway with a broken wing? You wanted to adopt it.
    Ronnie Mitchell: You rang its neck.
    Archie: Dirty creatures, pigeons.

    Garry Hobbs on gerbils: Vicious little creatures. A mate of mine had some once. When they get hungry, they start chewing the legs off each other.

    Simon Raymond on Tiffany's kitten: [She was called] Jemima, after Play School.

    Ethel Skinner: I liked [Play School]. I used to wonder every day which window we was going to look through.

    Sharon: Me and me mates used to paddle in the fountain on the corner of the high street on the way home from school.

    Sharon: Me and Chelle used to sit on the swings for hours, just talking, [about] boys mainly. Even managed to talk to a few.
    Dennis Rickman: I thought Den kept you on a tight leash?
    Sharon: He tried.

    Ian: We were always down [the park] as kids. Me mates would be mucking around, I'd be sat there watching.
    Jane Collins: Weren't you ever a boy scout - "Ging Gang Gooly" round the campfire?
    Ian: No, Mum never used to let me go away on things like that.
    Jane: Protective sort, was she?

    Jane: Were you a boy scout?
    Ian: I was.
    Jane: I can just see you in your little green jumper and cap, little neckerchief held together with one of them napkin rings.
    Ian: It was called a woggle and as it happens, I was quite a good boy scout.

    Ian: When we were kids we used to meet up after school, get some chips, sneak off down the park.
    Sharon: You had that silly haircut.
    Ian: That's not true.
    Sharon: Your mum used to do it herself.
    Ian: That was the style.
    Sharon: Oh yeah? So what about the time she took too much off and you wore that balaclava for a week?
    Ian: No, that's because you had chicken pox and I thought it would stop me from catching it.
    Sharon: You did, though.
    Ian: You was the only person who was allowed to come and visit me.
    Sharon: The first time I'd been in a boy's bedroom.

    Pauline: You had chicken pox and your dad made you up a bed on the sofa.
    Mark: Michelle was well jealous.
    Pauline: You just sat there watching all the kids' programmes. What was your favourite again?
    Mark: Rentaghost.
    Pauline: Yeah, that's it. And Blue Peter.

    Pauline on The Incredible Hulk: Pete used to love that. He used to make all the kids on the stall laugh, pretending to tip the stall over.

    Sharon: Roobarb and Custard, used to love them when I was a kid.

    Max Branning: I had to hide behind the sofa when Pinky and Perky came on TV.

    Heather Trott: Never watched much TV as a kid. We had one of these old electricity meters. You used to have to put fifty pence in at a time to keep the supply going. It never lasted. Saturdays was the worst. I’d be in the middle of watching Swap Shop and all of a sudden the electricity would go out and that would be it till Monday. Eventually Mummy had to let out one of the rooms to help with the bills.
    Dot Branning: A last resort.
    Heather: Yeah, but we had the regulars. They’d stay an hour or two. Mummy never asked any questions as long as they paid. Watching Swap Shop was never the same. It helped Mum back on her feet though.

    Heather: I hated all the uncles I had as a kid — you know, all the men that Mummy brought back to the house. They’d get to know me for a bit, then they’d disappear. Broke my heart.

    Heather on Queenie: She did all right by me really, bringing me up with no money. If Dad hadn’t have left, everything might have been different.

    Sharon to Michelle: We were both in love with Gary Numan.

    Michelle: We were free then and everything was possible.
    Sharon: And all we thought about was getting a bloke.

    Sharon: All we had to worry about was who we fancied and what we'd wear on a Friday night.
    Michelle: Yeah, and we always fancied the same bloke — and you always ended up getting him.

    Pauline: It doesn't seem five minutes ago that you [were] upstairs worried about your first day at Walford High.
    Mark: I'll never forget it, Mum. All itchy in me new uniform, worried about what the older lads were going to do to us. Little fish in a big pond.
    Pauline: Wouldn't admit you were terrified.
    Mark: It's not the done thing, is it?

    Mark on Pauline's "Start of Term Lecture": Every new term, she used to say to me, "Mark, this is a very important term for you. If you don't work hard, you won't get your exams."

    Pauline: I can remember dropping Mark off on his first day. Ha, the fuss!

    Frank Butcher to his daughter Diane: I remember when you was five years old. You picked up a packet of my cigarettes and told me you wanted one. I made you light one up and smoke it. I thought if I told you not to smoke them, you'd only sneak off behind my back and set fire to the bedroom. I nearly cried to see you choking over a fag at that age, but it stopped you, didn't it?

    Benny Bloom to Dr Legg: When we retired, moved to Clacton, I was very happy, satisfied. Golda and I were both very content spending some time together, getting out and about. We went to a gallery at least once a week and the theatre and concerts. Always thought of you when we went to concerts.

    Shirley Carter on the time she kissed someone famous: Backstage at Wembley, 1979.

    Hazel: I always put you in for little talent contests, didn’t I?
    Garry: Yes, you did.
    Hazel: Always did a little routine. (Looking at an old photograph) Here he is — Margate '79, doing the hornpipe.
    Naomi Julien: Did he ever win anything?
    Hazel: Oh, judges were biased. Garry was too gifted, weren’t you, darling?
    Garry: Yeah, that was my problem, weren’t it? Always too gifted!
    Hazel, looking at another photograph: And there he is dressed as a cowboy. He sang “Oklahoma” and twirled a lasso, but unfortunately, he knocked someone’s glasses off so he got disqualified.

    Ian: I used to have to enter meself in those contests.
    Jane: You entered yourself in talent shows?
    Ian: Yeah, I was just showing initiative.

    Hazel on Garry: He used to look so cute as a kid doing [line dancing].

    Lydia Simmonds, looking at old photographs: Here’s one of you and your mother in Margate.
    Ricky Butcher: Oh yeah, I remember that holiday.
    Lydia: You got your head stuck in a bucket.
    Ricky: Yeah well, buckets can be very tricky when you’re six, Gran.

    Lydia to Ricky: Once a selfish runny-nosed kid, always a selfish runny-nosed kid. You always were a negative child.

    Manda Best, speaking in 2009: I haven’t played [piano] for thirty years.
     
  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Carol Jackson: I remember when I was in the Co-op with Bianca once. She was screaming at the top of her lungs because I wouldn’t give her any dolly mixtures. People were staring at me. Shop assistants were tutting.
    Heather Trott: What did you do?
    Carol: I walked out and left her. It wasn’t until I got to the bus stop that I realised what I’d done. You know I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve wanted to slam out that door, disappear to a Greek island.
    Heather: So how did you cope?
    Carol: A bottle of Blue Nun and a bag of chips normally did the trick.

    Connor Stanley, speaking in 2010: I might take us out tonight.
    Carol Jackson: Oh, a bag of chips at the bus stop? I’ve not done that since I was seventeen.

    Pat Butcher to Bianca: Your mum had seen off more blokes than World War I by the time she was [seventeen].

    Carol: By the time I was seventeen, I had a couple of kids round me ankles.

    Pauline on Carol: She didn't know when to say no.

    Jim Branning on Carol: She trusts people too much. Lot of blokes in the past have used that against her.

    Carol: I never thought about the future. I just let things happen to me.

    Carol: I remember saying to myself when I first had kids, “I’ll do anything — put up with any pain, go through any hardship — but please God, don’t let my kids die before me.”

    Robbie Jackson, Carol's son: I wish my mum had had an abortion when she was having me.

    Sonia Jackson: Mum probably didn't want any of us, but she had us, didn't she?

    Carol to Robbie: I couldn't wait for you to be born. You were so beautiful with lovely dark hair.

    Bianca to Robbie: You were born with your brains in your bum.

    Sonia: What's Robbie's dad called again, Mum?
    Carol: Gary.

    Carol on Robbie: His father's never shown no interest in him.

    Robbie: What was my dad like?
    Carol: Your dad? Well, he was a good looking bloke. Bit lazy, I suppose.
    Robbie: He was a loser, wasn't he?
    Carol: No, I wouldn't say that.

    Gary Bolton, Robbie’s father: I was as bad as they said I was and more besides.
    Robbie: I know Mum loved you.
    Gary: And I loved her. I just couldn't give her what she wanted — a faithful husband, a dad for you and Bianca.

    Jim to Robbie: [Gary Bolton was] a complete and utter waste of space. Bianca's dad, that David Wicks, he was a saint compared to your father.

    Derek Branning: You should have seen it — Sunday lunch, the whole Branning clan round the table, Max and Jack trying to outdo each other. He had hair then, Max, but just as freckly, and Jack, he was going to be the next Marlon Brando, all mean and moody. Carol, face like thunder. April with her dreams of the future. Suzy with her latest boyfriend in tow, different one every week, her — and the roast potatoes steaming up the window and me carving the joint and the laughter ringing out. That’s what I remember the most, the laughter.
    Alice Branning, Derek’s daughter: It sounds lovely.
    Derek: Yeah, it was.

    Max Branning on his childhood: It weren’t a happy time.

    Max to Jim: You weren’t around.

    Max: Custard creams — these always remind me of being a kid. My dad used to get one of these and a Rich Tea — do you remember those things? Horrible they were, like cardboard. He’d cover them up and get me to choose. Do you know what he did? Even if I got right, even if I guessed right, he’d always give me the Rich Tea. I mean, that’s not right, is it? Not fair for a little kid. What sort of father was he, eh? Funny thing is — custard creams, I never really liked them.

    Dot Branning: Garibaldi biscuits — squashed fly, we used to call them.

    Max: When I was a kid, I used to love sherbet lemons. Used to get them in this big jar, get them by the quarter pound. Jim would get them, but he never used to give me any.
    Abi Branning: Did he eat them all himself?
    Max: No, he used to give them to Jack, all of them, and he’d just look at me and I’d feel like ... I don’t know, I’d feel all sorts of things.

    Max to Jack: What I remember is you having all the attention, all the best sweets and all the best toys, and if I ever had anything good, you’d go crying off to Dad because I was never allowed to be happy, was I?

    Dot: Jim always said that of the two [Max and Jack], Jack was the gentleman.

    Jack to Max: When we were kids, you used to give me a whistle when Mum was coming round the corner. I’d give you a shout if I thought the teachers were onto you. I mean, that's what brothers do.

    Max on Jack: He don’t listen to me. Never has.

    Carol on Jack: He was always the strong one.

    Suzy Branning on Jack: He’s second best and he knows it. He’s spent the whole of his life trying to prove different.

    Jack to Max: You’re the weaker brother. You always were. You’re the runt of the litter.

    Derek to Max: You’re the runt of the litter. You always have been. Me and my father, we used to laugh at you, pushing you around.

    Jack: When I was a nipper, Derek was always telling me to be a man. “Don’t let anyone push you around.”
    Michael Moon: Derek? As I recall, he was in charge of the pushing most of the time.
    Jack: That was his idea of education, weren’t it? "Be a man" meant to be in control — be in control of yourself, be in control of your family, be in control of your work.

    Max to Jack: You remember that medal, Granddad’s medal? Dad used to keep it in that little leather box, remember? He used to boast about it, didn’t he, how brave he was. He won it in Dunkirk saving all his mates. Six years old he was, and that was the only thing he had to remember him by. And me and you, we used to fight just to hold it, didn’t we? Sit there, listening to the same old story. Do you remember the day it went missing, how mad he was, tearing the house apart? How I got the blame because he found the empty box under my bed? Well I didn’t take it, Jack, you did. You did and you messed things up with me and Dad. After that he couldn’t even look at me and you, you were always there, weren’t you — good little boy whispering in his ear, turning him against me.

    Max on Jack: When we were kids, he ruined every single thing I had.

    Max: You’re selfish, Jack. Always have been.

    Jim on Max: Selfish, ungrateful — he always has been.

    Jim on Max: He never used to be so bitter and twisted.

    Jim: That Max, he picks people up when it suits him and drops them when it don’t. He always has and he always will. That one’s never stuck at anything in his life.

    Max: You gonna bend me over your knee, just like old times?
    Jim: You deserved every blow, mate, every smack you ever got. The only mistake I made is I didn’t hit you harder.

    Heather: I got a medal when I was a kid.
    Shirley: What for — bravery?

    Nigel Bates: Didn't have my first date till I was twenty.

    Joe Wicks on Nigel's first girlfriend: Did she have a dad from hell?
    Nigel Bates: No — three big brothers.

    David Wicks: My [driving instructor] was a seedy old geezer with a nervous twitch from sitting beside so many learners all of his life.
     
  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1980

    Tina Carter: I’m a child of the ’80s.

    Minty Peterson: What is it with you and the ‘80s?
    Heather Trott: It was when I was at my happiest, I guess.

    Ian Beale: I’m telling you, everything was better in the ‘80s — the clothing, the music, everything. I was never happier. Everything just seemed simpler back then, cooler.

    Tanya Branning: Here Sharon, where do you stand on the ’80s?
    Sharon: Bad perms and tragic jumpers mainly.

    Big Mo: The '80s? I had enough of them the first time round. After that, it went straight down the pan, didn't it?

    Heather: All of those songs about falling in love and having your first kiss, they fill you with hope when you’re young. You never think that one day you’re going to be too skint to go to [an ‘80s weekend in] Southend to listen to them.

    Masood Ahmed to AJ: You haven’t trained [in karate] since the eighties.

    Lieutenant Bryant: When were you [in Northern Ireland]?
    Grant Mitchell: '80. I didn't mind it.

    Ronnie Mitchell: Sal last performed her world famous [fire-eating] act in 1980.
    Peggy Mitchell: Eric’s fortieth.
    Aunt Sal: I had heartburn for a year.
    Peggy: And you nearly burnt the place down, didn’t you?

    Michael Moon: 10th of May 1980, West Ham won the cup. Trevor Brooking, header as I recall.

    Billy Mitchell: Trevor Brooking — he was my favourite, he was.

    Lynne Slater to Garry: The happiest day of your life was when West Ham beat Arsenal in the FA Cup.

    Peggy to Sam: Your dad, he said he'd fly me to the moon when I reached my sixtieth.

    Heather Trott on doughnuts: They used to be my favourites.

    Ben Mitchell speaking in 2009: We’re not really allowed sweet things at school.
    Heather: Mine never usually made it that far. They were gone by the time I got to the bus stop.

    Heather: I’ve never stood up to anyone. I’ve always had Shirl to fight my corner for me.

    Shirley Carter on herself and Heather: It was a bit hit and miss but we’ve always looked out for each
    other.

    Shirley: You’ve always been there for me and I’ve never been there for you.
    Heather Trott: You have, sort of.
    Shirley: No, I ain’t.

    Heather: Oi Shirl, all the years we’ve been mates, we’ve never been shopping together.

    Garry Hobbs: [Remember] when you were little and you used to nick your mum's catalogue and look at all them women in their bras, eh?

    Kevin Wicks: Where did you get all your info from [about] sex, growing up, all the rest of it?
    Max Branning: School, playground, back of the bike sheds.

    Max on male genitalia: I ain’t got a lot to compare it to — maybe school changing rooms.

    Glenda Mitchell: When you were a lad, did your parents ever catch you ... you know?
    Ian Beale: No!

    Pauline Fowler: Mark used to [spend all] afternoon in [the bathroom] when he was [about twelve].

    Ian: Do you remember this one, ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’?

    Ian on Mark: He always used to fancy cousin Janine. I always used to fancy cousin Janine.

    Arthur Fowler to Mark: When you was twelve, the only thing you wanted out of life was to live on your own so you could play your tapes loudly and never tidy up your room.

    Jack Branning: Used to have [a tape recorder] when I was kid. Pretend I was a secret agent.

    Max Branning: Do you want to take a guess what it was actually like living in [the Branning] house?
    Dot: Jim’s told me.
    Max: He weren’t there.

    Jim Branning: My first marriage, I used to look forward to the rows. Give me an excuse to get out the house.

    Max on Jim: He weren’t there when Mum dived into the bottle because it was the only way she could get through the day or when the moods came — yelling, lashing out. Oh, and then the hugs, and the smell — it was like booze and cheap scent — and the tears. Have you got any idea how scary it is to see your mum cry?

    Max: I remember looking at my dad [when he was drunk] and I remember thinking I’d never make the same mistakes, never make my kids feel like that. I’ve never forgiven my dad for the way he made me feel.

    Lucas Johnson: When I was a kid I asked this teacher, “If God can forgive, how come people go to Hell?”
    Denise Fox: Bet they loved you!
    Lucas: Well, she couldn’t answer because forgiving, being forgiven, that’s hard, man.

    Denise on being illegitimate: I’ve lived with it since some cow in my mother’s church told me there was a word for kids like me.

    Denise: I’ve managed fine [without a father] all these years.

    Denise on Montserrat: I ain’t seen it since I was a kid.

    Sam Mitchell: I used to hate going to the dentist. I used to hide when my mum wanted me to go.
    Tiffany Dean: Why?
    Sam: Because they had this great big needle and they used to stick it in your gums and then they had this drill and it went “rrrrr”, like that, straight through your teeth. It was horrible.

    Bianca Jackson: The reason Sam had a bad time at the dentist is because she didn’t brush her teeth properly.

    Kate Morton: It was my eighth birthday. My mam wrote a note to the school saying that I had to go to the dentist. Complete lie — it's just that my dad would have gone mad if he'd found out. She took me into Newcastle for my birthday treat, just me and her. It was fantastic. I'd been going on and on about these red patent leather shoes that I wanted and she bought them for me. They were gorgeous, proper "Wizard of Oz" shoes. I put them on straight away and wore them out of the shop. Then we went to the cinema, ate loads of chocolate and ice cream, and then we had to go to be home in time for my party. We went to the car park to get the car and I'm walking up the stairs — I was watching my shoes, you know, being really careful not to scuff them — and then I felt my mam grip my hand just that little bit tighter and when I looked up, there was two lads in the stairwell, just being lads, you know. One was older than other and the older one had his leg stretched across the staircase so that we couldn't get past, and my mam just looked at him and she said, "Excuse me, please," really polite, nicely spoken. The lad dropped his leg, we went past and as we walked by, he called her a posh bitch. My mam started walking faster and I was sort running to keep up with her, and we were almost at the car and then somehow the two lads, they were right in front of us and we just stopped. My mam's hand felt really sweaty and I remember just pulling my hand free and wiping it down my dress. Nothing was said. The older one just pointed at my mam's bag. She handed it over. He took the money out the purse, threw the bag on the floor, put the money in his pocket and then just stood there. I can remember looking at my mam and thinking how different she looked, like a stranger. I mean, I'd never seen her scared before. The older one was just grinning at my mam and then he pushed her, pushed her really hard in-between the space between our car and the wall, so hard that she stumbled and she fell. I didn't really know what was happening after that — I was brought up so strict even nature programmes were turned off — but I knew it was something wrong. I knew that much. And then really quickly, he just got up, did up his jeans, looked at me mam and he laughed. The younger one ran away as fast as he could. I could hear him running down the staircase, but the older one, he just walked by, took his time, and when he went past me, he ruffled his hair and he winked at me. I went over to my mam and I'd never even seen her in her slip before or her bra or her knickers, you know, she was always so together, and I just looked at her lying there, trying to cover herself and I felt ashamed, embarrassed. I was praying that no one would come by and see her. She got herself dressed, got her bag, got in the car and then we drove home without a word being said until she stopped at the bottom of my street and she turned to me and she said, "Best not tell Daddy about today, eh? He'd be ever so cross that I took you out of school. Let's just keep it our little secret. Better still, let's forget all about it." And we went home, she went upstairs and when she came back down, she looked like Mam, but ... we had a party, I blew out the candles while everyone sang Happy Birthday, and then we all ate cake.

    Max: It was Mum’s birthday. Dad didn’t show until about nine, been down the boozer, but he must have remembered what day it was because he got her a present — a bottle of bourbon. She’s an alcoholic and he buys her that. When he gave it to her, he laughed. He said now she could have a party, just her and the bourbon. Then he went. Sometime later, she ran herself a bath. She must have had most of that bottle. Maybe it seemed like a good idea. She took her clothes off and fell in, only she’d forgotten to turn the cold tap on. Must have had a tank full of hot water in there. If I close my eyes, I can still hear the scream. I had to get her out. She was red. Her whole body was red. I was only a kid. What did I know? I tried to look after her until the ambulance came. I wrapped her in a towel and sort of held her in my arms while she whimpered like a dog, my mum. Four days — she was in hospital four days before he bothered to show up and do you know the first thing he did when he saw her? He told her he was docking her allowance for the hot water she’d wasted.

    Carol Jackson: My mum let my dad turn her into a bitter old woman.

    Carol on Derek: I watched him break my mum’s heart time and time again.

    Derek Branning: My mother was a saint and she loved me and I loved her. I’d have gone to the ends of the earth for that woman. Yeah, me. Even me.

    Liz Turner: You always did like painting and decorating, ever since you was a kid.
    Owen Turner: Do you remember that time Dad let me paint the garden fence?
    Liz: Don’t remind me!
    Owen: I don’t know what your problem was. I always thought the grass looked better white!
    Liz: But it wasn’t our grass you were painting. It was the neighbours’.
    Owen: Yeah well, they deserved it. They were idiots.
    Liz: They came round that night, you know, after you was in bed, asking for compensation.
    Owen: You are joking me. What — for a bit of grass?
    Liz: Called it pain and suffering. Your dad just looked at them. I can see him now standing on that front step. His jaw was hitting the ground. He told them to naff off and get a sense of humour. He come in and shut that door, he laughed and he laughed. I thought he’d never stop.
    Owen: He had some laugh, didn’t he?
    Liz: Yeah.

    Sam: I'm a Mitchell. I grew up with trouble.

    Archie Mitchell to Sam: I always said my girls could learn a thing or two from their beautiful cousin.

    Ronnie Mitchell to Sam: Since you were a kid, you’ve always had real guts.

    Sam on Archie: He always treated me when I was a kid.

    Sam speaking in 2009: I haven’t been [called] Sammy for over thirty years.

    Billy Mitchell: I've lived rough. It's no picnic.

    Billy: I’ve been in the gutter all my life, looking up at people who look down on me.

    Johnny Allen: I used to see this old boy. He was always walking along, staring at the ground. One day I asked him why. He said it was absolutely amazing how much small change you could find lying around.

    Billy: I’ve been there meself - on your own, nobody giving a toss about you.

    Billy: I worked in a few boozers.

    Peggy to Phil and Grant: Your dad used to say you boys should marry the perfect woman — a millionaireress who worked in a pub.

    Grant Mitchell on Earl Grey tea: I went out with this rich girl once and I sort of got a taste for it.

    Alfie Moon: Dumped a girl once for slurping her tea. Horrible it was, put me right off.

    Phil Mitchell: I met a gentleman once. Hit me over the head with a crowbar outside a pub in Dagenham, then nicked me wallet.

    Nigel Bates to Phil: Remember all the rucks you and Grant used to cause?

    Grant to Phil: The Old Bill used to play [us] off against each other all the time, didn't they, bruv?

    Peggy on Phil: The police victimise him. They always have done.

    Nigel to Phil: What about that place we went down to in Walthamstow? Oh blimey, what a dive. You took me along there to lose my virginity, remember? All these heavy duty people around there — blimey, I kept wanting to do a runner. I had nightmares about that place for weeks.

    Alfie on losing his virginity: I was terrified.

    Darren Miller: How old was you before you lost your ...?
    Kevin Wicks: You mind your own business.

    Shirley Carter: I was sick the first night I met [Kevin]. I’d had a row with this bloke and had too much to drink as usual, and I spewed me guts up down some back alley. I mean most people would have just walked past, but not Kevin. He came and found me. He walked me home. He looked after me. That’s what he did.

    Heather Trott: You’ve always had [men] eating out your hand.
    Shirley: Maybe — when I was fifteen, twenty, but it’s all been downhill since then.

    Heather on herself and Shirley: We thought we could do it all, that there was nothing we couldn’t do. Then Shirl, she met Kevin and I was left to look after Mummy.

    Shirley on Kevin: He knew what colour your eyes were.

    Shirley on a bracelet with a watch-face on it: Kevin gave it to me when we first hooked up.

    Shirley: First time me and Kevin went away, all we did was argue.

    Kevin: I came [to Dungeoness] with [Shirley] a long time ago. It’s where it all began, the five good years we had and a lifetime of misery. She was a gobby lying cow with a psychotic streak — my speciality.

    Shirley on Kevin: I loved him first and I loved him most.

    Kevin: You always did put on a good show, Shirl. Life and soul you always were.
    Shirley: Yeah, I could always make you laugh. That’s one thing I could get right.
    Kevin: Yeah, no one made me crack up laughing like you did.

    Shirley: The only time a man’s ever told me that I was beautiful is if he’s guilty or he wants something or both.

    Shirley: You could never lie to me.
    Kevin: Well, I never had to.

    Kevin: I always kept my nose clean.

    Shirley on Kevin: He always was a dark horse.

    Kevin to Shirley: You always were poison.

    Shirley to Kevin: You always were a good kisser.

    Shirley on herself: Always did look good in red.

    Kevin: You think back to some of things you done when you were young and it’s like you weren’t there. It’s like watching someone else’s film.

    Shirley on herself and Kevin: We used to row in the good old days.

    Shirley on Kevin: He used to [disappear] all the time when we were kids. We’d have a row and he’d disappear for days. He'd show up eventually with a bunch of flowers he’d nicked from the graveyard.

    AJ Ahmed on Masood: With his first girlfriend, he was all big puffy eyes and longing. It took him four weeks to get the guts to make a date.

    Masood on what he looked for in a wife: I just wanted someone who could make me laugh.

    Peggy on cooking the Sunday roast: I'd just get all you kids sat down then [Nigel] would walk in.
    Nigel: My mum was a lousy cook, see.
    Peggy: He used to creep round to our place instead.
    Nigel to Peggy: I can still taste your Yorkshire puds.
    Phil: Sam never used to eat hers so she used to pass them to Nige.
    Peggy: Underneath the table.

    Sam: My mum always give us cooked breakfasts and we turned out all right, didn't we?

    Ian Beale: I was always changing my breakfast cereals when I was [young].

    Carol Jackson: When I was [eighteen], I thought I'd meet a man, get married, have more kids, end of story.

    David Wicks: I was pretty wild when I was [eighteen].

    Bianca Jackson on David: He had a wife up north.

    Lorraine Wicks, David's wife: I met him doing bar work. Six months after we got married, I found out that on his stag night, he ended up in bed with my chief bridesmaid.

    Shirley: You proposed to me in a playground, remember?
    Kevin: Yeah well, that’s what happens when you down ten pints of cider.

    David on his marriage to Lorraine: It was hopeless, right from the day we walked out the registry office.

    Kevin on Shirley: I married the bitch.

    Shirley: Me and Kev, we were fine until he slipped a ring on me finger - and then it was like a crash course to heartache, misery and despair.

    Shirley on herself and Kevin: I remember the day we got married. It was the fourteenth of June, 1980. It was in [a registry office] and he had a grey suit on and he had this tie with all piano keys running down it. It was one hell of a night, our wedding night.

    Jean Slater on the colour of a tie: My Brian liked red. It showed a bit of passion.

    Bradley Branning: What was it like when you first got married?
    Kevin: What — to Shirley? I’ve blanked it out, mate.
    Bradley: I mean how long did it stay ...?
    Kevin: What?
    Bradley: You know.
    Kevin: What, you mean “hot”?
    Bradley: Yes. They talk about the honeymoon period, don’t they? How long’s that supposed to last?

    Shirley: We had one or two memorable occasions. He’s a good lover is Kevin. There’s always that worry that once you get them down the aisle, they turn into slobs, they shift around on top of you like they’re looking for something down the back of the washing machine, but not Kevin. I’ll give him his due. He was always very attentive.

    Shirley to Kevin: You used to be able to do handbrake turns. In fact, you used to call that thing we used to do in bed them, do you remember? “Oi Shirl, I wanna give you one of my handbrake turns.” “Oooh, Kevin!”

    Shirley: I was married to your cousin Kevin.
    David: I don’t really remember him.
    Shirley: Sounds about right.

    Lorraine on life with David: It was hell on earth. Shady deals, bent cheques, bailiffs, "business trips away" — the women, all the affairs, other men's wives.

    Grant: What was David Wicks like when you were expecting?
    Lorraine: He was OK, I suppose. He liked the idea of having kids, but when they were actually born, reality hit home. He couldn't handle the commitment.

    Lorraine: After Joe was born, I cried nonstop for three days. I didn't even know why I was crying. I mean, I was glad to have him, but every time I looked at him, it just seemed like too much — too much responsibility, too many years ahead.

    David on his son Joe: I was a terrible father to him when he was little.

    Danielle Jones: My brother’s called Gareth. My mum had a thing for the bloke in the coffee ads.

    Linda Carter: I’ve been behind a bar since I could stand up.

    Peggy on Sam: Oh that child, she got away with murder.

    Sam: Has [Grant] told you how tough he had it when he was a kid? Don't believe a word of it.
    Nina Harris: He says you got away with murder.
    Sam: That's rubbish. He's always been my mum's favourite.

    Roxy Mitchell: You were always Mum’s favourite. You know you were.
    Ronnie Mitchell: Oh come on, Mum didn’t have favourites.

    Glenda Mitchell to Ronnie: I have baby pictures of you and Roxy and it’s only by looking at my hairstyle I can tell which of you I’m holding.

    Glenda to Roxy: You were always your dad’s favourite.

    Roxy to Archie: You always did believe in me, Dad.

    Roxy: My dad lied to me his whole life. I loved him, but I never really knew him.

    Sam: I am so sick of coming third. All my life it’s been Grant then Phil then me.

    Phil on his father: I never remember him hitting Sam. She was always his favourite. They got on really well together them two, and by the time he might have gotten round to hitting her, the cancer had got him.

    Sam on domestic violence: If a bloke touched me, that would be it. That's how [Peggy] brought me up.

    Ronnie on Eric: I would never have put up with what he put you through.
    Peggy: You weren’t there and times were different.
    Ronnie: Why would you stay? Why would you put up with that?
    Peggy: Because I had nowhere else to go. Three kids in tow, who in their right mind would have had me? We were trapped, no place to run so me and Phil, well we just had to put up with it.
    Ronnie: He never touched Grant or Sam?
    Peggy: Only because I took the blows that they were meant to get. And don’t think for one moment Phil ever understood that, but I couldn’t take any more because it would have killed me and Phil being the eldest, well I just hoped that he knew he’d be helping me. He’s got no idea what he did for me, but that little boy, he was my hero. You don’t know what it took to get through all that.

    Phil: When you’re a kid and you’re out on the landing, listening ... I wanted to do to [Eric] what he was doing to my mum. I tried it once when I was a kid. That was a mistake. My only regret was that I never took him on — you know, properly I mean. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I’d given him a good hiding. I probably could have lived with meself better if I had have done.

    Sharon Watts on Eric's violence: When did it stop, Phil?
    Phil: When I was big enough to hit him back. Only happened once. I think that hurt me more than anything else. He was like a god, you know? And there he was, on the deck looking up at me. Just a pathetic old man.

    Peggy to Sam: The one thing I've always wanted to do is to protect you.

    Peggy to Sam: Do you remember what I used to say to you when you were a little girl? “Grit your teeth. Don’t let the people see you cry.”

    Billy on Sam: You used to be a right snotty little cow.

    Phil on Sam: We used to tease her something rotten when we were kids. She used to have this thing about spiders, especially great big hairy ones. She weren’t just scared, she was petrified, so me and Grant, we went to the market and bought this great big rubber hairy one and we stuck it under her pillow.

    Sam: Do you know where I used to spend my Saturday mornings when I was little? Well, when Phil and Grant were in a good mood, they used to let me help them out. They give me a little special pair of overalls and then I'd sit on the floor and I'd unwrap all the new floor mats and the pedal covers and then I'd put them in the car, all nice and neat, and then turn back the clock - you know, to make it [the car] look younger than it really was.

    Andy Hunter: What about your dad? All dads love their little girls.
    Sam: Yeah, he did — when he wasn't drunk and ripping into Mum. I'd just hate to end up like them, arguing all the time, no affection, no trust.

    Phil: Have you always been such a nag?
    Peggy: I’ve thought about the family. I’ve always protected you, every single one of you.
    Phil: Just like you did with Dad? Did you help Dad with his little [drinking] problem or did you drive him to an early grave?

    Peggy: Do you remember when your father went into hospital, the first time? We had a terrible row that morning. I cut up his food for him. I was only trying to look after him, but he got so angry with me.
    Phil: He was ill, wasn't he?
    Peggy: I know.

    Aunt Sal to Peggy: You had an awful time with Eric.

    Aunt Sal: My sister was too good for Eric Mitchell, the way he treated her.

    Phil on his father's illness: That was the best fight of the old man's career, that one. He really went the distance. Of course, he still ended up losing.

    Peggy: In my day, if your old man was taken ill, you were expecting to drop everything and that was that, but I did find it hard. I tried not to show it, but there were times — sometimes I came so close to walking out that door, running away, grabbing a new life for myself. I wish sometimes I could wipe out those last five years we had together — but if it had been ten, I'd have stuck by him. I was his wife and that was my place, looking after him.
    Phil: Mum, Dad knew how lucky he was to have you.
    Peggy: Did he? It didn't always seem like that.
    Phil: Well, he had cancer, didn't he?

    Grant: Dad was a waste of space before he died.

    Peggy: Remember when I used to take you to visit down the hospital every Wednesday? Your dad took a long time to die.
    Grant: You still loved Dad though, didn't you?

    Den Watts: So [Paula] brought you up on her own?
    Dennis Rickman: Well, she didn't bring me up with anyone else.

    Dennis on Paula: Alcoholic by twenty-three. She tie[d me] to a radiator when she went on holiday to keep [me] out of trouble. She let her boyfriends boot [me] up and down the stairs so they could kick some sense into [me].
    Den: Bit heavy-handed, were they?
    Dennis: Yeah. I've had enough clumps to last me a lifetime, thanks. I was lucky [social services] got me out.

    Dennis on Paula: I didn't live with her much. Kids' home, care, you know.
    Den: That must have been difficult.
    Dennis: Whatever.

    Alfie to Jake: You was just a kid and you used to see your old man night after night coming home, off his face. I know it wasn't easy for you, Jake. I know that. I know you had it really tough with Danny all those years and I just wish I could have done more.
    Jake Moon: Hey mate, you did plenty.

    Jake: I can't count the amount of times social services took us in, some new foster parent telling us we were safe. Danny was right — he didn't want to be, but he was — because they did always send us back to Dad in the end. Danny used to hold onto my sleeve — actually, physically hold on. Go to bed, he'd be there. Wake up, he'd still be there — hanging on.

    Danny Moon: Jake never could make it better because he was just a kid himself.

    Danny: "Fear makes you weak." Dad used to say that — me and Jake pretending to be asleep. Good old dad, he knew. Little him, standing there, half cut, wobbling. All we had to do was push him in the knees and he'd have fallen over. "Fear makes you weak," he'd go — and he'd peed the bed! One quick shove in the knees and we'd have floored him, and he wouldn't have gotten up easy because it used to take him about ten minutes to get that belt off.
     
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Michelle Fowler: When I went to secondary school, it wasn't the done thing to be brainy so I just larked about with the rest of them.

    Denise Fox to Ian: There’s nothing wrong with a comp. I went to a comp. You went to a comp.

    Ian Beale on Walford High School: All I remember of that school is having my head shoved down the toilet by a gang of bullies and them pulling the chain.

    Ian: I used to get picked on when I was at school. I was short, I was spotty, dodgy hair, and it really used to get to me.

    Ian: Tom Banks made my life a living hell.
    Mark Fowler: That was just kids' stuff. You two didn't get on.
    Ian: It wasn't your head he used to shove down the khazi. No, he hated me.

    Ian on himself and Tom: We hated each other.

    Ian: When you're a kid, you're given a set of rules and you think that's the only set of rules, and you think that if you're playing by those rules, then everybody else is — but it's not like that when you're a kid. It's a "big dog eats little dog" world and if they think they can get away with flushing your head down the toilet, then they're going to do it every day.

    Tom Banks: Ian's nickname [was] Little Squeal — Squeal Beale. When he's in the headlock, you could hear him from the science block.

    Ian on Tom: Nasty piece of work, always has been.

    Pauline Fowler on Tom: He was always the same when he was in school, just out for himself.

    Mark on Tom: He was a bit wild when I was a kid, a bit over the top.

    Pauline on Tom: That boy was a bully — all the nasty things he used to do to Ian and I don't remember you [Mark] sticking up for him.

    Ian: Don't you remember what it was like being little? Can't you remember just being scared of being scared? It took me a long time and a lot of nicked dinner money and a couple of really good people sticking up for me, made me realise that there's worse feelings in this life than fear.

    Rose Cotton: After everything I’ve done ...
    Andrew Cotton: And what’s that, this “everything", eh? Stealing my dinner money, poking your bony old beak into everything?

    Andrew on Rose: She always was an interfering old bag.

    Ian on himself as an eleven year old: You show me a room full of kids, I’d have been the one sat in the corner all on me own. That is, until we went to this one party, and I remember it really well because Mum took us and everyone was there — there was Mark and there was Michelle, Sharon, Kelvin — and they all went outside to play, and I knew that if I went out there as well and joined in, I’d be one of the gang and that would be that, but I also knew that if I stayed inside on my own, that would be that too. I wouldn’t really be one of them. So I joined in.

    Kat Moon: When we were kids, me and Lynne used to go to a party every other week just so Mum could get us out from under her feet. We used to get so bored that we used to sit in the corner and guess what all the grownups were thinking.
    Alfie Moon: Probably thinking, “You couldn’t pass the gin instead of a parcel, could you?”
    Kat: Or, “What an ugly kid!”

    Tom to Pauline: When I was a kid and I couldn't talk to Mum and Dad, I used to come around here [the Fowler house], talk to you.

    Bianca Butcher: Where did we go [on school trips] in our day?
    Kat Moon: Can’t remember. I was always bunking off.
    Bianca: Yeah, and me.

    Anthony Trueman: You used to play truant from a nice warm school [to sit on a cold park bench]? You must have really hated school.
    Kat: No, I didn't hate it. I was just never any good at it.
    Anthony: I always used to take refuge in my books.
    Kat: I bet you had loads of books all stacked up round your desk. And all the other kids used to chuck things at you.
    Anthony: Yeah well, I decided if I couldn't fit in, at least I'd do well.
    Kat: So was you picked on then?
    Anthony: A bit.
    Kat: I never could stand bullies.
    Anthony: Me neither.
    Kat: Then I turned into one.

    Jack Branning on dealing with bullies: “Thump him.” It was Dad’s answer to everything, but he’d have a go at us as soon as we got into trouble. It was stupid.

    Max Branning: When I was little, the best days off school were always the ones I was pretending to be ill.

    Michelle: When I was ill, [Pauline] used to tuck me up on the sofa and I used to talk to her while she did the housework. And sometimes I'd pretend to be ill. Used to drive her mad. She could never tell when I was pretending or really sick.

    Arthur Fowler to Pauline: Look at Michelle when she had her tonsils out. I made you send her to school because I thought she was trying to get out of doing some test or other.
    Pauline: I felt awful. The school nurse didn't half give me a telling off.
    Arthur: I didn't know that.
    Pauline: Yeah well, I didn't want to upset you. I don't know why I thought it would upset you, but I did.
    Arthur: It would have upset me. I'd have gone and given her a good talking to.
    Pauline: We did the same thing with Mark when he came down with measles. We thought he didn't want to come to Aunty Betty's with us.

    Lou Beale: Shirley in Billericay, her Paul's the same age as Mark. You remember Chas's wedding in Columbia Road? Paul and Mark were getting on like a house on fire. They wrote HELP on the bottom of Chas's shoe and when they knelt down in the church, we could all see.

    Roxy Mitchell: When I was little, I used to think churches were really sad places because they surrounded by gravestones.

    Michelle: I used to fancy my mum's insurance bloke. He used to come round every Friday. Sex on legs he was.
    Sharon: How old were you?
    Michelle: Eleven.

    Michelle's first love letter: "Dear Michelle, see you next week after Scouts. SWALK, Robin."

    Shirley: I slept with a scout once. Very good with knots, I seem to remember.

    Michelle: You were the first one to wear a bra, weren't you?
    Sharon: Don't remind me. I used to get home from school and my back would be red raw from everyone pinging me bra strap all day. Great chat up line that was, "Hello, darling - ping!"

    Grant on Sam: I remember when she used to wear her hair in pigtails and wore vests.

    Little Mo: I just wanted to be a mum really, even when I was little. I used to make up these stories in me head, you know, where I was sitting by a fire on a winter's night — had to be a real fire — and the kids would be tucked up in bed all safe and sound, and their dad would be sitting opposite me in his chair.

    Little Mo: I always knew I was going to be a mum.

    Carol Jackson to Bianca: I spent half my life looking after you. Changed your nappies, wiped away your tears.
    Bianca Jackson: So when was the best bit [of motherhood] for you then?
    Carol: When you was tiny, before you could all answer back.

    Robbie Jackson: Me and Bianca [grew] up with nothing.

    Bianca: We've never gone without. Anything that was important, we had it.

    Carol, holding up a toy rabbit: Remember that?
    Bianca: Pinky!
    Carol, holding a bit of tatty woollen material: Oh look, the last piece of Robbie's bla-bla. You know, I didn't dare go anywhere without that.
    Bianca: Yeah and the smellier it got, the more he loved it.
    Carol: I know.

    Carol: You were so jealous of Robbie, I caught you once spooning jam down the back of his neck.
    Bianca: It wasn't me, it wasn't!

    Sonia Jackson on the hat and the shoe in Monopoly: Robbie ate them.

    Robbie: My dad never hit you?
    Carol: No, I got to give Gary that. He never hit me — sleep with thirteen year old girls, fourteen year olds, fifteen year olds, and if he had to, sixteen year olds — but no, he never hit me. He'd buy them things like a gym slip, or a pencil case maybe, and if he really liked them, he'd get them nice pretty little dollies — while he gave me a couple of quid to feed you and Bianca. We were struggling to make ends meet while his bits on the side were getting their annual subscriptions to Jackie.
    Robbie: Did he run off?
    Carol: Yeah. He took a shine to a girl even younger than I was. Never seen him since.

    Gary Bolton: I was still wild. The last thing I wanted to do was settle down. I certainly didn't want to be a dad.
    Robbie: And that's the only reason you left?
    Gary: Yeah.
    Robbie: Nothing to do with me?
    Gary: How could it be? I loved you. The simple truth is I couldn't hack it. Some people could, but I couldn't.
    Robbie: How old was I [when] you left?
    Gary: It was two weeks before your first birthday.
    Robbie: And you met someone else?
    Gary: Not really.
    Robbie: That's a yes then.

    Gary to Robbie on a Dinky toy: I brought it round on the morning of your first birthday. Carol wouldn't let me give it to you. It's only a toy car. Cost me ten bob down the Roman Road.

    Robbie on Gary's son Kevin: He's only a year younger than me.
    Gary: That's right.
    Robbie: But you said the only reason you left was because you weren't ready to be a dad.
    Gary: And that's true.
    Robbie: But you were a few months later. When you came round on my first birthday, you must have had him then.
    Gary: Yeah, I did.
    Robbie: So you left me and went back to being his dad?
    Gary: Your mum wouldn't let me see you. It wouldn't have worked.

    Jim Branning to Robbie: I shall never forget the state he [Gary] left your mother in.

    Carol: The only good thing about Gary is he managed to get us a council place.

    Carol: I didn’t get so much as a sniff of maintenance from most of my kids’ dads.

    Robbie: You did love them, didn't you — my dad, Sonia's dad?
    Carol: Yeah, I did. Well, I thought I did. It's just something you think when you're young and stupid.

    Carol to Bianca and Robbie: Do you see why I didn't tell you about [your fathers]? I know I've not been the best mum in the world, I know that, but I've always fed and clothed you and that's what I thought was important. Your fathers were my mistakes, not yours. I never wanted you to know all that.

    Robbie on his father: I've had this picture of him in my head ever since I can remember.

    Gary: Things looked up for me when I left London.

    AJ Ahmed: Mas saw “Empire [Strikes Back]” eighteen times.
    Tamwar, Masood’s son: Dad?!
    AJ: Yeah. Who'd you think took me?

    Tamwar: You were a “Star Wars” fan! You were a geek!
    Masood: I was never a geek.
    Tamwar: Dad, I think anyone who watches “Empire” eighteen times qualifies as a geek.

    Max Branning: Jedi battle, Christmas 1980. I reckon I had you there.
    Jack Branning: Yeah well, that was a one off.

    Jack to Max: I nutted you.

    Alfie Moon: You want overexcited? My nana, right, she used to put the decorations up in November. By Christmas, we were ready to explode.

    Jake Moon: Whenever we did the [Christmas] tree, what did we used to do?
    Alfie Moon: We stole Nana’s booze!

    Alfie to Nana Moon: You always put the angel on top of the tree. It’s always the last decoration. You always [did] it — tradition.

    Alfie to Jake: You’ve been selfish all your life. After everything Nana’s done for you — you and Danny. She was there for you, gave you trips to the seaside, all those Christmases. She gave you things you can remember.
     
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1981

    Dot, speaking in 2011: Thirty years ago, every larder in the land had a tin of syrup.

    Dot, speaking in 2011: I’ve had this set of [kitchen] chairs for thirty years.

    Carol Jackson, speaking in 2011: If you’d have told me thirty years ago I’d be selling the shirt off my back to help Pat Wicks, I’d have laughed in your face.

    Carved into a fence on Turpin Road: "Fowler + Banksey '81"

    Tom Banks: What about that time when we nicked the barge?
    Mark Fowler: Oh yeah. Only went about three mile an hour, didn't it?
    Tom: The cows were just strolling along going, "I'll catch you at the next lock." When we got there, you were saying, "Ram it!" Ram it at three miles an hour?!

    Bridget Banks, Tom's mother, looking at an old photo of Tom and Mark: You wouldn't think to look at them they were such a pair of terrors.

    Ian Beale on ‘That's Entertainment’ by The Jam: That was one of [Mark and Tom's] favourites.

    Ian on The Jam's "Sound Affects" LP: [Mark and Tom] went halves on it. I'm sure it was about two pound fifty each back then. They played it all day and then Tom stormed off out because Mark put his cup of tea down on the back of it [staining the sleeve].

    Pauline Fowler on an LP Mark would bequeath to Sharon after his death: I remember his gran give him some money towards that for one of his birthdays.

    Mark to Sharon: Did you really think I didn't know you and Chelle played my albums when I was out?

    Jack Branning looking at some LPs: They were Max’s. I nicked them.

    Max Branning, speaking in 2011: You going to draw a line down the middle of the room, are you, just like when we were kids?
    Jack: The line was Mum’s idea.
    Max: No, it weren’t. It was your idea.
    Jack: Even though your thieving hands still used to creep over and nick my Look-In.
    Max: Yeah because that was for both of us, weren’t it?
    Jack: What, even though the line also included hairspray?
    Max: What you talking about? No one ever said anything about hairspray.
    Jack: We sat down and we talked about it. I even drew up the rules.

    Glenda Mitchell on the ‘80s: Do you remember?
    Ronnie Mitchell: I remember big hair.
    Roxy Mitchell: Big make up.
    Ronnie: Adam and the Ants. Do you remember your ...
    Roxy: Sparkly legwarmers!
    Glenda: And the three of us dancing round the lounge before you went off to the Friday night youth club.

    Ian on Adam Ant: I [had] me first snog to him. I used to love the way he got dressed up in all those big costumes with a white stripe on his face.

    Minty Peterson: We were putting on make-up and dressing up like highwaymen.
    Garry Hobbs: Speak for yourself.

    Mick Carter: Here, what was that song — you know, the one with the treacles ripping their little skirts off?
    Linda Carter: Bucks Fizz, ‘Making Your Mind Up’, [Eurovision] winner in 1981.

    Linda: July 1st, Princess Di’s birthday and mine. I loved her. Proper lady, she was.

    Pauline: That Princess Diana, now she knew a thing or two about a wedding dress.
    Sharon Watts: Yeah. She had a big budget though, didn't she?

    Alfie Moon: When Di got married, I remember sitting with my nan watching it and she cried all the way through.

    Cindy Beale: My mum and dad used to talk about [their dream home in the country] as if it was really theirs, before they'd even seen it. I used to see what they were imagining in their minds and then draw pictures of it, like a diary of things that hadn't really happened.

    Bev Williams: Cindy was a smashing little girl, so funny and affectionate. I spoilt them, both of them, Cindy and Gina, because it made me feel less guilty. Me and Tom had spent so much time arguing that sometimes we forgot that the girls were even there.

    Ian, looking at an old photograph of Cindy and her sister Gina: Where was it taken?
    Gina Williams: It was outside our old house in London.
    Ian: The look on your face!
    Gina: That's because Cindy was pinching me when it was taken. See? It looks like she's got her arm around my back. She loved winding people up.

    Jack Branning to Jim: I remember our school photos — behind our backs, me and Max giving each other Chinese burns. That weren’t a smile on his face, that was a grimace. That’s typical of us Brannings, isn’t it? Why is that, why have we been at each other since the year dot? You know how it was. You used to play us off against each other, always wanting us to be better, to beat each other. Only one of us got a watch. I had to buy me own. And whoever got the worst exam results got text books for Christmas. Look what you made us into.

    Andrea Price, looking at an old photograph: Chalk and cheese, my daughters. That's Natalie, the one with the finger up her nose. If she puts it up any further, she'll have a nostril like a horse.

    Andrea: [Remember] that blue bracelet that you used to fight over with Susie for dressing up?
    Natalie Price: Yeah, Susie always used to win.

    Gina on Cindy: She used to go running to Dad, "Gina's done this, Gina's done that." He always took her side.
    Ian: Was she the favourite?
    Gina: No. I don't think either of us were that privileged. She was just better at getting attention. She knew all the tricks, especially with men. She idolised our dad. He couldn't have cared less. We used to share a room when we were little. Sometimes I'd wake up and I'd look at her and I'd think, "I don't have a clue what's going on inside your head."
    Ian: She must have opened up to you sometimes.
    Gina: Never. That was the thing. She was so good looking, so confident. She could have any bloke she wanted. Underneath she was no different to anyone else. She just wanted to be loved.

    Cindy: I remember fancying this bloke rotten. He never knew I existed. It was terrible.
    Sanjay Kapoor: Who was that?
    Cindy: Sean Connery.

    Cindy: When I was in the second year, I had a crush on a bloke in the fifth year.

    Gina on Cindy: Sometimes she just didn't care about anyone but herself. She saw something and she went for it. At the time I could have killed her, but he wasn't worth it and he dumped her for someone else soon after. That's one thing we did have in common, terrible taste in men.

    Gina on Cindy: I was so jealous of her. Clothes, make up, boyfriends - whatever she had, I had to have too.

    Bev: Gina always was the brainy one.

    Cindy: My sister lost a baby at seven months.

    Father Fraser to Cindy: I can still see you now, dashing round the playground with your socks round your ankles. We never had a champion of rounders to top Cindy Williams, either before or since.

    Cindy on pulling hair: I did [it] once to a snotty little kid in the school playground. Didn't know me own strength. Looked like she'd been scalped by the time I'd finished.

    Tina Stewart: At times, I thought I hated my dad. Thankfully, my mum made me see sense and I was able to make up with him before he died.

    Tina: My dad died when I was sixteen. And mum, bless her, she didn't cope very well.

    Tina: After my dad died, Mum was so wrapped up in her grief, sometimes I just wanted to grab hold of her and shake her and say, "Look at me, I'm still here." But then again, I had my brother and sister. We had each other to talk to. Without that ...
    Ruby Allen: And did your mum ever come round, open up?
    Tina: No — wasn't her style, but things did get better. Just took a bit of time, that's all.

    Billy Mitchell, recognising a man in 2000: Harry Harvey, Bournemouth Detention Centre, 1981.

    Billy: I’ve done plenty of time.

    Paul Trueman, speaking to Patrick in 2001: You hadn't seen [Audrey] for the best part of twenty years.

    Patrick on his sons: I wasn’t there when they were growing up, but a father’s love is always there no matter what.

    Gary Bolton: It must be [1981] since I've seen you.
    Big Mo: At least. Last I heard, you were going to set off to travel the world.
    Gary: I did. Got as far as Portsmouth.
    Big Mo: Very exotic.
    Gary: It was compared to Albert Square.
    Big Mo: What stopped you?
    Gary: Decided I had to grow up. Everyone has to sometime.

    Alfie Moon: I never had any trouble [chatting up girls] when I was [a teenager].

    Alfie, speaking in 2012: I was watching Fats [Fatboy] earlier chatting all them girls up, all that silver tongue, giving it the swagger, giving it large. Do you remember when we used to be like that?

    Nana Moon to Alfie: I remember when you had a different girl every week. You could have filled the hospital with broken hearts.

    Alfie: I've been called names all my life — conman, Jack the Lad, "always great for a laugh but you wouldn't want your daughter to marry him".

    Alfie: I was quite happy being Jack the Lad. Jack the Dad was never in my plans.

    Alfie: When I was seventeen, I got a girl pregnant. I'm not going to make out she was any old girl because she wasn't. I was in love and she was so bang in love with me, and it was all, like, tragic and tears before bedtime. Her parents got involved. Her dad is screaming at my dad. We were like, "Oi, back off, we'll get married." And I was up for it, and so was she. But then her mum sort of piped up and her mum was like, "Oh you're too young. I'm not going to let you throw your life away." And all of a sudden, she stopped answering my phone calls. I mean, I couldn't even get through her front door without her mum going, "Go away, she doesn't want to see you." Next thing I know, she's had an abortion. And no one asked my opinion. Or hers, for that fact. And I remember going to the hospital afterwards. She wouldn't even look at me. All she said was, "Alfie, get lost." I never saw her again.

    Suzy Branning: I lost my virginity on my sixteenth.
    Max: Yeah, for the sixteenth time.

    Bradley Branning: Aunty Carol told me you once took a week off with a bad back just to go to the Cheltenham Races with the money you stole from the electric metre.
    Jim Branning: No, no, no. I didn’t steal it, I borrowed it. And it weren’t Cheltenham, it was Sandown Park as it happens. Just shows how much your Aunty Carol knows, doesn’t it?

    Kathy Beale on Pete: He took me [horse] racing once.
    Rachel Kominski: What was it, a fancy hat job?
    Kathy: Rain hat, more like. It rained all day. We ended up in the bar watching the racing on the telly while Pete got quietly plastered.
    Rachel: Could have done that at home.
    Kathy: That's exactly what I said.

    Johnny Allen: I put some money on a horse in the National one year. It fell. Did itself some serious damage. Four grand to win — gone at the third fence. I knew the bookie and I asked him, "What odds would you give me on whether or not this horse has got to be destroyed or not?" A way to get some of me money back, you know? He wouldn't take the bet. He'd seen the horse fall, very messy. There was no question what was going to happen.

    Ruby Allen, Johnny’s daughter: Mum and Dad were married [in 1981].

    Phil Mitchell on Johnny: They reckon he used to be a vicious git.

    Peggy Mitchell: This is just a story I heard, a rumour, it might not even be true, but it’s the one [about Johnny] I remember most clearly. There was this girl, Susie Law, a stunner — should have been a film star, but sometimes life doesn’t quite happen for people. She had a problem, an addiction, I’m not sure what, but maybe it was her way of escaping.
    Ruby: And my dad - what, gave her drugs?
    Peggy: Well, he visited her.
    Ruby: She was a prostitute?
    Peggy: Yeah, after a fashion.
    Ruby: While he was married?
    Peggy: Yeah, I think so. She got into her head that she could blackmail your father. He didn’t take too kindly to that so he thought he’d teach her a lesson.
    Ruby: He killed her?
    Peggy: No, no. I suppose probably that would have been better in some ways. He booked her for an hour and he did some damage to her hand — well, to her fingers — and well, she lost them.
    Ruby: How?
    Peggy: You work it out, darling.
    Ruby: Did my mum know?
    Peggy: I don’t know.
    Ruby: Was she involved in it all?
    Peggy: I suppose she was, whether she liked it or not.

    Johnny, speaking in 2005: Susie Law, the hooker with the missing fingers? You can still see her some nights on Dog Street in her slippers, turning the odd trick or two when she hasn’t got the electricity money. Ask her how she lost the fingers on her right hand, Peggy. She won’t tell you because she knows if she does, she’ll lose the fingers on her left hand.

    Darren Roberts, speaking in 1988: I used to be a snooker player.
    Carmel Roberts: Don't make me laugh.
    Darren: I got paid for it, didn't I? A hundred pound a night on form. And with that money, I started to invest in various businesses. A few deals. Taking up whatever came along. Never miss a chance. First, a club in Soho. Then a sandwich bar, then a mobile disco, then a cab firm. I gave up mini-cabbing. Didn't suit me. I sold it off. Got enough to chip in for a small caff. Didn't like that much. Didn't like the hours, Didn't like the smell on me clothes. Then a beauty magazine.
    Carmel: Yeah, which folded in its third issue.
    Darren: Then a barbershop, which is still going strong.

    Carmel: Darren could have been an accountant or a company secretary or something.

    Garry: When you were in your twenties, what type of bloke did the birds your age go for?
    Minty: Anyone apart from me.
    Garry: What type of bloke particularly? Nine times out of ten, it was your older man, right? Ones with their own gaffs, with jobs, with a bit of money in
    their back pocket.
    Minty: Lucky so and sos.

    Terry Raymond: I was a top estate agent — “In Fleet Salesman of the Year” in 1981. I used to be known as Terry Turnover — not because I turned people over, but because I had the highest turnover of properties in the area. Spiel is everything in this game. That's all you needed in the eighties — golden days. I had my selling techniques down to fine art form. A few chosen phrases and bang, they were mine.
    Janine Butcher: Things like, "It's an up and coming area."
    Terry: Yeah, that's kept Balham on the map for years.
    Janine: Or, "It's close to a full range of amenities."
    Terry: I sold a whole khazi of a place in Kings Cross with that line.
    Janine: Or, "It's a wonderful view of the city."
    Terry: Always a winner when you're shifting tower blocks.

    Terry: The first [car] I bought brand new [was] a BMW.

    Louise Raymond on Terry: He bought the house for forty thousand, but I did all the work on it, all the renovation, redecorating and everything.

    Terry: We're talking the early eighties here. Money all over the place in them days. Just had to reach down and pick it up. I had it all — flash car, new suits, blinds on the windows, potted palms. Of course, that was before everything went pear-shaped in the recession.

    Junior Roberts, Darren's son: Me and my dad have been chucked out of more flats than we had hot dinners.

    Carmel on her older sister: She got hitched to some computer whizz kid and moved to Florida.

    Carmel: I got an education and moved away. When I was doing my basic training [in social care], I had a lot of new friends, more work than I could cope with, and all of that. It was great, but it's surprising how homesick you get.

    Carmel on her father: He gave me everything. He forced me to get qualified.

    Simon Wicks: My stepfather taught me the lot [about running a pub], you know, from the cellar to the little sign outside the front. He said he'd always give me a reference.

    Frank Butcher: When my old dad died, we had a good sing song for him. And if he'd have been there, he'd have loved it.

    Mo Butcher: I've only got two things of value in the whole world, my mum's brooch and the carriage clock they gave my husband when he retired, God rest his soul.

    Mo on her husband: I got him a nice stone, real marble, and it'll do for me when my time comes. I left plenty of room at the bottom.

    Frank to his sister Joan: Where was you when Dad died and [Mum] was grieving? Where were you?

    Dot Cotton on Joan: Married a bank manager.

    Joan Garwood: For a long time, I didn't want any [children], and then when I did, to my great regret, none came along.
    Frank: I never knew that.
    Joan: You never asked.

    Kate Morton: There was this boy at school and everyone hated him. I don't know why. Anyway, when he was about eight or nine, he got leukaemia and sadly, he died. My mate Rosie told me that she used to go up to the cemetery every day and bury sweets under the grass. She said she couldn't stop thinking about how horrible she'd been to him.

    Garry: We had a mate at school whose sister got leukaemia. After that, we all got into giving blood.

    Shirley Carter to Kevin Wicks: You used to be a man of life once.

    Shirley on Kevin: He never changed after we got hitched. The Kevin I married was the Kevin I left.

    Shirley on being heavily pregnant: I hated being that big. I had stretch marks like varicose veins.

    Shirley on herself and Kevin: Before Jimbo, we used to make each other laugh, crack each other up. Then we had to put things on hold. Things fell apart, but that weren’t what we were about.

    Shirley on their son James “Jimbo” Wicks: I was [nineteen] when he was born.

    Shirley on childbirth: It hurts. It hurts how much you think it’s going to hurt. Getting them out’s the easy bit. Then all you do is let them down. It’s what mums do.

    Shirley: When I had my Jimbo I necked a whole bottle of vodka straight.
    Roxy Mitchell: Did it make you feel any better?
    Shirley: Loads.

    Kevin on Jimbo: Nice lad, lovely smile.

    Kevin on Jimbo: CF - cystic fibrosis. He was born with it, but it wasn’t diagnosed for a long time. If it had, he’d probably still be with us now.

    Shirley: Kevin would go to work and I’d be all on me own with Jimbo, no grownups to talk to. I even had a case packed in case I wanted to make a quick exit.

    Shirley: I’ve spent most of my life thinking that I was totally useless. I was a terrible daughter, a diabolical wife and a truly awful mother.

    David Wicks on his cooking skills as a teenager: I could do a bit of bacon and egg without cremating it.

    Terry to daughter Tiffany: When you were little, you used to ask me for an egg, except you couldn't say it. You called them "eddies".

    Tiffany on Terry: He used to have this Super 8 thingy. He used to follow us all around with it.

    Tiffany's brother Simon, watching old home videos: What a repulsive little kid Tiffany used to be.
    Tiffany: Oi!

    Louise to Tiffany: What's that they always say — Daddy's girl? Not you. It was Mum you always wanted.

    Louise on sharing a birthday with Tiffany: I always used to have to buy [Simon] a birthday present so he wouldn't feel left out.
    Tiffany: The year you left him out, he sulked all day.
    Louise: What a birthday that was.

    Simon Raymond to Louise: Always liked to steal the limelight didn't you, Mum?

    Louise to Simon: You always were a nosy little boy.

    Cora Cross to Tanya: You’re a very demanding, interfering nosy parker and you always have been.

    Cora, speaking about Tanya in 2012: She’s been going through my things again. She was like it as a girl. Once she got the bit between her teeth ...

    Simon Raymond: Dad never really used to go in for holidays. If it had been left to him, we'd never have gone away at all, but Mum used to insist. Every year, two weeks, by the sea. He only used to come for the second week, he was that mean.

    Simon looking at a childhood photograph of himself and Tiffany: That was Great Yarmouth. We were just about to go on the roller coaster. I was terrified.
    Louise: She looked after you, I'll bet.

    Simon: One of my fondest memories is of a holiday we had near Peacehaven. Tiff and I had a great time and Dad even managed to drag himself out of the pub and took us fishing.

    Terry: I don't know what Simon was on about, me being stuck in pubs, because as I recall there were no pubs in Peacehaven except the Fox and Snare or something, and that didn't count because it closed at ten o'clock.

    Simon on Peacehaven: Anyway, the year that we were there, we stayed in this little guest house. All [Terry and Louise] were doing was arguing so me and Tiff decided that we'd escape.
    Tony Hills: To the cliff top?
    Simon: Yeah, we sat up there all afternoon listening to the gulls and watching the boats. I was so happy.

    Tony on Peacehaven: When they were kids, this was the only place [Simon] and Tiff were really happy.

    Grant Mitchell on Tiffany: They said that she loved it there.

    Bianca Jackson: I used to love going down the coast when I was a kid.
    Ricky Butcher: Me too. My old man used to spoil us rotten when we used to go on holiday.

    Ricky: Me and me dad used to have a great time. We used to go and watch the match on the Saturday, sneak off to fishing on the Sunday.

    Ricky: Remember when we caught that pike, spinning off the back of the rowing boat?
    Frank: You was about eight years old.
    Ricky: And I was saying, "Dad, Dad, I got something!"
    Frank: And I was saying, "Sit down, boy, or we'll never get nothing!" And [you] was jumping about, rocking the boat.
    Ricky: Everyone's watching us from the bank.
    Frank: It was a pike and it was about that big. We used a plastic carrier bag.
    Ricky: That was good, weren't it?
    Frank: Yeah, great.

    Michelle Fowler on Mark: He used to go fishing with Uncle Pete.

    Mark to Ian: You used to come and watch matches with me and Dad when you were young.

    Ian: Yeah, that was fun. No one could shout as loud from the terraces as Uncle Arthur. When your dad got going, the whole crowd used to turn around and stare at us all.

    Ricky: I wasn't in the cubs for nothing — "Be prepared", "Who dares wins".
    Sanjay Kapoor: I thought that was the SAS.
    Ricky: Oh, right.

    Alfie: I've done endurance training with the SAS — or was it the cub scouts? — but it was still endurance.

    Alfie: No one can withstand their hand in ice cold water for longer than half an hour. I learnt that in the SAS.

    Alfie: I used to be in the Paras and they teach you how to fall.

    Minty Peterson: I'm still pretty toned after all those years in Martial Arts. I've got a black belt in Feng Shui. You weren't considered qualified unless you could chop a settee in half with your bare hands.

    Dennis Rickman: When I was in the kids' home in Muswell Hill, I used to make up stories about my dad. I used to say he was in the SAS. And all the time, he was just a backstreet publican in Walford.

    Frank: I didn't spend much time with my kids.

    Ricky: I used to like speedway. My old man took me over Hackney when I was a little kid.

    Pat Butcher on Frank: Was he a good dad?
    Ricky: Yeah. He weren't cuddly or anything. I was quite scared of him, to be honest. He didn't dote on me or anything like some dads do.
    Pat: I bet he did.
    Ricky: No. I had to do something really special before he took any notice of me. I wasn't good at school or anything. I don't suppose I did anything special really.

    Ricky: Fractions. I could never get me head round them when I was at school. We used to have maths every Friday. I used to dread it. Every time the teacher used to talk about fractions of this, bits of that, I’d start sweating. I found maths really hard. I came last every time.

    Peggy to Sam: You were never hot on maths, were you?

    Michael Moon: I was always a dab hand at English. Knew how to turn a phrase.

    Sam Mitchell: When I was at school, there was a girl. She told everyone she had [dyslexia]. Turns out she only needed glasses. Then when she got the glasses she couldn’t wear them because everyone said they made her eyes look small and piggy.

    Diane Butcher, Ricky's sister: He [Ricky] got this label put on him when he was a little boy that he was a bit slow, a bit thick. With everyone telling him, he believed it. There's more to Ricky than that.

    Ricky: All they ever done when I was at school was make me feel bad.

    Ricky: I was a sheep in a nativity play.

    Diane: I used to make handmade cards for Christmas.

    Diane: It's always the best bit of Christmas, the tree. I remember when I was small, I never wanted to finish decorating it. That way, I thought Christmas could go on and on. I used to sneak down and take some of the decorations off, and then Gran would come along and help me put them back on.
     
  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1982

    Charlie Slater, sitting in Walford Job Centre in 2002: It's more than twenty odd years since I was here last. It was all grey then.

    Jean Slater: Twenty-five — I remember being that age. You’ve got so much to look forward to.

    Jean: These hands were soft once.

    Tina Stewart: I was working in a local supermarket when I was seventeen. I never expected to be a kept woman.

    Tina: You should have seen me behind the counter of the local supermarket — black shoes, regulation nylon overall that gave you a static shock every time you touched a teaspoon.
    Ruby Allen: What made you want to work there?
    Tina: Needed the money.
    Ruby: And you never fancied college or something?
    Tina: No. It wasn't an option. My mum wasn't very well when my little brother and sister were small so I did most of it.
    Ruby: So you earned the money and brought the kids up?
    Tina: Yeah, I suppose so.
    Ruby: Must have been tough.
    Tina: You don't really think of it like that. You just get on and do the business. Then of course, I struck lucky and got a job as a waitress.
    Ruby: That's lucky?
    Tina: Yeah — working nights, three times the money plus tips, and I got to do a bit of singing now and then.
    Ruby: What sort of stuff?
    Tina: Nightclub stuff — you know, smoochy ballads, mainstream — but I did get to sing a bit of Nina Simone now and then. Trouble is, people don't really want to come to a nightclub and cry into their glasses of champagne, do they?

    Babe to Mick: We got you back out of care.

    Shirley to Mick: I did everything I could to get you back.
    Babe: Shirley’s right. She hounded the social services. We both did. She was only a teenager herself. I was with Shirl every step of the way.

    Mick: When I came home, it wasn’t things I remember, I just remember how I felt. Because when you’re a kid and you wake up in the middle of the night and there’s no-one there, you just remember feeling scared. And when you’re sitting out on the step and you’re freezing in the sleet, you don’t remember the colour of the door, you just remember thinking, “Why doesn’t he [Stan] know — why doesn’t he know I’m hungry? Why doesn’t he know that school’s finished? Why doesn’t he know?” I’m six years old.

    Stan to Mick: When you was young, when you was growing up, I wasn’t there for you, none of you.

    Tina on Shirley: She’s been there for us, Mick, through everything. She’s fought for us. You can’t say she ain’t.

    Babe to Mick: [Shirley] looked after you. She was mother to you and Tina and she did a good job.

    Shirley on Mick: I brought him up.

    Tina on Shirley: She brought me up, you know.

    Mick: She did a great job. As soon as she could slip off, she did and left us with him [Stan].

    Stan Carter: We was always patching up your face.
    Mick: “We”? You were never there.

    Mick to Stan: You taught me everything I know [about tough love].

    Mick: I don’t do friction. I had enough of that with the old man.

    Mick on Stan: I’ve never seen him do fear, never.

    Mick on Stan: A complete wrong 'un.

    Mick: I hated on my old man for years.

    Stan to Mick: Hating me was the one thing in life you could count on, like British summers or Aunt Babe’s trifles.

    Babe: Top of the milk?
    Tina: We could never afford cream so Aunt Babe …
    Babe: Make do and mend. Use the bit that rises to the top of the bottle.

    Lorraine Wicks: I knew the moment I saw Karen [on a pregnancy scan] that she was a girl.

    Karen Louise Wicks born 13th February 1982.

    Clare Bates on Karen: Was she pretty?
    Lorraine: Yeah. Yeah, she was.

    Jake Moon: I can remember as kids playing catch, Alfie was never happy unless he was “it”.
    Nana Moon: That's because he was interested in the girls.

    Tanya Branning on playing hopscotch: We used to have a rhyme for this, didn’t we? What was it?
    Lorraine “Rainie” Cross, Tanya’s sister: She [Tanya] always cheated at games.
    Tanya: You’re such a liar.
    Rainie: We were having a rollerskating race once. She knew I’d beat her so she nicked my skate.
    Tanya: No, I didn’t nick that one actually.
    Rainie: What, it just magically appeared on top of the wardrobe, did it?

    Ronnie Mitchell on Roxy: She always used to [cheat at cards] when we were kids — didn’t you, eh? You used to slap your fat sweaty mitt all the over the pack so no-one could see whether it was a snap at all.

    Andrew Cotton: I was always the last one to get picked for sports at school.

    Derek Branning on Max and Jack: I’ve been watching them [play football] since they were knee-high. Their little legs ...

    Suzy Branning: Remember when you two used to play football in the street?
    Max: Yeah, I was always Arsenal. [Jack] would always be who’d ever won the cup or something.
    Jack: No I wasn’t.
    Max: Yes you were, glory boy — Man U, Chelsea, whoever it was.
    Jack: No, I’ve always supported West Ham just like Dad.

    Jack Branning on Derek: He never did play football as a kid, did he?
    Max Branning: No, he had a club foot.
    Derek: I didn’t have a club foot, I had fallen arches.
    Jack: You had special heels in the back of your shoes!
    Derek: They were corrective shoes and I only wore them for six months!

    Jake: I used to play football. I got a knee injury.

    Jake: Football — we went around pretending we were Geoff Hurst or Bobby Moore. Who did Alfie pick? Tony White.
    Nana Moon: Who?
    Jake: Exactly. He never even made the Hammers first team. Inferiority complex, see.

    Alfie Moon: When I was eighteen, I could say anything to anybody.

    Alfie to his brother Spencer: When I was [eighteen], we used to do this thing called Three Steps Below. It's all about levels of attractiveness so it's marks out of ten. Let's just say you're an eight — by you being an eight, you need to chat up a bird who's a five. It's the natural order of things because you know a five, because she's got to be a bit of a bow wow, there is no way she's going to turn down an eight. You pull a five, you know she is so coming back to your place, dead cert. (Whatever you do, don't tell Nana because Granddad was a nine.)

    Spencer Moon to Alfie: When you were younger, you went places. You saw things, you did things.

    Maxwell Moon to Alfie: He weren't about that much. He was always off, running about with his gang.

    Maxwell to Alfie: You missed my twenty-first.

    Alfie: This lad I knew, Eric his name was, lived up our street and he was a bit of a nutter. Always the first up the chicken run at Upton Park. He'd give you a smack in the gob as soon as look at you. Right nutcase he was. Anyway, we didn't see him for about a year. One day, me and my mates were in this boozer in Hackney and there's Eric. He's up onstage, right, dressed as Shirley Bassey, giving it large in the gold lamé thing. "Goldfinger", "Hey Big Spender" — you name it, he was murdering it. Now this Eric, right, he was so butch, but he'd gone right through it and come out the other side — seriously, he'd been hiding it for years — from Arthur to Martha. Once he realised we weren't going to judge him, he dropped all the manly act and you know what? I've never seen a bloke so happy.
    Derek Harkinson: What happened to Eric?
    Alfie: He had to move away. Not everybody's so open-minded, you see. What happened, his boss found out, stirred things up and got him the sack. His boss was the old school type. Made Hitler look broad-minded.

    Alan Jackson: When I was at school, there was this lad. He got a bit confused [about his sexuality]. He didn't know which way to turn. At first he went this way, then he went that way and in the end, he turned the wrong way. Then nobody wanted to know him after that. But really, he was just a bit confused.

    Max: I had this mate. Jim didn’t approve, he gave me a hard time about it.
    Tanya: Why didn’t he approve?
    Max: Because he was black. Jim and his pals, they didn’t like one of their own having a black mate. They told me to dump him. I said no. One night we were walking home. It was dark. Five of them jumped out of nowhere, beat him to a pulp in front of me. Police got involved. I was told to keep my mouth shut. I said no, told Jim if I wanted to squeal, I would.
    Tanya: And did you?
    Max: No, but they didn’t know that. One of them, he had this undertakers. It was my birthday.

    Max to Jim: What you laid on for my thirteenth birthday, I can still taste that stale air.

    Max: They all turned up in the middle of the night and grabbed me, took me there, back of this car, gagged. Stuck me in a coffin. “We’re gonna bury you,” they said. “No one’s ever going to know.” They tried to hold me down. I fought and I fought, just trying to stop them putting the lid on. Jim was just the other side of the room. I could see him there, just watching. I was begging him, “Dad.” I was crying, “Dad, Dad,” but he didn’t do anything, he just — didn’t move. He just stood there, quaking in his boots. And then the lid went down. Pitch black, it was. I can still hear the sound of them turning the screws, locking me in. The coffin was moved. It was lifted up, it was stuck in the back of a hearse. Dumped. I can still hear the sound of them shovelling on the earth. I was begging them, I was screaming, I was crying. It just went all quiet. They’d gone. And I just lay there all night, thinking I was going to die. Minute after minute, in the dark, not able to move, I just ... just seeing Jim’s face, looking at me.

    Derek Branning: You remember the coffin, Maxy boy? Do you remember the night in the coffin? Dad’s friend, the undertaker? I did that to you. ME. To show you who’s boss.

    Max: In the morning, the lid was ripped off. The coffin hadn’t even moved. It was still in the undertakers. They's just left me there all night, gone to the pub, gone home, slept like babies. I could hardly walk. Jim tried to help me, I refused. That night, he came to my room. He’d been drinking. His face was as white as a sheet. He just wanted to say he was sorry. He’d wanted to stop them, but he was scared — scared, so scared that he’d let his own
    son think he’d been buried alive. I didn’t get angry with him. I didn’t do anything. I just shut my bedroom door and lay alone in the darkness and I vowed I would never trust anyone again.

    Max: I was a kid, I was a little kid.
    Jim Branning: You was thirteen.
    Max: I was a kid and you abandoned me. You let your horrible seedy little mates screw with my head.
    Jim: No, no, no, no. That’s not true.
    Max: You were weak. I kept schtum. I’ve kept it inside all these years.

    Tanya on Max: A frightened lonely little boy, a frightened kid whose dad didn’t love him enough.

    Lauren Branning: Were [Tanya and her father] close?
    Cora Cross: Couldn't separate them.

    Ronnie Mitchell on Archie: He ruined my life.
    Max: But not Roxy’s?
    Ronnie: No. She was always Daddy’s little golden girl.
    Max: I never had you down as a black sheep. It’s lonely, isn’t it?

    Max on being the family black sheep: It’s lonely. However twisted and nasty my old man was, I still wanted him to love me, till one day there was too much to forgive. I realised how much I hated him. Still, it’s a lot to deal with on your own.

    Charlie Cotton Jr on his father: It doesn’t matter if you hate them at the same time as loving them, you just want them to notice you — or at least be grateful, just once. I wanted to do something to let him [Nick] see I was there. I used to love it when I heard him coming in the door. I’d think, “Ah, this time, it’ll be better. This time, he’ll be kind to her, he’ll be nice to Mum.”
    Ronnie: It never happens, does it?

    Max on whisky: I remember when I first tried that stuff. I was about [thirteen]. I drank half a bottle in one sitting. I was sick for two whole days. It was years before I could even smell the stuff again.

    Zainab Masood: I was forced into marriage.

    Zainab to Yusef Kahn, her first husband: I didn’t even know you. I didn’t even see you until the Nikah. You were a stranger.

    Zainab to Yusef’s daughter Afia: Your father and I, we were very young, too young. We never even had a mungni.

    Yusef to Zainab: That first day, both of us so shy.

    Zainab to Afia: The first time I actually saw your father was on our wedding day. His family had brought him over to my parents’ house. My mother told me not to look up from the floor, but of course I peeked a glance and he was just sitting there, just a boy, a child, really, like me, terrified.

    Zainab to Yusef: The first time I saw you, the very first time, we didn’t even talk. You just smiled, and I remember thinking, “What beautiful eyes. He must be kind with eyes like that.” "He’s a sweet boy. He’s going to be a doctor. He'll look after people.” That’s what people told me.

    Zainab on her wedding day: Yusef wore red and gold and he arrived on a white horse, and there were dancers and drummers.

    Yusef Kahn: It was cerise, wasn’t it?
    Zainab: What was?
    Yusef: Your dress at our wedding. I thought you were the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen.

    Yusef to Zainab: You [were] beautiful when we married in Pakistan. Those soulful eyes, all the wisdom and intelligence, love and honour shining through.

    Zainab on Yusef and his cousin Tariq: They were very close when we were first married.

    Tariq on Yusef: He married that disgrace of a woman.

    Masood Ahmed to Yusef: Your first pathetic marriage.

    Yusef: I fell in love with you that day.
    Zainab: We were children.
    Yusef: With hearts. I didn’t appreciate what love was when I was a boy.

    Yusef: Do you think I wanted a wife? I was more interested in playing cricket with my brother. I was seventeen. We were both children, both scared.

    Yusef: We were children forced together. Neither of us knew how to be, how to act. I tried to be what my father said I should be.

    Denise Fox on Zainab: Bet she was a right handful as a teenager.
    Yusef: Take what you’re thinking and multiply it by ten.

    Yusef to Zainab: You were fearless.

    Zainab to Yusef: You ruined my life.

    Zainab: I was a fifteen year old girl crying for her mother. I was terrified, sent away from everything that I knew to live with a total stranger and his family.

    Yusef: We loved each other.
    Zainab: No, no we didn’t. You were always a stranger, even when we were married.

    Yusef to Zainab: We weren't always strangers, were we? Those first few months, that guesthouse in the mountains away from the family, the first time I washed your back, undressing by candlelight, my fingers through your hair.

    Yusef to Zainab: I was a better man with you.

    Yusef to Zainab: You were the first person I knew to have a Walkman. Remember? We used to walk around with cases full of tapes.

    Yusef on ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: We thought we were so cool listening to this.
    Zainab: Our little rebellion.
    Yusef: On the Walkman, over and over again.
    Zainab: Sharing the headphones.
    Yusef: Cheek to cheek.
    Zainab: “Don’t push me ...”
    Yusef: “Cos I’m close to ...”
    Zainab: “The edge."

    Zainab: I was sixteen living in Pakistan.

    Zainab, talking about herself: She was happy at first. Her family were very kind to her and she spent most of her time in the kitchen, cooking.

    Yusef to Zainab: You always were a fantastic cook.

    Zainab: There was a book, a family heirloom.
    Shabnam Masood: A cook book?

    Zainab: "Masālē kī pustaka"
    Masood Ahmed: “The Book of Spices”.
    Zainab: It was full of the most amazing recipes, something for every mood, every occasion. I worshipped that book. I knew every single ingredient, every blend of spices, every tip on how to make each recipe nothing less than perfect.

    Zainab: One day, a young man came to the village visiting relatives.

    Masood to his son Tamwar: When I first saw your mum, it was like ...

    Masood to Zainab: You’ve been making my life a misery since the day I set eyes on you. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Zainab: You were in love with the wrong girl once, remember?
    Masood: Ah, but she turned out to be the right one.

    Zainab: I was fifteen and I fell in love with a boy that wasn’t my husband and I’ve been haunted ever since.

    Masood: I’m not just a pretty face, darling.
    Zainab: He’s been telling me that since our first date!

    Yusef to Zainab: I did everything wrong and I drove you away into that man’s arms. It wasn’t our time together.

    Yusef: I allowed you to be stolen from me.
    Zainab: I wasn’t stolen. I knew what I was doing. I fell in love with Masood.

    Masood to Yusef: Zainab and I, I know we were young, but we did fall in love and stayed in love. I’m sorry she never felt like that about you, but you wouldn’t have been happy, either of you.

    Zainab, talking about herself and Masood: There was so much work to be done in the house that she found it difficult to see him, but she found a way. There were excuses, secret meetings. It was all very exciting. They were always careful, but someone must have seen them. A rumour started. That was enough. And then the family stopped her going out. She was like a prisoner. You see, everyone said that she had shamed the family.
    Shabnam: Because she fell in love?
    Zainab: There were rules, expectations. She broke them. I’m not saying I agree with it, but she should have known better. You can’t go against everything, everyone, stand alone.

    Yusef to Zainab: Have you forgotten the shame you brought on your family [by] having an affair - how lonely you felt, how desperate you were?

    Tariq, Yusef’s cousin, on Zainab: That woman brought disgrace and dishonour to our family.

    Yusef to Zainab: She shamed me. She shamed my family.

    Yusef, speaking to Masood in 2011: The shame and humiliation that you brought on my family. It didn’t even matter to them that I became a doctor or that I get married again or even have a beautiful daughter. They still won’t speak to me. But none of that compares to when I found out Zainab had been seeing you. Until then, those had been the happiest days of my life. That’s what turned to ash.
    Masood: It was never aimed at you.

    Masood: You made [Zainab’s] life hell.
    Yusef: You were the innocent? What good Muslim goes after a married woman, breaks down her defences, lures her into bed?
    Zainab: It wasn’t like that.

    Yusef to Zainab: You were my wife and you were going with another man. How do you think that made me feel?

    Masood to Yusef: You didn’t love Zainab but you still couldn’t stand losing her. It’s eaten you up like a worm gnawing away inside.

    Yusef: You could have saved me, Zainab, if you hadn’t left me, if you’d stayed with me.

    Zainab: One day in the kitchen, there was a different smell — not spices, something stronger. Kerosene. And heat on my skin, biting.

    Yusef: I loved you. I was angry, scared. My wife had betrayed me, my family had turned their back on me. I had nothing left.
    Zainab: So you burned me?

    Yusef: I was just a boy, Zainab. I wanted to hurt you.

    Masood to Yusef: While Zainab was alone in your house, cooking, someone poured oil into that room, set it on fire and locked the door.

    Yusef: It was me. I poured the oil, I lit the flame and I stood there and watched her burn.

    Tariq to Yusef: I watched you light the match that set your wife on fire. One match, that’s all it took.

    Yusef: A split second of childish anger, idiocy, and I’ve lived with it all my life.

    Afia, Yusef’s daughter: You tried to kill her and have lied about it ever since.

    Afia on Yusef: He tried to kill you.
    Zainab: Because I betrayed him, because I was unfaithful. That fire, it ruined our lives.

    Masood: It’s weird. If it hadn’t been for the fire, Zainab and I would never have got together.
    Yusef: What do you mean?
    Masood: I didn’t see any future in us. So I took the coward’s way out. I was leaving for the UK. I didn’t even tell Zainab I was going. When I got to the airport, I couldn’t leave, not without at least trying to explain. That’s when I found your house on fire and Zainab screaming.

    Zainab: I ran to the kitchen door, but it was locked. And then I started screaming, shouting for someone, anyone, “Come quickly, the kitchen’s on fire!” I started pushing and pushing, but I couldn’t open the door so I ran to the window and that’s when I saw her [her own reflection], her face staring back at me through the flames. She was burned.

    Shabman: Mum, that woman you told me about in the fire in Pakistan — it was you, wasn’t it?

    Zainab: The fire was started on purpose. I’m sure of it.
    Shabnam: By who?
    Zainab: Someone in the family.

    Zainab on the fire: I remember his brother being there, I remember his father, but I don’t remember Yusef being there.

    Zainab: How you did get your scars?
    Yusef: I went back for you.

    Yusef: When I found out what was happening, I rushed into the fire.

    Tariq on Yusef: He panicked.

    Denise on Yusef: He nearly died trying to save her.

    Tariq on Yusef: He went back, but Masood was there.

    Yusef to Zainab: I wanted to save you, I wanted to save my wife, but Masood got there first.

    Yusuf: Zainab was my wife — my wife, not yours. If you’d left her alone, none of this would have happened.
    Masood: If I’d have left her alone, she’d be dead.
    Yusef: No, I would have saved her.

    Masood: I walked into a fire for you, Zee.

    Masood to Zainab: I rushed into a fire to save you because I loved you.

    Zainab taking about herself: They took her to the hospital. Afterwards, no-one spoke about it.
    Shabnam: So they punished her and what did it achieve? Did she love the boy any less?

    Zainab on “The Book of Spices”: The book was destroyed [in the] fire, gone. Since then I haven’t been able to cook a single recipe because I was afraid.

    Yusef: A terrible thing happened and we all carry the scars to prove it.

    Tamwar Masood: Yusef hasn’t even spoken to his family since [the fire] happened.

    Zainab, speaking about Yusef in 2011: All these years, I’ve thought that it was him [who started the fire] and it was because of that, because of the fire, that — leaving him for Masood, you know — that made it OK, the fire made it OK.

    Masood: Zainab left you.
    Yusef: She didn’t leave me. You took her.
    Masood: The only thing she was ever forced to do was marry you.

    Yusef: My first wife disgraced me. I used to hate my first wife. I hated her for what she did, for humiliating me and my family. I see now that she was weak, easily swayed. That’s just the kind of woman she is, but I had to move on with my life, to be free of her.

    Masood on Zainab: She chose me.

    Masood to Zainab: You did choose me once and for a long time it was perfect.

    Masood to his son Syed: I bit my fingernails to the quick the day my parents met your mother. I suppose it mattered to me what they thought.

    Minty Peterson: Do you know what I miss? Them poker games.
    Phil Mitchell: Yeah. Marathons, weren't they?

    Garry Hobbs: I've been playing poker since I was eleven.

    Cora Cross: Last time I played poker, I had a bubble perm and shoulder-pads was in.

    Den Watts: Angie had to drag me out of [a poker game] that went on for three days. She wasn't pleased. Worried she'd have to do a bit of work around the Vic instead of drinking all the profits.

    Derek Branning: An old poker buddy of mine used to say, “You play with the devil’s fire, eventually you’ll get burned.”

    Ronnie Mitchell: I grew up with a player. I was brought up by the best conman in the business, my father.

    Michael Moon on Ronnie: She saw what her old man was like right from the start. She knew. She was always the brighter of the two [sisters].

    Eddie Moon to Michael: You’ve always had a good brain on you.

    Michael on Eddie: He didn’t teach me anything.

    Michael on Eddie: He’s good at conning people. He’s had a lifetime to practice it.

    Peggy on Ronnie: Thanks to Archie, that girl’s had a lifetime full of lies.

    Ronnie on Archie: He always lied to everybody and he manipulated everyone.

    Archie Mitchell to Ronnie: You think I’ve forgotten what it was like when you were little? My sweet little blonde haired angel chasing me round the garden, bright as a button. Your smile was like having the sun shine right at you. The pair of you, my little girls.

    Carol Jackson on Bianca: My daughter [was] a sweet little five year old who's worried she's got freckles and funny colour hair.

    Julie Perkins: I tried being sweet once, never again.

    Janine Butcher, speaking about Julie in 2011: Her hair might not look like it’s seen a brush since the early eighties but ...

    Carol, checking Bianca’s daughter’s hair for nits in 2010: Your mummy used to like me doing this to her. It was the only time that she kept quiet.
    Tiffany Butcher: Was she really noisy?
    Carol: We used to call her Super Gob!

    Bianca: Five years old, I was working. My mum was at home doing piecework, putting plastic toys together, and I used to hand her the bits.

    Aleks Shirovs on Ronnie: Has she always been … you know?
    Roxy Mitchell: What, a few sandwiches short of a picnic? Yes.

    Roxy Mitchell to Ronnie: I've always thought you looked quite thick.

    Ronnie: I’ve been looking after my sister all her life.

    Denise to her sister Kim: My whole life, I’ve been running round after you, doing your jobs, picking up your pieces.

    Ronnie on Roxy: I have been forgiving her my whole life.

    Roxy to Ronnie (sarcastically): You always did have a very forgiving nature, didn’t you?

    Ronnie on Roxy: When she was a little girl, my dad would always make me hold onto her pocket money because she would either lose it or she’d spend it the moment he gave it to her. Don’t think that didn’t make her resentful. He was subtle in his game playing.

    Glenda to Ronnie: You’ve always been such a good sister to [Roxy], picked up the slack, kept her in line.

    Roxy to Ronnie: All [Glenda] ever does is try and play us off against each other. It’s the same thing she’s done ever since we were kids.

    Ronnie to Archie: I was there for [Roxy] a lot more than you ever were.

    Roxy on “At the Zoo”: Dad used to read this to me like every night.
    Ronnie: I used to read it to you every night.

    Ronnie to Roxy: You’re my baby sister. We’ve always done everything together. We’ve always pulled through.

    Roxy on herself and Ronnie: We’ve always been there for each other, always.

    Roxy: All these years, Ronnie’s looked after me. She’s given me advice, held my hand, told me what to do, what not to do. Less like a sister ... All these years, I thought it was because she had my best interests at heart.

    Michael Moon to Roxy: Your whole life, [Ronnie]’s used you.

    Ronnie to Roxy: The truth is, it’s been you looking after me all these years.

    Roxy on Ronnie: I am all she’s ever had.

    Roxy: I lost track years back the amount of times me and my sister have fallen out.

    Roxy, speaking to Ronnie in 2011: I am not your little pet anymore, OK? I am not that little sister that you can just boss around and shove in the paddling pool because you didn’t get your way.

    Kim Fox to Denise: When I was a kid, you thought you was the boss of me.

    Denise: Thing about Kim is she’s selfish. If I’m not dragging her out of skips, then she’s nicking me Tiny Tears.

    Roxy on Cowgirl Barbie: I used to love this doll.
    Glenda: I know. I still remember when I tried to upgrade you to a Sindy. You weren’t happy.
    Roxy: That’s because, Mum, I was Barbie and Ronnie was Sindy.
    Glenda: Never stopped you fighting over Ken.
    Roxy: Yeah, we really grew out of that, didn’t we?!
    Glenda: I always got that sort of thing wrong. Your father knew your tastes so much better than I did. I used to try and second guess but he just did it by instinct. Always envied him that. I know you were always a daddy’s girl, but that doesn’t mean I loved you any less.

    Glenda to Roxy: All my life, I’ve not done the right thing by you girls.

    Archie on Roxy: Ever since she was a little girl, something new every five minutes. You [Ronnie] on the other hand, tenacious. Always had to master everything. Well, nearly everything.

    Glenda to Ronnie: You always did a lot of [thinking] even as a little girl. Always so buttoned up.

    Archie speaking about Ronnie in 2009: Some things I carry around with me all the time — souvenirs of things we did together — train tickets, funfair rides, the circus. She’s even drawn on some of them.

    Heather Trott: Mum said she encouraged me to run away with the circus, but they wouldn’t take me.

    Ricky Butcher: Me mum had a midlife crisis, did a lot of sulking and wearing mini-skirts.

    Mo Butcher: The car business could have been great if you'd got a few decent motors instead of filling the forecourt with every clapped-out old banger you could lay your hands on.
    Frank Butcher: I made a decent profit when I sold up.

    Pete Beale, speaking in 1985: "Didn't we do you once for a bald tyre?" [the policeman] said. "That was three years ago," I said.

    Pete, speaking in 1992: I can remember a place down Victoria Road ten years ago, got blown up [via a gas explosion]. Very, very messy.

    Pauline Fowler on Mark: He had [The Complete Works of Shakespeare] when he was at school — "Mark Fowler 4A"
     
  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Dr Stockton, army psychiatrist: Five years in the Paras. See much action?
    Grant Mitchell: A tour of duty in Northern Ireland, sir, and the Falklands campaign.

    Max: I can’t think of a time when the British Army weren’t sticking its oar in somewhere. It’s what they do.

    Phil: When you was a little girl, you must have been about five or six, me and Mum, we took you to Portsmouth.
    Sam Mitchell: To see Grant off to the Falklands.

    Tiffany Mitchell on Grant: What was he like then?
    Peggy Mitchell: Very handsome. The day he went off on that ship to the Falklands, I was so proud. I remember him standing on the deck looking down at me. He was only nineteen.

    Pat Evans: Richard Gere in “An Officer and a Gentleman” — I could put some wrinkles in that white uniform, no problem.

    Peggy: You don’t think I wasn’t scared when my Grant went off to the Falklands?
    Dot Branning: But you stuck by him, didn’t you, Peggy? You did your duty.
    Peggy: You have to put your feelings to one side when there’s principles at stake.

    Phil: When that ship left the harbour, you wouldn't let go of them railings. You hung on till the bitter end.
    Sam: Mum got so cross.
    Phil: Only because you made us miss the train — but she was so proud of you because even as a kid, you realised that family's what really mattered.

    Hazel Hobbs on Gary’s Aunty Di and Aunty Vi: You do know none of them’s your real aunties, don’t you, little mate? They was babysitters. I had to buy your aunties by the hour.

    Alice Lord to Tanya Branning: You used to call me Aunty. I live at Number 13 [on the Ainsworth Estate]. You used to come and visit me, you and Rainie, when you was little.
    Tanya: Aunty Alice, yeah. I remember.
    Alice: Only you stopped coming when you went to the big school.

    Rainie to her niece Abi: The [school] me and your mum went to had rats running everywhere.
    Tanya: No it didn't.
    Rainie: All right — boys then. But it's the same thing though, isn't it?

    Cora Cross on loan sharks: I didn’t live twenty years on the Ainsford without learning how to deal with lowlife like them.

    Sam: "Worse things happen at sea." Who used to say that?
    Billy Mitchell: I don't know.
    Sam: She was always at Christmases and family parties with us — you know, always saying things like that, like, “A stitch in time saves nine" and “It's an ill wind that blows no good." Was it Aunt Sal?
    Billy: No, no. She never said anything unless she was putting someone down. I tell you who it was — it was Aunty Doreen. She used to live next door to Peggy's brother-in-law. She had big thick glasses, hairnet.
    Sam: You're right.
    Billy: I'm surprised you remember her at all. I mean, I was in me twenties. You can have only been about seven when she popped her clogs.
    Sam: I remember that because I remember thinking, "She must have done something terrible." I mean, none of us went to her funeral, did we?
    Billy: No, I don't think she did anything terrible. It's just that she wasn't a Mitchell. We only used to call her Aunty Doreen because she used to come round all the time, babysit for all of us. She wasn't our real aunt.
    Sam: And none of us went to her funeral because of that?
    Billy: I don't think it was because of that. I mean,
    the family would have gone and close friends and that. It's just — well, it just wasn't a Mitchell funeral.
    Sam: Who did we think we were, Billy — royalty?
    Billy: Yeah. Mind you, I was only ever the court jester.
    Sam: What does that make me — spoilt princess?
    Billy: Well, I didn't hear you complain about it at the time.
    Sam: I hadn't been cut down to size by then, had I?
    Billy: It was weird really because even if you were a real Mitchell, there was still a sort of pecking order. There was your mum and dad, Grant and Phil,
    you — and then the rest of us.
    Sam: Really? I never saw it like that. I always felt like I was on the outside, like I hadn't passed some test or something. Hadn't got my A level in Mitchell-ness.
    Billy: Did you mind?
    Sam: I used to.
    Billy: Grant and Phil, I know that they're your brothers, but what did they ever do to be a real Mitchell that you didn't?
    Sam: Hit people, mostly.

    Billy: “Who’s the daddy?” Remember that one, do you, Phil — you and Grant, pinning me down, giving me the dead arm?

    Peggy: You haven't got anything like that [violence] in you. You never had.
    Sam: You actually sound disappointed.
    Peggy: You don't disappoint me, Sam. You never have.
    Sam: What, compared to Phil and Grant?
    Peggy: You're different to them, that's all.
    Sam: Weaker, you mean, don't you? And feeble, a lot more feeble.
    Peggy: I'm proud of you in a different way to the boys. And so what if you're not like them? It's no-one's fault.
    Sam: And now I'm wondering whether me being like this, being different to the boys — and you do mean weaker, Mum, you do mean more feeble — whether deep down, that actually suited you. I know what I'm like, I always have, but who made me like that? Who made sure of it?

    Peggy to Grant: It was hard for me when you were in the Falklands. Harder than anywhere, even Belfast. Felt so far away. They might as well put you on the moon.

    Phil on Chris Taylor: He was in Grant's regiment. They were in the Falklands together.

    Grant on Chris Taylor: He was a great bloke, a brilliant bloke. We were best mates. We was always getting the rocket from our sergeant for the state of our kits. He used to call us The Slags.

    Lofty Holloway: I was good at cleaning in the army. I was really good at keeping my kit clean. I was good at [mechanics]. I wanted to make a career of that. I would have done if it hadn't been for me chest. My sergeant said I was the best motor mechanic that had ever been through his hands.

    Grant on Dougie Briggs: He was in the regiment.

    Dougie Briggs: Mates were mates then, real mates. Always had someone to watch your back.

    Lofty: In the army, you got fighting drunk. I remember there was this one geezer, he had this dirty great cut all down his leg and instead of putting it up with, you know, proper stitches and that, they just did it with three dirty great homeward bounders.

    Phil on Grant's army mates: We've been out with all that lot.

    Phil: I remember what Grant and his mates were like — soldiers on the lash? It’s like putting petrol on the fire.

    Grant: We used to have some good [drinking] sessions, eh? Especially when I got a bit of leave.
    Phil: Yeah.
    Grant: Remember I had that twenty-four hour pass once and we spent all of it in the Murray Arms in Whitechapel?
    Phil: Yeah. What was the landlord's name?
    Grant: John. He had a heart attack at four o'clock in the morning.
    Phil: Yeah, with you stepping over him to get to the Bacardi optics.
    Grant: I didn't know, did I? I thought he'd passed out.
    Phil: He had.
    Grant: I didn't know he had a dodgy ticker though, did I?
    Phil: Well, he didn't until he met us. You know he retired after that.
    Grant: I'm not surprised. Now the Duke of Wellington, now that was a lovely boozer.
    Phil: Yeah, Mentmore Street.
    Grant: Nothing fancy. Just a couple of pool tables, a jukebox and a barmaid that always looked like she might. Never did though.

    Phil: You needed a bit of a good drink, didn't you, when you were on leave because the army really started getting to you, didn't it?
    Grant: I just think I'd had enough, that's all.

    Dave Roberts: My Dad was a Churchill's [beer] man. Worked in the brewery all his life and me mum ran the General Gordon. I cut me teeth there when I was a fresh-faced lad just out the army.
    Peggy: Did you ever see active service?
    Dave: The Falklands.
    Peggy: Which regiment?
    Dave: The Paras. That's where I met your Grant.

    Lofty on the army: It's only time I felt good, you know. Till they found the asthma. I only got it when I went in the army. I've been tested for everything, pin pricks all up my arm to see what I was allergic to. They never found nothing. They chucked me out so I was back under her [his mother's] thumb.

    Grant: There aren't words for some of the things I've seen. In the Falklands.
    DCI Chapman: Rough, was it?
    Grant: It had its moments.

    Grant to Tiffany: You were still at school when I was out there fighting. I killed people out there.

    Tiffany: The big white wedding.
    Simon Raymond: It's what you always wanted, what you dreamt of growing up.
    Tiffany: Oh yeah.

    Simon: When I was little, sometimes I used to have nightmares and I couldn't sleep. I never cried or anything, but Tiff always knew. She'd creep into my bedroom in the dark and hold my hand and tell me stories. I never heard the end of them because I couldn't keep awake. The worst thing is, I never thanked her.

    Sharon Watts on "S 4 M" scratched on the side of one of the allotment sheds: Must have been about thirteen. I made the mistake of telling [Michelle] I fancied Mark. Amazing what you can do with a door key and a bit of time. We'd come up here in the summer, when Mum and Dad had a ruck or whatever, and you could lie back and close your eyes and imagine you were miles away, on a beach or something.

    Grant: I've killed for Queen and Country. When you've done something like that, you're a different person. You don't really think about it at the time. You're too scared. You rely on your training. It's only afterwards.

    Grant: The Falklands wasn't some trip that we brought souvenirs home from. It was a war. My best mates died there. And afterwards, we collected them and buried them, what was left of some of them. We said our goodbyes at the graveside.

    Grant: I killed someone when I was in the Falklands, up close. He was just a kid, sixteen, sat in some trench on the side of a godforsaken hill. He was crying. He didn't even have gun. All he wanted to do was give himself up and go home, and I emptied a magazine into him. I sat and watched him die in front of me. You know something? It was easy. We'd been chucking stuff at them all day, long range. They were spots on the horizon. It was more like a funfair. Afterwards, we were told to go in and mop up. I'd never seen the enemy, not close, before. When we got there, I didn't think. I kept pumping bullets into his body. He was already dead and I — I was shipped home a week later. Out of the army within a month. I never told anyone. Not even Phil.

    Peggy: I’ll never forget the day when I saw the pictures of that flag flying over Port Stanley, the thought that my son had played a part in all that.
    Carol Jackson on Grant: Made a man of him, did it [the army]?
    Peggy: He was a man to begin with.
    Carol: He wasn’t by the time he’d finished. That war turned him into a psycho. War drove him nuts.

    Phil: The Falklands gave you nightmares.

    Grant: The Falklands was enough to give anyone nightmares.
    Joe Wicks: So you left?
    Grant: Yeah. After the Falklands, I'd had enough. Let's just say I'd seen too much.

    Peggy: I remember the coming home tea we did for you. Phil brought you home from Southampton Docks. There was your dad in a tie, me with me hair done.
    Grant: Yeah, hoping all the neighbours were watching.
    Peggy: Little Sam done you a picture.
    Grant: That's right, and I was out of me nut trying not to let on.
    Peggy: Didn't do a very good job, did you?
    Grant: I had everything to look forward to then. A new start. I know I had to give it time to get over things, but I had a future. Didn't know where I was going, but I knew I was going to get there.
    Peggy: The you I saw when you came back, just like when you were a nipper — always putting on a big show that nothing could get to you, but you didn't fool your mum.
    Grant: You know that picture Sam drew? It was me on a ship. Well, it was supposed to be a ship. It was more like a raft. It was of me all on my own, surrounded by seas. That's how I felt. Adrift, alone.

    Phil: You'd had enough of the army.
    Grant: No, you and Mum thought I'd had enough. I never had enough.

    Dougie Briggs on the Falklands campaign: We were needed then. Had the country behind us. We were important.
    Grant: Yeah.
    Dougie: Then suddenly, it's gone. All dried up.

    Grant on Dougie: We weren't together all that long. [He] transferred to our place about a month before I left. He was always going on about joining the SAS. He was a bit of a green-eyed boy. His kit was always immaculate.

    Terry Mason: Briggsy? He's a nutter, a loony, a space cadet. He went off on one. He got turned down by the heavy mob on psychological grounds. Anyway, they sent him back to us with this report and the old man flipped out. He got dragged up in front of the M.O., told that he was going to recommend that the army dispense with his services on account of him being a nutter. As I heard it, he went round to the M.O's at three in the morning and tried to persuade him not to put the report in. Obviously, he wasn't having any of it so Briggsy shot him. Splattered him all over the living room carpet. Oh, and that ain't all. Just for good measure, he raped his wife. I heard they sat on it. Bad for the image, old boy.

    Jamie Mitchell: My folks had me before they were ready.

    Phil to Jamie: I remember the night you were born. [Charlie] came down the pub fit to burst, and he bought everyone in the place a drink.

    Ronnie: My mum used to say you should never drink alone.

    Roxy: My mum always told me not to go with strangers.

    Roxy to Archie: You always used to say I didn’t worry enough.

    Heather Trott: Mummy used to say if God made us hairy that’s what he wanted us to look like. I spent my fourth year at school looking like a yeti with clothes on. I stopped listening when I came home early one day and found Mummy with bleach on her goatee and shaving her tache.

    Heather on George Michael: The first time I ever saw him, ‘Young Guns’ — rolled up jeans with espadrilles. I couldn’t find any so I started wearing Mummy’s orthopaedic sandals.
    Shirley Carter: The glamour!
    Heather: Big time! I had his stickers all over my bag. I used to clean in the bakers so I could afford all the magazines he was in.

    Heather: I remember my first job. Mummy had to drag me out of bed.

    Heather on George Michael: Then I used to pin his pictures to the polystyrene tiles above my bed - navy vest, highlights, with just a hint of a smile.
    Shirley: Leave you two to it, shall I?!
    Heather: That’s what Mummy used to say, but not so nice.

    Heather: I’ve been sleeping next to George most of my life. I know every little dimple, every little freckle.

    Heather on George Michael: He’s been the most important man in my life. I’ve never had anyone to love, not properly.

    Heather on George Michael: All these years I knew something was going to bring us together eventually.

    Ian Beale on Billy Idol’s first solo album: I was thirteen when this came out in 1982. I didn’t just like Billy Idol. I wanted to be Billy Idol. There was this girl at school, Sally Bateman. Thinking about it, she looked a bit like [Cindy Williams, his first wife]. I didn’t half have the hots for her. I always reckoned I was going to marry Sally Bateman and Billy Idol was going to be playing ‘White Wedding’ at our wedding.

    Jean Slater to her son Sean: Your dad saved for ages and ages to get my engagement ring.

    Jean: I remember the night before my wedding. I was floating on air, I was. Floating.

    Jean: There was no such thing as prenups when I got married, no big fancy weddings either.

    Jean: We had the works. Well, Brian was very traditional - white dress and loads of lace. It was lovely.

    Roxy, looking at Jean’s wedding album: You were a beautiful bride.

    Roxy: You always were jealous, weren’t you, anytime anyone was a bridesmaid?
    Ronnie: Me? You wanted to be the bridesmaid.
    Roxy: You’d sulk for weeks at school anytime any other girl ...
    Ronnie: You always do this, you always twist it round. I never wanted to be a bridesmaid, it was you.
    Roxy: Was it?
    Ronnie: Yes.

    Glenda on Ronnie: When she was a little girl, she used to study my wedding photos for hours. Once she even managed to find my dress and try it on.

    Stacey Slater: Mum, how did you know Dad was right for you?
    Jean: He was the only person that would have me, wasn’t he?! I just knew, didn’t I? He was the one I wanted to grow old with. He was a good man.

    Jean: This [council house in Leytonstone] was ours when me and Brian got married.

    Jean to Stacey: “Shut the door. It’s just us. We don’t need no one else.” That’s what your dad used to say to me — a bunch of carnations, a box of chocolates every Friday night.

    Jean: Me and Brian had an Austin Princess.

    Jean: My Brian used to have a telescope. He used to gaze at the stars for hours. Said he found it very therapeutic.

    Laurie Bates on his wife Marion: We were married five years when she started to get sick. I coped as best as I could because that's how it had to be between us. She insisted on going into the hospice in the end. I was in a daze, walking the streets looking at old people, hating them because they were alive and she was dead at thirty-three. Anyway, I played the field, made sure no one got too close to me. A few drinks, a few laughs, nobody gets hurt in the end.
     
  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1983

    Masood Ahmed: When I brought you over from Karachi, it was going to be a fresh start.
    Zainab Masood: And it was.
    Masood: A big new life together, no more lies.

    Tamwar on Zainab’s past: They left all that in Pakistan.

    AJ Ahmed on “Return of the Jedi”: We [he and Masood] didn't see it, not together. It was 1983 and Mas had ...
    Masood: Other priorities.
    Tamwar: What happened?
    Masood: I grew up.

    Tamwar: You never saw “Jedi”. That was 1983. That was when you married Mum.
    Masood: She had different taste in films.
    Tamwar: You changed for her, didn't you?
    Masood: I loved your mother very much.

    Zainab to Masood: If you wanted a docile wife, you could have had your pick.

    Zainab to Masood: Don’t you remember our early days, how much we argued? And then the making up afterwards.

    Masood, speaking in 2011: Listen to your mother, Tamwar. It has worked for me for the past twenty-eight years.

    Masood to his son Syed: Before I married your mother I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t hold anything down.

    Extract from a court letter: "The marriage solemnised on the 17th of January 1983 at Newham Register Office East Ham between Zainab Masood and Masood Ahmed.”

    Zainab on Masood: He’s the only husband I ever had.
    Yusef Kahn: Not in Allah’s eyes.

    Syed to Masood: You married for love.

    Masood on his wedding day: I was so nervous, it was better to keep dancing.

    AJ on Masood and Zainab’s wedding day: So you didn’t look your best, Zainab — it was the eighties. We all looked a state.

    Zainab on AJ: The bane of my life, somebody who has caused me nothing but misery and despair.

    Zainab on Masood: Marrying him was the best thing that I ever did.

    Masood to Zainab: The day I married you, I thought I could walk on water, float on clouds. I thought I always would, we always would. I made a promise on that day to you and to myself that no harm would ever come to you.

    Masood to Zainab: We used to laugh all the time, every day. Every day when I was with you was a beautiful day. It was the best day. You used to look at me like I was the only man in the world.

    Masood on himself and Zainab: I always thought we would be what we were forever.

    Zainab: You know, Mas, you fall in love — you can’t eat, you can’t see anything but each other. How can that last? The world would be full of blind anorexics.

    Masood to Zainab: Right from the very start, I gave you your head and every year you charged on and I lost more ground. Maybe if I’d just stood up to you a
    little bit more ... I was just happy to sit in your slipstream.

    Masood to Zainab: Deep inside, you don’t trust me. It’s always been there, right through our marriage, everything we’ve been through. That’s always been at the core of it.

    Inzamam Ahmed, Masood’s brother, speaking in 2008: Shabnam, you look just like your mother did at that age [twenty-two].

    Zainab: I’m tainted, a fallen woman, and in Inzamam’s eyes a fallen woman is fair game, whether she be married to his brother or not.
    Masood: You mean he made advances?
    Zainab: Many.

    Masood: You’re a Led Zeppelin fan.
    Yusef Kahn: Caught the bug at med school.

    Yusef: I was in the boxing club at university.

    Paul Trueman to Anthony: Third year juniors, you and that Sarah Wotsit, remember? All them poems you wrote her. You ain't even had a conversation.

    Garry Hobbs on geography: I had to drop out in the second year. I could never understand plate tectonics. I mean, who’s fault’s that?

    Charlie Slater on Big Mo: She never was any good at geography.

    Hazel Hobbs: I used to say to them when they called me to school or whatever, I used to say, “What you don’t understand is my Garry is special.”

    Jane Beale, Ian’s wife: That story [about] the sports day when you got that asthma attack — in the 800 metres, was it?
    Ian: I've never had asthma.
    Jane: When you couldn’t breathe, that’s what I’m talking about, and you had to drop out halfway through, and your mum was there and your Aunty Pauline and your Uncle Arthur, the whole flaming mob, and what was it [Pete] said to you in front of them?
    Ian: “Must have got you muddled up at the hospital because you’re no son of mine.” I hated him for saying that.

    Jake Moon on himself and Danny: Same parents, but we were different [mentally]. He had more realities than I had hot dinners. He didn’t like one world so you know what? He just popped off to the next.

    Jake: My brother’s head was turned way back.

    Jake on Danny: I knew we shouldn't have kept him locked up in that cupboard!

    Jake: It's always your fault. Even when we were ten, we'd be having fun and a bit of a laugh until you decided to start nicking cars or torching something. What was it, Dan? Did we not pay you enough attention?
    Danny Moon: I was ten. What did you expect?

    Ian Beale on his daughter Lucy: At her age [fourteen], I was out on the stall — I was helping set up, I was lugging crates around.
    Linda Clarke: That’s when he wasn’t up chimneys!

    Ian: At fourteen, I was running round collecting conkers, not dropping me knickers for some wannabe ASBO.

    Ian to Lucy: When I was your age [fourteen], if I wanted to let off some steam, do you know what I used to do? I used to put me headphones on and I’d jump to me music. We used to call it pogoing. Your Uncle Mark made this [mixtape] for me. I was having a hard time with my dad, but this really helped.

    Track listing on "Ian’s Punk Tape":
    1. Timebomb - The Ramones.
    2. I Fought The Law - The Clash
    3. White Wedding - Billy Idol
    4. Riot - Dead Kennedys
    5. Ever Fallen In Love - Buzzcocks
    6. Hersham Boys - Sham 69
    7. London Calling - The Clash
    8. I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
    9. God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols
    10. Going Underground - The Jam
    11. Outside View - Eater
    12. Borstal Breakout - Sham 69
    13. What Do I Get - Buzzcocks


    Mark Fowler to Ian: I remember Pete talking to us when we were about fourteen or fifteen. I think we were at Leigh on Sea or somewhere. He said, "Boys, you're becoming men and I got two bits of advice for you. One, never play cards for money and two, never drink from a bottle of wine with a screw top."

    Peggy Mitchell: I never was any good on red wine.

    Ian on Pete: Do you know what he used to say? “Stick to what you know. Do what you’re good at. Keep your head down.”

    Pauline Fowler to Mark: You were just [fifteen] when you got involved with that Nick Cotton.

    Mark on Nick: I thought he was the business. Easy to think when you're fifteen and trying to make a name for yourself.
    Ashley Cotton, Nick’s son: [Were] you scared of him?
    Mark: Maybe.

    Ian: Nick pinched some calculators and he got Mark to help him flog them.

    Nick to Mark: I remember what a thieving little Nazi you used to be. Forgotten all those little jobs we used to do, all the fun we had mugging little old ladies?
    Mark: You were poison.
    Nick: Don't remember you complaining when it came to sharing out the cash or taking a few happy pills on account.

    Ian to Mark: I found you once doing something out of order.

    Ian: Nick got Mark to try some heroin. He sniffed smack. Only once or twice, like. Mark didn't like it.

    Mark on heroin: It just made me sick.

    Ian on Mark: He stopped taking it, never touched it again.

    Max Branning: I remember when I was fourteen. Got mullered. Got into all my dad’s spirits. Put a little bit of each one into a milk bottle, took it to a house party. Downed it in one to impress some bird. I don’t know how I got home, but when I woke up I had one shoe on and a bust lip.
    Tanya: Is there a moral to this tale?
    Max: Put me off milk.
    Tanya: Didn’t your dad kill you?
    Max: No, he never found out.

    Mark: I got in with this [racist] crowd and we did a bit of this and we did a bit of that. I was a kid. When you're a kid, you look for something to belong to — like supporting Walford and not one of the bigger clubs — and anyone who don't agree with you, well, they just don't belong.
    Arthur Fowler: We're talking about people, not football.
    Mark: I didn't know that then. I was just a boy. I didn't know any better. I never hurt anyone.
    Arthur: This is something else we can blame on Nick Cotton, is it?
    Mark: Nick Cotton wasn't the only one at it. In those days, half the school was at it. Do you remember that Brian Baker? You must remember kids like that at school, Ricky.
    Ricky Butcher: Like what?
    Mark: Fascists.

    Arthur: I haven't raised my hand to Mark since he was fifteen.

    Derek Harkinson on his son Alex: He always was a bright little lad, even if a little forthright in his opinion. Always did like doing things his way.

    Derek on his daughter Mary: Mary always said that she wanted to be like her dad.

    Derek to Mary: You were always the one who looked like me when you were young.

    Robert, Derek's future lover: You [Derek] came over to me.

    Derek on Robert: He looked like a young Jimmy Stewart. He was witty, intelligent. I know it sounds corny, but he made me feel like me for the first time ever.

    Derek: I loved you.
    Robert: I loved you too. We had some amazing times together.
    Derek: And it ended in disaster.
    Robert: Wasn't all like that.

    Pauline: How ever did you manage to tell [your wife you were gay]?
    Derek: Didn't have much choice. I'd fallen in love with somebody else and she came home one night and found us together.

    Derek on his marriage: It's a relationship that wasn't for me, that's all. A lot of men found themselves in my position in those days.

    Robert: Your marriage was over the minute you faced up to who you really are, not because of us or whoever else it might have been — because you should never have married in the first place.
    Derek: Yes, but I was, and there was no need for me to break my kids' hearts.

    Derek: Alexander was eight when I left.

    Derek on Mary: She was six years old when I walked out.

    Pauline: How ever could you give them up?
    Derek: I tried writing after Cynthia threw me out, just to let them know I was thinking about them. All my letters came back unopened and I just gave up hope. What I did to Cynthia was terrible. She must have talked to them about me. I don't blame them for not wanting to know. I didn't deserve my children after what I'd done.

    Alex Harkinson, Derek's son: He turned his back on two little kids and went off to have his sordid affair. He was the guilty one. My mother paid for his sins.

    Derek to Alex: What happened was all my fault. I never pretended otherwise. I never stopped loving you and Mary. I just happened to love somebody else as well and because of that, I lost you both.
    Alex: You lost us? Well, maybe you can stop and think what it was like to wake up that morning and find you gone. It didn't matter to me then who was right and who was wrong. I was eight years old and I needed you.

    Mary Harkinson to Derek: Being older than me, when you left, [Alex] took it all so badly. And his way of dealing with that was trying to protect me and Mum. He became the man of the family. I don't remember very much, just Mother crying. She used to rely on me. Even though I was the youngest, it was always my bedroom she came into when she couldn't sleep.

    Pauline on Cynthia: What happened the last time you saw her?
    Derek: I was outside the school trying to catch a glimpse of the kids, and Cynthia said I shouldn't be there and she was right. The moment I started talking to Mary, Cynthia started yelling that I was trying to take her away. And then somebody else went and called the police. I think it was one of the worst moments
    of my life, worse even than the divorce. Couldn't sleep afterwards. I just used to lie awake thinking about it. What it did to the kids I don't even want to bring myself to imagine.

    Derek: "Gross misconduct," it said on the letter. Those were the exact words. There were certain aspects of my private life that were considered unsuitable, one in particular [his sexual orientation].
    Pauline: They fired you for that?
    Derek: They showed me the letter and I jumped before I was pushed.

    Ash Ferreira on Derek: He used to be a teacher for years.

    Derek: I loved teaching. I was good at it. Then a few bigots made a fuss and I had to give it all up. Ever since then I've just had one downbeat job after another.

    Derek: When Cynthia and I first broke up, I found it very hard living with other people, being the lodger.

    Robert: You move in with me for a couple of months, wake up one morning and you've just gone. No note, nothing.
    Derek: I didn't feel I could breathe.
    Robert: All right, I admit I was a fusspot sometimes. We'd have got over it. It was a stupid row. You didn't have to leave. You just disappeared.
    Derek: It was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life.
    Robert: I looked everywhere for you. I even put something in the local personals -
    "And the eyes that knew me well,
    Love with silent tears may fill.
    When the few that ne'er forget,
    Love will fondly name my name."

    Derek: Yes.
    Robert: You saw it? Why didn't you reply, let me know you were at least alive?
    Derek: I don't know. I was angry with you for making me feel so inadequate. I had every intention of coming back, but when I calmed down I realised you were right. I did need to grow up. I'm not sure I could have done that if I'd stayed with you. I set out to call you several times. It just got harder and harder to pick up the phone. I thought about it every day and then one day, I didn't think about it. I moved away and it became my past rather than my present.

    Robert: You [ran] away.
    Derek: I had no option.
    Robert: Too easy. I could have given you [a second chance] if you'd stayed with me. We could have worked through any problems we had.
    Derek: Perhaps I needed an excuse to run away.
    Robert: Why?
    Derek: Scared.
    Robert: Of what?
    Derek: Everything.
    Robert: You should have told me. I never stopped loving you.

    Rod Norman: I used to muck about a bit [on the guitar].

    Barry Clark to Rod: I really used to reckon you. When I first met you, you were the only one who could really play. That first gig you did at The Grapes, they all went wild over you. I was sixteen. I never forgot it. It blew me mind.
    Rod: You must have been out of your box the times you heard me sing.

    Jack Branning, speaking to his niece Lauren in 2008: It goes in twenty year cycles. What you’re wearing now, me and your mum wore it in the eighties — big hair, bright-coloured clobber — and that was just the boys!

    Tanya: I didn’t have you down as a New Romantic!
    Jack: I was eleven, all right? You’re allowed a dip in your cool when you’re eleven. Anyway, I was into it — flicked hair, frilly shirts.
    Tanya: Lipgloss, eyeliner?
    Jack: It was the eighties!

    Kim Fox: I kissed a girl once. I thought it was a boy. Then it turned out he wasn’t. It was the eighties, a very different time.

    Manda Best: I was a New Romantic girl - Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode.

    Michelle Fowler: What was going through your mind when you were growing up?
    Sharon Mitchell: Duran Duran. Ooh, and that bloke out of Spandau Ballet, the tall dark number.

    Kat Slater: I used to fancy Simon Le Bon.

    Shirley Carter: I hate George Michael. I always have. Pepsi and Shirley should have drowned him when they had the chance in that swimming pool.

    Heather Trott: I got dressed up for the Cinderella’s disco like Pepsi and Shirley. I had a white mini-dress with fluorescent necklace and bangles. Mummy says, “Where you going, girl? You look like the back end of a carnival float.” I just went on me way. Nothing was going to stop me because the theme was "Club Tropicana”. They had plastic fruit everywhere and pretend cocktails with little umbrellas, and I watched while all the girls were dancing like on Top of the Pops and I wished that I could dance like that.
    Shirley Carter: Why didn’t you?
    Heather: I did. They were all stood round in a big circle, pointing and laughing at me except it was more like screaming. I tried to walk off before the last chorus but they kept shoving me back. There was this lad, Craig Harper. He came up to me, put his arm round me and said, “Don’t worry. It’ll be all right. Come with me.” And I did. And then all of sudden he’s pushing me in this bathtub and it’s what they fill the cocktails in and I can’t hear anything because it’s in my ears and I can’t scream because it’s in my mouth.
    Shirley: I wish I’d have been there.
    Heather: Mummy just looked at me like, “What did you expect?” I ran up to me bedroom and after I got changed, I played all [Wham!]’s singles in order and it started not to hurt anymore.

    Heather, holding George Michael’s espadrille: It fell off when George was wrestled to the ground when leaving a gig. Just think, his sweaty foot was in that.

    Al Jenkins: The first film you saw at the cinema?
    Roxy Mitchell: “ET”. Cried my eyes out.
    Al: Me too — that bit where you think he’s going to die.

    Phil Mitchell, speaking about New Forest Bob in 2013: I’ve known the geezer thirty years.

    Frank Driver, policeman, speaking about Ollie Walters in 2013: Thirty years we’ve worked together.

    Barry Clark on serving time in prison: It was [1983]. I still see the geezer I nicked the car from.

    Alan Jackson: I got questioned [by the police] once when I was sixteen.
    Nigel Bates: What for?
    Alan: Getting in the cinema without paying.

    Alan: I got caught [by the DSS] stacking shelves when I just left school.

    Louise Raymond on smoking: I gave up [in 1983].

    Johnny Allen on smoking: Gave it up some years back.

    Shirley Carter on smoking: I’ve been meaning to give up for years. I can never find a reason to do it though.

    Ronnie Mitchell on cigarettes: Coffin nails. That’s what my nan used to call them.

    Ethel Skinner: When I was [sixty seven], I could keep going all night.

    Den Watts: Cock Mussel from Hackney.
    Frank Butcher: He dresses up as a Pearly King and cracks gags.
    Pete Beale: Right Hackney winkle.
    Den: We had him here [the Vic, in 1983]. Appalling. Someone threw a dart at him to get him off.
    Pete: Who was it threw that dart at him?
    Arthur Fowler: It would have been me if I'd had one handy.

    Phil: We've had some good nights out though, haven't we? What was the best one, do you reckon?
    Grant Mitchell: Nigel's twenty-first. No, no, no — Pontin's, 1983. Bognor Regis. All of us, we went down for the week, spring bank holiday.
    Phil: That's right, we did, didn't we? Six of us in a chalet.
    Grant: Lagged down all week.
    Phil and Grant in union: The clubhouse!
    Phil: That was a good night.
    Grant: I know. I don't believe we did [a striptease].
    Phil: We were brilliant, weren't we?
    Grant: Yeah, yeah we were.
    Phil: How did it start, do you remember?
    Grant: Talent contest. Stegsy bet us fifty quid each we didn't have the bottle.
    Phil: Yeah, that's right. And what was it? ‘Kung Fu Fighting’.

    Derek Harkinson: I went to [a holiday camp] once. The things I could tell you. I think it must be to do with being shut away from the rest of the world or something. When people get there, they go mad — drinking, dancing all night, sometimes all the next day as well. It's worse than the Last Days of Babylon.

    Phil: Here Grant, remember them birds we used to pull up the West End, mate? We didn't half meet some sorts up the West End, birds out on the pull looking for geezers.

    Grant: I could always pull the birds, but that was just indoor olympics. Otherwise, I was happy out with my mates or with my head stuck under an engine.

    Phil: Every Friday night, that's when we was happy — mates, a few pints and not a care in the world.
    Grant: It was only because we had nobody to go home to, that's all.
    Phil: No, it was good.

    Phil: Signals. Always been my trouble, that has. Can never read them right. Everyone else seems to be able to. I mean, the lads was always pointing out women, you know. They knew exactly which ones were up for it and which ones weren't, but I could never tell.

    Grant on Phil: We are talking about the bloke that wallpapered half his bedroom so he could get girls round to see his decorating. Three years I think you kept that one going. The next day I'd get a blow by blow account, "This one was easy, that one was hard work." You always were a devious little git.

    Grant: I used to pull more birds than you.
    Phil: You mean I was a bit choosier than you.
    Grant: What do you mean?
    Phil: I liked my birds to have their own hair and teeth. If they'd had a wash before they come out, then all the better.

    Grant to Phil: You always used to write [the names of my girlfriends] on the toilet wall, and their phone numbers. Every girlfriend I had ended up going ex- directory.

    Grant to Phil: Remember when we had that flat up the Commercial Road? Pulled those two birds and took them back to our place. We met at the fridge 3.30 in the morning.
    Phil: We went back to each other's rooms.
    Grant: Didn't seem to bother them, did it?
    Phil: I notice you made sure I woke up next to the ugly one.
    Grant: That was the one you couldn't get rid of, wasn't it?
    Phil: She was in love, wasn't she? Three weeks she followed me around.
    Grant: We were good together then. No one could touch us. Went everywhere like we owned the place. And the wind ups!

    Evonne Cooper to Phil: And then there was the time you took us to that dodgy nightclub in Ilford. You were rotten drunk, punched the doorman, and we spent the rest of the night down the police station. You always did know how to show a girl a good time. I always had a bit of a thing for your Grant.

    Grant: I used to be a good amateur [boxer].

    Phil: I remember your last fight. You hit the geezer with a bucket.
    Grant: That was after the fight.
    Phil: After he beat you.
    Grant: He got lucky.
    Phil: Lucky? He looked like he was playing the tom toms. Some of the punters started getting up to dance.

    Billy Mitchell: I used to know a cuts man years ago. Strange old game. Never get none of the glory. Years roll by, you see all these no hopers come and go, and
    then maybe one day, one day — you see a real contender. Can you imagine that feeling? From being this little wheel in this big machine, a little moment in the sun. Bell dings, right, for the end of the eleventh. His face is all covered in claret, right? That's your moment, isn't it? That is your moment in the sun. "Cuts man, fix him up!" So up you step, right? And you got your vaseline, you got your little iron-y thing to iron the bumps out — but for them five seconds, you are the man.

    Eddie Moon: I’ve seen fighters collapse before. Some of them get back up.

    Cindy Beale, reading the marriage certificate of Sharon's biological mother: This is dated 1983. They were married in Lambeth. Ronald Philip Hanley, aged 36, retail manager. Carol Ann Stretton, aged 31, spinster, secretary. Father, Thomas Peter Stretton, salesman.

    Ian to Sharon: I can remember when we were younger, you used to terrify us. Remember what you did to Adrian Newey?
    Sharon: Who?
    Ian: Adrian Newey - spotty kid, big teeth. Yeah, big teeth — until he had one missing in the centre because he took the mick out of your big pink fluffy jacket. And then there was the girl who you tipped the dinner all over her head, Tracy ...
    Sharon: Summers.

    Michelle: You had all the blokes after you.
    Sharon: No, I didn't.
    Michelle: You did.
    Sharon: All right, some of them might have been interested, but they never lasted long. Not once me dad got near them anyway. They were all terrified of him. I could never have anyone walk me home in case he was there.
    Michelle: He weren't that bad.
    Sharon: He was funny though. I mean, someone would walk me home and by the time me dad was finished with his list of dos and don'ts, the poor lad was a nervous wreck. And all he'd done was walk me home from school. Then Angie would have a go at Dad, saying, "Let her have some fun," and he'd start on her and I'd end up in the bedroom listening to them arguing all night.

    Sharon on herself: The kid kneeling on the landing listening to Mum and Dad having yet another row, knowing life would never be the same again.

    Sharon: Most of what I remember from home was Mum and Dad arguing, going from room to room slamming doors.
    Michelle: Did you ever hear what they were arguing about?
    Sharon: Sometimes, but mostly it was just two muffled voices — first one, then the other. I used to convince meself it was me they were arguing about.
    Michelle: And it wasn't?
    Sharon: Sometimes, maybe. They didn't need a reason. They were just intent on tearing each other apart. It's like they only came to life when they were laying into each other, as though they needed it somehow.
    Michelle: Must have been horrible.
    Sharon: Sometimes. It had its moments. I remember straight after they'd had a row, they used to use me to show the other one how nice they were. I mean, Dad would throw a tenner at me and me mum would take a sudden interest in what I was doing at school. Pathetic, really.

    Sharon: My dad got Roly [a pet poodle] for me.

    Sharon: There was one Sunday morning, I was sitting in [the Vic kitchen] doing my maths homework. They were effing and blinding as usual so I shut the door on them. Two minutes later, Mum burst in, all flush and wild-eyed, telling me my dad was scum and men were nothing but cheats and liars. Then she calmed down and she sat [at the table]. She said she could see what her and Dad were doing to me and she was really sorry. She wished she could change it but she couldn't and then she said that unless I really, really wanted a child more than anything else in the world, then her advice to me was never have one.

    Pauline on Angie: One night, she got me and Kathy drunk. We ended up doing the flamenco out in the Square.

    Pauline to Sharon: That night we were all doing the flamenco, your mum said she wanted to leave the Vic, get out of Walford for good. I think she was serious. She said she wasn't going to let a pub rule her life. She had ideas, big ones.
    Sharon: Mum said a lot she didn't mean.
    Pauline: No, she was going to get a night club, go upmarket. Grab some of the glitz and glamour she reckoned she was born to. Your mum already had a name picked out for her place [Angie's Den].

    Tom Banks to Sharon: You know how close Mum was [to Angie].

    Tom: Your dad and mum, the way things were for you — I had no idea.
    Sharon: It was common knowledge round here. You and Mark were too busy playing with your bikes to notice.
    Tom: I noticed you even then.
    Sharon: Oh, did you now?

    Sharon: Me and Tom knew each other when he had acne and I had pink fluffy jumpers.

    Sharon: I looked such a state — blue eyeliner, pink frosted lipstick, Roly's haircut.
    Tom: And you were the best looking girl in the class.

    Sharon on Tom: His hair had a life of its own. Even his spots had spots. There was something about him. Made me laugh.

    Tom: Back then, all I wanted was Sharon.

    Tom: When we were kids, I was totally besotted with you.
    Sharon: Were you?
    Tom: Like you wouldn't believe. I wanted to ask you out, but I thought I better go make something of myself before I did.

    Tom on Sharon: I used to write her letters in school, love letters I suppose. I never sent them.

    Extract from an unsent letter, written in Tom's Class 4B English exercise book: "Dearest Sharon, I am desperate to go out with you. Every time I see you I feel like my heart is melting with the fear of it'll never happen. I hope you don't think I'm silly but this is my third letter to you ..."

    Alfie Moon: I'm so glad I'm not [a teenager] anymore — worrying about your image, teenage spots, getting the knock back.
    Kat: Get knocked back a lot, did you?
    Alfie: Me?? No, I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about my mates! Used to cut them right up.

    Max to Ian’s son, Peter Beale: I remember what it was like when I was [fourteen]. I was sneaking around, sending messages [to girls]. Do you reckon I don’t know all those nasty little thoughts running around in your head?

    Lofty Holloway: I used to tell girls that I played the violin. It was a bit of a drag going on dates with a violin case, and you knew that they were going to ask you to play one day. I went out with one girl six times — me, her and the violin case. I got fed up with it. I said I would meet her at Mile End Station and I just never turned up. I never saw her again. Still, at least I didn't have to go on dates with a violin case no more. There was one girl, I told her I was a trainee ballet dancer.

    Dot on Harvey Goldsmith: Him what used to run the sweatshop down the Mile End Road. I ain't seem him for years.

    Sue Osman on herself and Ali: When we got married, we had to have half of our [wedding invitation] cards done in Turkish. Trying to find a Turkish typesetter in Walford was crazy.

    Sue: Why did you marry me? I'm such a bitch.
    Ali Osman: Because I fancied you. Why did you marry me?
    Sue: Because I'm soft in the head.

    Sue to her brother-in-law Mehmet: I used to be quite beautiful once. You used to fancy me when [me and Ali] first got married. I could tell. You were looking at me sometimes. I never said anything, but I could feel it.

    Sue: I didn't convert [to the Muslim faith].

    Sue to Ali: I remember what it was like when we lived [with your family] — you right under the thumb and Mehmet adored whatever he did. And you, you did all the work, you took all the blame. And as for me, well, whatever I tried to do, and boy did I try, I got that pitying smile from your mum, patiently trying to tell me that wasn't how things got done back home, back in Cyprus. And I did all that for you. Don't you remember how hard we worked to get out of that place? How we wanted to show them how we could do it? Only thing I ever did for them was produce a grandson.

    Zainab to Masood: All these years, since the fire, when you brought me to England, everything’s always been about the children, watching them grow up to be
    big and strong.

    Zainab: Do you remember when we moved into our first place?
    Masood: Oh yeah. We did all [the moving of furniture] ourselves.
    Zainab: We were so scared we’d break something, all our heirlooms and things.

    Masood: Do your remember our first flat, Zee? Our little love nest.
    Zainab: With no central heating.
    Masood: But we had our love to keep us warm.
     
  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Kat to Little Mo: Do you remember when she [Big Mo] took us to Southend on our own?
    Big Mo: I never took you to Southend on your own.
    Little Mo: It was only for the day and it was a treat.
    Kat: Yeah and I was coach sick. You [Little Mo] cried the whole time for Mum.
    Little Mo: Yeah. And you [Big Mo] gave us some sweets out of your cardy pocket - magic sweeties, you said. Mine had a fly in it.
    Kat: Mine had a hair on it.
    Little Mo: Yeah, I remember now. Big black hair it was and all.
    Big Mo: You was always picky kids.

    Little Mo: Do you remember the top board when we used to go swimming?
    Kat: Yeah.
    Little Mo: You and Belinda used to go haring off it, hand in hand.
    Kat: She landed on me head once!
    Little Mo: Me and Lynne, we used to stand at the back — you know, talking about doing it. Talking and talking until we were bone dry and went home.

    Roxy: My mum always said I never learnt to swim because I never kept it shut long enough.

    Ian: I used to play badminton.

    Sharon: I used to [forge Den's signature] to get out of PE.

    Little Mo: That time in Moredale when we all got held behind for fighting in the school playground.
    Lynne: Oh yeah, that was [Kat's] fault.
    Kat: No, it weren't.
    Lynne: Yes, it was. Jenny Cole — you tied her to the fence on the netball court.
    Kat: Because she grassed me up for smoking.
    Lynne: And then her sister turned up and it all kicked off.
    Kat: Didn't Bel hit one of the teachers?
    Lynne and Little Mo in unison: Miss Richards!
    Lynne: Yeah, kicked her in the shin.
    Little Mo: And we all had to sit in the hall until Mum come and got us.
    Kat: We didn't half get a wallop, didn't we?
    Lynne: Yeah, and I got the worst because I was the eldest.
    Kat: Too right.
    Lynne: I hadn't done anything!
    Kat: Well, you should have been looking after us.
    Lynne: Yeah right, like you'd have listened to anything I've got to say.
    Kat: Remember waiting for Dad to get home?
    Lynne: That was the worst part.
    Little Mo: Yeah, but Mum never told on us, did she?
    Kat: Yeah, because she wanted to hang it over us. It was good for weeks.

    Belinda Peacock (née Slater) on Viv: She was good to us.
    Kat: Always shouting at us.
    Belinda: She was always there.
    Kat: And criticising us.
    Belinda: And looking after us.
    Kat: Telling us what to do and what to think.
    Belinda: At least she was strong.
    Kat: Strong — or a bully?
    Belinda: Mum wasn't a bully.
    Kat: No? What about the time you wanted to grow your hair long, but Mum took the kitchen scissors to it anyway?
    Belinda: I had nits, Kathleen.
    Kat: So did everyone else in your class, but they didn't have all their hair cut off.

    Little Mo: You think the world revolves around you, don't you, Kat? You always have. Ever since we were kids, we've always had to accommodate what Kat wants. "Lost your swimsuit? Oh, Little Mo will go and find it for you." "Nicked a magazine? Oh that's Kat for you — she's a character, she's a free spirit!" She's a spoilt brat.
    Kat: I've always looked out for you.
    Little Mo: You and Belinda, you fought like cat and dog. And you and Lynne. You've always been selfish, Kat.

    Little Mo: All my life I have been scared of looking after myself, of being alone, of just about everything. All my life I’ve been happy or unhappy because of [other people’s] choices.

    Little Mo: Remember what Mum used to call us? Her special girls. I loved that — her special girls.

    Kat: You used to call me your special little girl, do you remember?
    Charlie: How could I forget?
    Kat: And then Zoe come along. Everything was all right till she come along.

    Kat: I know what it’s like to be a little girl, to think like a little girl — big dreams, having fun with your mates — and then a man, a grown man comes into your room and you’re so sleepy, you don’t know who it is and then he shuts the door and he sits on your bed and he’s stroking your hair and he’s telling you that you’re sweet and you’re pretty and you’re special, and even though you’re so scared and you feel sick and you’re totally paralysed, you think, “Is this normal? Do I deserve this?” And then your childhood is snatched away in an instant.

    Little Mo: You always think, when you're little and don't know nothing, that all babies are born out of something that's perfect and magical. It's not like that, is it? My darling Zoe, look how she was made.

    Zoe Slater: What was your first time like?
    Kat: You don't want to know, believe me. He was older than me. It wasn't my fault.

    Harry Slater: You loved me once.
    Kat: I loved Father Christmas and all, but he didn't touch me up.
    Harry: It wasn't just me. You were always going around in that little mini skirt.
    Kat: That was my school uniform.
    Harry: And the make up?
    Kat: I used to walk around in Mum's high heels when I was three. Up for it then, was I?

    Kat: Harry used to say to me, "It's only because I love you."

    Kat on Harry: He came in my room and violated me. He told me I was his special girl. It started off just touching. I didn't know what to do. He made it feel normal, but I knew it wasn't. I was thirteen years old and I had my uncle coming into my room at night and putting his hand under my covers.
    Zoe: Why didn't you tell anyone?
    Kat: He said it was our little secret and that no one would understand and everyone would think I was bad. And then one day, he came into my room. Everyone was out. I don't know where they were. He kept saying it's going to be all right, that he loved me. I just lay there, terrified. Then when he finished, he cried.

    Kat on her bedroom curtains: They were open the night Harry come into my room and I turned the other way because I couldn't believe what was happening to me and I see the moon and I knew that [Charlie] lied to me [about the man in the moon protecting her].

    Kat: Harry just took it all away from me — you know, that feeling of being safe and loved and special. I never felt like that again.

    Zoe: Were you raped?
    Kat: Did he put his hand over me mouth and hold me down? No. Did I tell him to stop and scream for help? No. But was I raped? I was thirteen years old. I was thirteen years old. What do you think?
    Zoe: If you didn't want it to happen, why didn't you stop him?
    Kat: Don't you think I've lived with that all my life since? Don't you think I've asked myself the same question every night? Well, there's only one answer, isn't there? I must be the slapper everyone says I am. "Good old Kat. Right laugh, isn't she? Always up for it and all." No one does it like me.
    Zoe: You said it.
    Kat: No. Everyone else said it so it must be true. You ever been scared, Zoe? You ever been so scared you open your mouth to scream and nothing comes out? When you see something so horrible, all you can do is turn your head away and pretend it ain't happening?

    Kat: And I'm turning me head away pretending it ain't happening, clearing my mind to think of something else. Do you know what? I did me nine times table.

    Kat: I was raped when I was thirteen years old. I couldn't tell anyone. A dirty little secret I had to keep to meself and I kept it so long, it turned into a cancer eating away at me till I was dirty. Do you know how many years I've laid awake at night and I can still feel the weight of him on top of me? Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is his face, finger at his lips.

    Kat on Harry: He didn’t leave any marks on me, at least none you can see, but he left plenty of other ones though.

    Kat on Harry: He made me think it was my fault.

    Harry, speaking in 2001: For what it's worth, my life ended that night. I've had eighteen years of misery. I don't want you to think this hasn't haunted me every day since. I couldn't get married, couldn't have a decent relationship, lost the chance of having any kids.

    Kat: The next day, he just carried on like nothing had happened — making everyone laugh, good old Harry.

    Kat on a pair of hoop earrings: They were my mum’s. And do you know who bought them for her? Harry. Yeah, paid for them with his own money, wrapped them up with his fat hands and gave them to her, wishing her happy birthday and giving her a peck on the cheek and then looking over at me and giving me a little wink. She had no idea. She thought the world of Harry.

    Kat on Harry: After a couple of weeks, he tried to do it again to me, but I knew it was wrong. I knew that if I let him do it again, he would never stop. So I told Mum. I had to. She was washing up and I told her that he'd been touching me and he kept coming into my room. She got angry with me. She said I was imagining things and I should stop lying like I always do and I was never to talk about it again and what would happen if I let Dad hear them things?

    Kat on Viv: She didn’t believe me and she called me a liar so I stayed quiet for years. I was worried that she’d be disappointed and she’d hate me, but if only I’d have tried harder and I’d made her believe me ... She was my mum and I could never tell her what he did to me and how he made me feel.

    Kat: It’s your biggest fear, being called a liar on top of everything else, so you don’t say anything for years and the poison just jumps round and round. Feel like you’re going crazy.

    Trevor Morgan on Charlie: [He was] so busy trying to be everybody else's friend he didn't see his big brother going into his daughter's bedroom.

    Charlie to Kat: I let you down all those years ago. I should have been looking out for you and I wasn't.

    Charlie: Kat was thirteen — a baby — and did I help her? Was I a good dad in her hour of hell?
    Big Mo: You didn't know.

    Charlie: Why didn't you tell me [about Harry]?
    Kat: I didn't think you'd believe me. Mum didn't. I told her he was touching me. She didn't believe me.
    Charlie: You're telling me your mum stood by and let that happen?
    Kat: I don't know. All I know is I told her and she said I was imagining it.
    Charlie: She wouldn't have kept something like that to herself. She worshipped you girls.

    Charlie: Did Viv know?
    Harry on Viv: She warned me off. That's why I went to Spain.

    Kat on Harry: Two weeks later, he left for Spain. Next time I saw him, I was eighteen.

    Charlie to Belinda: Your mum never once talked about Kat and Uncle Harry. She had her reasons. All right, they may have been the wrong reasons, but she thought she was acting for the best.

    Charlie to Little Mo: Your mother lied. She lied to us. She was covering up a dirty secret. That's why she sent Harry away instead of calling the police — because she didn't want no one to find out and to hell with the rest of us and to hell with her special girl. Kat had to deal with it all on her own. She let that pervert get away with it.

    Charlie on Viv: She had to make a lot of hard decisions, but she made them without me. I had a right to be able to decide what was the best thing to do, but she took that away from me. She let me down.
    Big Mo: It was for your own good. She was trying to protect you. She didn't want to hurt you.
    Charlie: So she lied about my own brother interfering with my daughter.

    Charlie on Viv: She made a mistake, a huge mistake. She thought what she was doing was for the best, but it wasn't for the best, it was for the worst — but she didn't know that.

    Big Mo on Kat: We didn't find out she was pregnant until a long time after [Harry] had gone.

    Kat: I was thirteen. I didn't know what was happening to me at first. I knew I felt funny, but I just ignored it.

    Jack Branning: I expect you forgot about the Summer of Death.
    Max Branning: No, 1983. Still got the scars. What was that one about? Oh that’s it yeah — you wanted my BMX.

    Suzy Branning to Max: Bikes, hand-me-downs — Jack always did get your leftovers.

    Max to Jack. Toys, cars, bikes, women — you always want what you can’t have.

    Max: I remember Jack cracked me one when I was a kid. I pushed him off his bike. He got up, took a swing at me. He caught me right there [points to his right eye]. We used to fight all the time, but you weren’t allowed to punch each other in the face. So that was it, you know — I had him. Ran in, showed my dad, told him what had happened, and I won because Jack got a right thrashing. Mind you, I think I knew as soon as I told my dad, the rules would change. Me and Jack,
    it weren’t just about us anymore. It was like we weren’t brothers [anymore].

    Jack: You never could resist running and telling tales, could you? Always trying to shift the blame, always looking for the easy way out of trouble. I mean, far be it from you to let a small thing like family get in the way of you getting what you wanted.
    Max: That’s easy for you to say, isn’t it? Because you, you always got what you wanted.
    Jack: What’s the matter, Mum and Dad didn’t love you enough?
    Max: Are you saying you weren’t their favourite?
    Jack: No, I was — and that always hacked you off, didn’t it? Always got under your skin. I often wonder if that’s why you turned out to be such a lousy dad yourself.

    Max to Jack: All my life, all you’ve ever done to me is take things. Anything I had, you had to take it. No matter what I done, I always ended up looking like the bad boy whereas you, you always got away with it.

    Max: Story of my childhood, isn’t it? Couldn’t have nothing without him [Jack] muscling in. Got the battle scars to prove it.
    Ronnie Mitchell: That’s just brothers and sisters, isn’t it? It’s what they do.
    Max: It’s more than that. Honestly, I’d have a bike or a mate or a comic he didn’t have — it weren’t like normal jealousy. He’d treat it like an insult, couldn’t let it pass. Had to get back at me every time.

    Ronnie: I bet you used to steal [Max’s] toys when you were a kid.
    Jack: No, I just used to kidnap them and hold them for ransom. Much more fun. Did you used to steal anything from Roxy?
    Ronnie: No, I don’t like playing games. Besides, cast offs aren’t really my style.

    Kat: I was nearly four months gone before I realised I was pregnant. I've never been so scared in all me life. I thought if I ignored it, it might go away. Pretended it wasn't happening, but then I started getting bigger, couldn't do the zips up on me skirt. I had to start using safety pins, baggy jumpers, padded coats. PE was a nightmare. I didn't know where to go or who to talk to. Every night Lynne was going out, Dad was telling her to be careful with the boys and not get in trouble and there was me sitting next to him, four months pregnant.

    Lynne: Some of us stopped at snogging behind the bike sheds.

    Alfie: Your Uncle Harry, what did he say when you told him you were pregnant?
    Kat: I never did, not at the time. It was none of his business.
    Alfie: But didn't you want to shout at him and yell and get angry and scream and throw bricks and stuff?
    Kat: I just wanted it to stop. I just wanted to walk away from it.

    Kat: That fear is like an electric shock when you can't breathe properly and your heart is pounding so hard you think everyone in the room can hear it. I didn't really have any mates, not that I could tell something like this to anyway, so I decided to run away. It was the only thing I could think of doing. See, I was getting bigger. It was only a matter of time before people started noticing.

    Zoe, looking at an old photograph of Kat: Weren't you fat! How old were you here, about fourteen? Right little porker you look!

    Kat: Don't think I ever felt so alone — not lonely, because I was surrounded by people, but on me own, like I couldn't have a conversation with anyone without thinking, "If only you knew," and what they'd say if they did. So one night I nicked twenty quid out of Dad's money bag, packed everything that still fit me in a bag, and waited. I don't think I'll ever forget that night — what I thought was going to be my last night. I sat on the settee with my feet curled underneath me watching everyone — Little Mo and Belinda fighting over something in the corner, Dad telling them to shush while he was trying to watch telly and Lynne sitting by Mum's chair rubbing her feet. And then Nan coming in with fish and chips. Everyone arguing over who ordered what. And then us sitting there eating them out of the paper and that warm feeling you get in your lap from the chips. It was the best place to be in the world and I was leaving. So I went to bed. Didn't bother getting undressed, there was no point, was there? Pulled the covers over me and waited and listened and everyone went to bed, one by one. I remember muffled voices coming from Mum and Dad's room. Couldn't make out what they were saying. I remember Mum laughing. Remember that laugh? Ale house laugh, Granddad used to call it. And then she stopped and it all went quiet. We was on our own then, just you [Zoe] and me.
    Zoe: Did you go?
    Kat: I waited another hour, just to make sure everyone was asleep, and then I went downstairs. I had the door half open when Mum came down and caught me. She was in the kitchen. She went downstairs to get a glass of milk because her stomach was playing her up again and there was me, bag in hand, halfway out the door. Anyway, it all come out, all the weeks of worrying all washed away by Mum spitting on her hanky. I was still scared. At least I weren't on me own anymore. Anyway, the next day Belinda and Little Mo were packed off somewhere.

    Trevor Morgan: Why did [Viv] send you away when you were nine?
    Little Mo: She was just protecting me. Kat was pregnant.
    Trevor: Protecting you? Protecting you from what?
    Little Mo: She just didn't want me upset. I know that now.
    Trevor: Aye, but you didn't know then, did you?

    Little Mo: Me and Belinda, we never knew why we were sent away. I thought it was my fault. I thought I'd done something terrible. I used to lie awake at nights and wonder what it was.

    Trevor to Little Mo: You thought they [the family] didn't want you so you've been following them around [ever since] like a sick puppy trying to make them love you.

    Kat: The worst part of it all was the look on Dad's face when Mum told him. I thought he'd hit the roof, but he didn't. He just looked at me with contempt.

    Kat to Charlie: Filthy. That's how you see me, isn't it? I can see it in your eyes. It's always been there ever since you found out I was pregnant. You've tried to hide it, pretended it wasn't happening, but it's never gone away.

    Kat on Charlie: Do you know what he said? He said he was disappointed in me. Thirteen years old and I hadn't lived up to his expectations. I'll never forget that look. I just wanted to be dead. I didn't want to be here anymore. Nothing he said or did after that could ever take it away. He hated me. He hated me. It wasn't my fault.

    Charlie to Kat: Yes, I was disappointed in you. You were pregnant at thirteen.

    Kat: Dad kept asking me, "Who is it?" His face — he hated me. He kept on — who is it, what he was going to do to him. I wanted to tell him, I wanted to tell him so badly, but I couldn't because it was his brother. It was Harry.

    Charlie to Kat: Some kid from school [was the father], that's what you said.

    Kat: I wanted you to cuddle me. Where were you, Dad?
    Charlie: I was there.
    Kat: No, you weren't. I needed you so badly then. All I wanted was for you to sit me on your lap and say it didn't matter and that you still loved me and everything was going to be all right, but you didn't, did you, Dad? You just looked at me with disgust. Disgust and contempt.

    Kat: It weren't my fault, Dad.
    Charlie: I know, I know.
    Kat: Then why did you both blame me?
    Charlie: We didn't.
    Kat: You could hardly look at me. Lynne was the only one that cared. She used to ask me how I felt. She made me feel better. I was only fourteen.

    Lynne: All I ever wanted was to hold my newborn baby in my arms. Every time I've heard somebody's pregnant, it's been like a knife in my heart. I've been so jealous. I was even jealous when Kat was carrying Zoe.

    Zoe on Kat: What she went through with me was the bravest thing ever.

    Charlie: You were so brave.
    Kat: How would you know? You wouldn't even talk to me.
    Charlie: Your mum dealt with all that.
    Kat: You reckon? I didn't even know what was happening to me. You just pushed me aside.
    Charlie: I didn't realise.
    Kat: Every time I walked into a room, you would walk out of it.
    Charlie: It wasn't like that.
    Kat: Yes it was, Dad.
    Charlie: You locked yourself in the bedroom most of the day.
    Kat: Because you made me feel so dirty.

    Kat: You did hate me for a long time.
    Charlie: I never — I didn't understand.
    Kat: All that time, you looked at me with such disappointment, like I meant nothing to you. In the end, I told meself I didn't need you to love me no more.

    Kat: Seemed I spent me whole life sitting on the stairs listening to people in the front room arguing about what to do with me. Sometimes they wouldn't shut the door properly and I could see them through the little gap — my life being decided through a letterbox. Mum would be sitting in the gap, crying. Dad would appear next to her and start cuddling her. Then he'd disappear, then Nan would come into the gap. No one ever asked me what I wanted.

    Charlie to Kat: You're so much like your mum and that's why I think I took it so badly.

    Charlie: I didn’t face up to it, did I? I didn’t go on the rampage, searching for Zoe’s father. I just shut up shop and pretended it never happened.
    Big Mo: How does anyone know what to do?

    Kat: Do you know the worst thing, shall I tell you? You never once asked me what I wanted to do.
    Charlie: You were just a child, Kat.
    Kat: You still should have asked me. Why didn't you talk to me?

    Kat: I wanted Mum and Dad to talk to me, to tell me what to do.
    Zoe: Did you want to keep me?
    Kat: I didn't have a choice. Nan said I was too far gone to have an abortion.
    Zoe: But you talked about it.
    Kat: No, they talked. I just listened.
    Zoe: Mum, Dad, Nan — they all talked about you having an abortion.
    Kat: They talked about it, yes.
    Zoe: So they didn't want me either.
    Kat: Having an abortion was never an option so when it was talked about it, they just ruled it out.
    Zoe: Because you wanted me or because it was too late?
    Kat: I didn't have the choice.
    Zoe: What if it weren't too late — would you have wanted to keep me then?
    Kat: I don't know. I was thirteen years old. It wasn't about you. You didn't have a name then. You wasn't even a person. You were just a thing growing inside me. A thing that was making everyone hate me and keeping me on the wrong side of a closed door listening to Mum crying. I was so scared. All that time, I was so scared.

    Kat to Lynne: One night, Mum come into our room. You weren't there for some reason. It was just after I told her about the baby. She tiptoed in, came and sat at the bottom of the bed. I turned the bedside lamp on, but she said, "No, no, turn it off." She sat at the bottom of the bed, not near me face but down near me feet and she said, "Me and Dad have been talking and we've decided to raise this baby as ours." It wasn't "your baby", it was "this baby," she said. Zoe was in my belly, she was part of me and even then she wasn't allowed to be mine.

    Kat: They took me out of school. Mum took me away to Aunt Vi's. I stayed there until you were born.
    Zoe: And you just went along with it?
    Kat: What else could I do? It wasn't my decision, any of it. The truth is, if I could have cut you out myself, I would have done. I felt nothing for you. In fact I hated you. "This thing growing inside of me is stealing my life" — but it wasn't always like that. I remember the day it changed. I was lying in the bath and you moved. I saw something poke out, like an elbow or something, just for a second, and then it disappeared. From that second, you stopped being a thing and you was my baby. And from that second, I've loved you more than anything else in this world. I even went and asked Mum if I could keep you. She said that everyone had worked so hard to sort things out, I wasn't to ruin anything. She said I could pick your name, but that was to be an end to it.

    Frank Butcher: I had another little girl.
    Pat Wicks: Left it a bit late, didn't you?

    Lydia Simmonds on her granddaughter Janine’s conception: Accidents will happen.

    Frank: We should have done something about it, but [June] wouldn't. She was in labour for hours. I was by her side for the first two or three, but when she started to yell and scream I had to leave her. I couldn't take it anymore and after a little while, nor could she. They performed a caesarian.

    Janine Butcher D/O/B: 28/10/83

    Ricky Butcher: All your life, you’ve just been nothing but trouble, Janine.

    Lydia Simmonds to Janine on a gold locket and chain: I gave it to your mother the day you were born.

    Frank: Baby was fine, seven pounds four ounces, but June was — it really took it out of her. Never really was the same.

    Janine Butcher on June: She was never the same after she had me. That’s when all the problems started with her health. I’m just bad news. It started with being born.
    Ricky: Her heart must have been weak to start with.
    Janine: She had you lot all right, didn’t she?

    Frank on June: She got home and her heart conked out. Strain, the doctor said. I mean, even when we got home from the hospital, she'd never let up.
    Pat: You can't when there's a baby around.

    Extracts from a letter from Lydia dated November
    1983:

    “My dearest June, Thank you so much for the photos of the baby. She looks a beautiful little child and I think Janine is a lovely name. I can see now what you mean when you say that just looking at her gives you the courage to carry on. She reminds me of you when you were a baby, and I hope she is as good as you were. You didn’t give me much trouble. A few sleepless nights of course, but you have to expect that. I am thinking of you and would of course love to see you and little Janine, but don’t know how possible that is at the moment.

    "You are being very strong. I know that the illness must mean that you are getting very tired. Try not to push yourself too hard or expect too much of yourself. You and Janine are what is important right now. Think of yourself, rest as much as possible and take ...

    “All marriages experience difficulties and there’s no more difficult time than when you’ve just had a baby. What you call indifference could just be tiredness on
    his part. Breaks my heart to think of you being unhappy, darling, especially when you’re so ill, but I’m glad you find comfort in the baby. Now she really is the most delightful child. In so many ways, she reminds me of you.”


    Lydia to Janine: You may not have been planned, but you were loved. Your mother adored you, doted on you, too much perhaps, and all she wanted was for you to make your mark in life.

    Frank: I did what I could, weekends and after work, but it was never enough.

    Diane Butcher: I used to cook with my mum, help out with Sunday lunch and things like that.

    Tina Stewart: Sundays was always cleaning day in our house. Only day I'd get off work, you see. Little brother and sister under me feet, Mum filling me in on all the local gossip. Favourite day of the week, it was — roast for tea, all of us together. Always thought it would be good practice for when I had my own family.

    Lydia Simmonds, looking at old holiday snaps: There’s another one of you and your mother in Scarborough.
    Ricky Butcher: I remember that. That was when I cut me foot on the shell, weren’t it?

    Ricky: [I was a] right stroppy so and so [to June]. But I was sorry after.

    Diane: Once I designed and knitted this jumper. You should have seen my mum. She couldn't stop laughing at it. She wasn't being nasty. She was just like that. My dad was always more serious, you know, "Try harder, Diane. Knitting can come in very handy one day."

    Heather Trott: I saw Wham! October ’83, Hammersmith Odeon. That’s when George and Andrew popped my cherry, concert-wise. I’ll never forget it, riding on the top deck of the bus through the West End, getting more and more excited.
     
  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1984

    Charlie Slater: Deeley boppers? They went out in 1984.

    Stan Carter: Mick’s eighth birthday, do you remember? West Ham against West Brom at home.

    Mick Carter: First ever match I went to.

    Stan: The three of us went. You spent all your Saturday money buying him a strip.
    Shirley Carter: It was worth it, though, to see his face when they won.

    Zoe Slater on her birthdate: First of the second, '84.

    Kat Slater: They took me to the hospital. Mum said I was to have a room on me own because I'd be more comfortable. I knew it was because she was ashamed. It felt like it was a dream, like it was happening to someone else and I was just watching. Afterwards, I went out to phone Dad.

    Charlie: They never used to let blokes on the ward in those days.
    Kat: I bet that suited you.

    Kat: The nurses came in and they wrapped you in this blue sheet thing and they gave you to me to hold. I started crying. Soppy cow.
    Zoe: That ugly, was I?
    Kat: You were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. They wrapped you up so tightly, all I could see was your little face looking up at me with the biggest, bluest eyes. A little tuft of jet black hair poking out the top. You were perfect. From the moment I held you, you were the best thing that ever happened to me. I'd never been proud of anything before, but I was then. I fell in love with you. I wanted the whole world to see you, to show them what I'd done, tell them you were mine, my little girl. And I felt perfect and all clean.

    Kat: When I had Zoe, she was only a few hours old, all red and wrinkled, and I remember looking down at her and putting my finger in her little hand, and this wave of love just hit me. It was so strong, it took my breath away. I was shaking, you know? I laid her down on the bed beside me and I just stared at her. I never felt nothing like that before. I was only fourteen and I didn't know what love was until then, not really. It was like butterflies in my stomach. Oh, I counted every hair on her head, every toe and every finger.

    Kat to Zoe: And then Mum come in and took you off me. She started walking round the room with you, telling you all the things she was going to do for you, how she was going to look after you -- all the things I should have been saying. And then Dad come in and I felt dirty again. He hardly looked at me.

    Charlie: When Viv handed Zoe to me in the hospital, she was just a tiny, vulnerable thing. There was no way I was going to walk away from her.

    Kat: I can still see their faces now when Mum picked her up. The second she was out my arms, my bottom lip went into spasm. I didn't want them to see so I just clenched me teeth together so hard. I was telling meself that it was all right and I was ready, but me heart was beating so fast I thought it was going burst out of me chest.

    Kat to Zoe: I had to lay there watching them fussing over you and all the time I wanted to scream at them to give you back. I couldn't because Dad would give me that look again and say how disappointed he was in me and why wasn't I like the others? So I didn't. When he left, I asked Mum if I could hold you and do you know what she said? "Best not." Best not. If only I could have held you, just for a few more minutes.

    Kat on Zoe: And the door shut and she was gone. I laid back down on the bed and I could smell where she'd been laying so I put my face down in the
    blanket and it was warm and I could smell that baby smell, but my arms, they felt so empty. And it all came out. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. I phoned me mum and I begged her. I said it was all right, I could look after her. "Bring her back,” I begged her. "Let me have her." I begged and I begged. I was wailing down the phone. All that love and no-one to give it to.

    Alfie Moon: They used to take Zoe away from Kat when she was a baby. They used to take Zoe out of her arms because they thought it would be best for everybody if they didn't have a bond.

    Kat: You took my baby off me.
    Charlie: We did what we thought was best.
    Kat: Best for who?
    Charlie: Your mum loved you very much. She changed her whole life to sort you out.
    Kat: My sainted mother took my baby away because she was embarrassed of me, because she thought she knew all the answers, because you told her she was right. Anything for an easy life, eh, Dad? Anything.

    Kat: Things were never the same after that.
    Zoe: So you gave up.
    Kat: I never gave up. They took you away from me and I didn't know how to stop them, but at least I knew that I'd see you every day and love you, if not as a mum then as a sister. Shows you what an idiot I am. It turned into a nightmare.

    Kat to Charlie: Do you remember when we went home and you wouldn’t even look at me? One of the porters asked if you was my dad and you didn’t even answer him.

    Charlie on Kat: I just stood back and let it all happen to her, fall on her head. Easy option, easy life. Dad in his slippers doing nothing, just hanging over her, judging her, rubbing her nose in it.

    Kat on Zoe: When I got home, Mum and Dad had set her cot up in their room.

    Kat: Lying in my bed, listening to my baby crying and I can’t hold her, I can’t love her, I can’t pick her up. It was all just taken away from me. I wasn’t allowed to do any of it. It was my fault.

    Charlie: You were just a kid yourself back then.
    Kat: That’s what you both said, weren’t it? It was my fault. You ganged up. Sitting round the breakfast table lying, all of us lying.

    Charlie: We did our best for you, Kat, your mum and me.

    Kat to Zoe: I had to listen to everyone telling me mum how lucky she was to have such a beautiful baby, and all the time I wanted to scream at them that you were mine and it was me they should be talking to, but I couldn't. So more often than not, I had to leave the room. Everyone called me a stroppy cow and ignored me. Back on the stairs again.

    Kat: Dad sat me down and gave me this big speech about everything getting back to normal so stop asking to do things. "Leave Mum to it and don't make a fuss." She was right there, my beautiful little girl, and I had to ignore these feelings I had for her, ignore that I was her mum. I knew that if I cried and started again, Dad would just get angry. He had this thing in his head that he was helping me, that I'd got myself in this mess and if I was to question what him and Mum were doing, I was being ungrateful. He helped me by taking my baby away. I just ran upstairs and threw up. And then that night, I came out the bathroom and climbed into bed. I couldn't face going downstairs so I just lay there, but I couldn't sleep. Then I heard Mum and Dad going to bed and Zoe started crying, and I could hear her picking her up. There was muffled voices and I could hear Mum laughing. Dad told her to come and have a look at something and I knew it was Zoe, and I wanted to have a look and all. And then this feeling came over me and I just started to sob. I didn't want them to hear so I just put my face in the pillow. I never felt so alone and so wretched and I thought, "If I hold my face in the pillow long enough, I'll just die and the pain won't be there anymore." And then I felt this little hand touch me. It was Mo. She must have heard me sobbing so she climbed in the bed next to me. She held me so tight — my little baby sister. She called me Kit Kat. She was squeezing me and saying, "Don't cry, Kit Kat." Her little arms and legs were wrapped round me so tightly and this little hand was patting me. And you know what? I wasn't on my own anymore. In that glorious, unselfish moment, all the pain just went away. I grabbed her hands and I held them so tight, and it was like all that love I had bottled up inside me had somewhere to go. I could have killed myself that night if it wasn't for my baby sister — someone who loved me, who really loved me.

    Charlie, looking at an old romper suit: It only seems like yesterday since my little Zoe was crawling around in this.

    Charlie to Zoe: You've brought me a lot of happiness over the years.

    Zoe on Charlie: He's lied to me since the day I was born.
    Little Mo: He has loved you since the day you were born.

    Zoe to Kat: You lied to me my whole life.

    Kat to Zoe: Birthdays, Christmas, first day at school — always in the background, always with that same anger I had the day you were born. Always wanting to say something, but "best not".

    Kat: Zoe, ever since you was a baby, I told myself you wasn't having anyone but the best. You was going to have a prince, someone who'd care for you and never let you down.

    Kat: I have failed Zoe in every single way for every single year of her life.

    Zoe: My family never wanted me. I was a mistake. A stupid, dirty mistake.

    Kat to Charlie: You always said we shouldn't talk about it [Zoe's true parentage].

    Kat: Belinda and Little Mo were too young [to be told].

    Little Mo: Nobody thought to tell me.
    Big Mo: Your mum and dad did what they thought was best. We all did.

    Trevor Morgan to Little Mo: They [the Slater family] have done nothing but lie to you since you were a kid.

    Little Mo: You told me Zoe was my sister.
    Charlie: You were just a kid so your mum and me thought it would be best if ...
    Little Mo: For who, though?

    Little Mo: Why didn't you tell me about Zoe?
    Kat: Mum would have killed me.

    Little Mo: I've always felt like I was on the outside of this family looking in on the rest of you. Maybe I knew somehow that you all had this secret.

    Little Mo on herself and Belinda: When we come back, you treated me different.
    Charlie: Well, you weren't the baby anymore.
    Little Mo: I was seven years old. I thought you didn't love me anymore. Zoe got all the attention. And Kat. Lynne was always your golden girl. Belinda was clever. And then there was me.
    Charlie: You were special too, you were.
    Little Mo: But I never felt it. I thought it was me. I just wanted to be loved. I used to try so hard.
    Charlie: The last thing I wanted to do was push you out.

    Little Mo: No one listened to me. Kat and Lynne, they always got listened to, but with me it was like, I don't know, everybody thought I was stupid or something.

    Little Mo: I was never the prettiest or the cleverest growing up. I was always on the sidelines. I was always ignored.

    Charlie on Little Mo: She was always so quiet, always did what she was told. Never demanded any attention so I never gave it. I never sat her on my knee and told her what a lovely girl she was.
    Belinda Peacock: It wasn't just Little Mo you ignored, it was all of us.

    Lynne Slater to Charlie: How do you know I'm strong, eh? You never had to find out, did you? Not like with the others. I was always the one sat in the corner with it all going on around me. Didn't mean I didn't need you.

    Belinda on Charlie: He didn't have time for [Little Mo], he didn't have time for me. No, what he really wanted was a son, a son he could play football with and have a laugh with.

    Charlie on the European Cup Winners' Cup Final 1965: It's a classic. The first time I saw it [on video], my poor Viv said she could have belly danced in front of me and there was no way I was taking my eyes off the screen.

    Pat: I can remember when videos were advanced technology.

    Belinda: Dad was never there for us like [Mum] was.
    Kat: How could he be? She never left him the space.

    Kat on Viv: She gave Little Mo's teddy bear to the jumble.
    Belinda: She was seven.
    Kat: She slept with that teddy bear every night of her life.

    Kat: When Mum and Dad took you little ones on holiday to that holiday camp, how old was you?
    Belinda: I don't know. Ten, maybe?
    Kat: You and Little Mo put [Charlie] up for [the "Best Dad" contest]. You both stood on a stage and you spoke into a microphone and you told everyone how your dad was the very best dad in the world, and he won.
    Belinda: Piece of nonsense.
    Kat: That weren't what you thought then. Do you know the first thing he did when he got back off that holiday? He came in to me and Lynne and before he even said hello, he showed us this [a photograph of Charlie winning the "Best Dad" contest]. He was so chuffed. He stood by the door with the biggest grin on his face saying it was the proudest day of his life, that his gorgeous little girls thought so much of him. It was just after Zoe was born. He worshipped you.
    Belinda: And we worshipped him.
    Kat: I hated him meself. I blamed him for everything. I thought, "He don't love me because if he loved me, he'd give me a cuddle."

    Zoe to Kat: You did make up [with Charlie] though, after I was born?
    Kat: Stayed out of each other's way, really. I went a bit wild. After he found out I was pregnant, he just put me down as a slapper. Didn't want to disappoint him again, did I?

    Kat: My dad had me down for a room in King’s Cross with a steady line of punters.

    Kat: A dirty little girl. That’s what I’ve always been.

    Kat, speaking about herself: “She’s always liked to keep it in the family.”

    Kat: I wore this [a T-shirt with "Dangerous when wet" written on it] to my first youth club disco.
    Zoe: You had no shame!

    Shirley Carter: I’ve entered a few wet T-shirt competitions in my time.

    Ian Beale on T-shirt slogans: Back in my day it used to say, “Frankie Says Relax.”
    Whitney Dean: Ah, the olden days!

    Kat: Do you remember there was that book that used to do the rounds at school? It was like a scoring system. One point if he asked you out on a date, two if you held hands, three if you kiss ...
    Lynne: ... if you kiss on the cheek ...
    Kat: ... and four, on the lips.

    Libby Fox: How old were you when you first had a boyfriend?
    Denise Fox: A lot older than [fifteen], that’s for sure.

    Denise: I never did give in to peer pressure.

    Zoe Newton, Nick's common-law wife, on their son Ashley: I was only fifteen when I had him.

    Nick to Ashley: It was her [Zoe’s] idea to give you a girl's name.

    Nick: I remember when Ashley was born. Proudest moment of my life. It's true. Never knew what all the fuss was about with kids. Then you see your own.
    Dot: Changes you, does it?
    Nick: Yeah, it does.
    Dot: Don't talk rubbish.

    Zoe Newton: You didn't even see him for the first three days of his life because you were on a pub crawl across London.
    Nick: I was out celebrating. It got out of hand.

    Dot on her grandson Ashley: I never held him as a baby. I never even knew he existed. [Nick] never told me.
    Zoe: He said he didn't want you going on about his responsibilities.

    Zoe on her parents: They never got on with Nick. They ain't never seen [Ashley], not since he was born.

    Martin Fowler to Ashley: [Nick] left you and your mum the first chance he had. He wasn't bothered about either of you. He used to rob little old ladies just to get a few quid for his drugs.

    Nick on abandoning his son: The state I was in at the time, I probably did you [Ashley] a favour.

    Dot: It must have been hard for you, bringing up a boy on your own.
    Zoe: You could say that.

    Ashley Cotton: I didn't know I had a nan.

    Charlie Cotton, Jr: I never had a grandma. I never really had anyone apart from me and Mum. Her parents are dead. I think we’ve got some relatives in Ireland, but most of them I’ve never even met.

    Charlie: I thought you were a monster.
    Dot: Did [Nick] tell you that?
    Charlie: That’s all he ever said — you know, how he made out that you always treated him.

    Pat Butcher: I didn't even know you was alive. Not a letter, not a call, nothing. Why did you never write? Why didn't you let me know where you were? Why didn't you tell me [about your wife and children]?
    David Wicks: You wouldn't have been interested.
    Pat: You never were much good at putting pen to paper.

    Elaine Peacock: There’s something I never told you, something I never wanted to tell you. Your dad, he was everything to me, but that didn’t stop me having an affair. It’s the biggest regret of my life. It didn’t last long, three months. You were six or seven at the time. I ended up telling your dad.
    Linda Carter: Who was it? Did Dad know him? Was it a customer?
    Elaine: I was chained to that bar twenty-four-seven. Who else was I going to meet?
    Linda: How could you do that? You had the perfect marriage. All I ever wanted was a marriage like yours.

    Glenda Mitchell on her first affair: He was my tennis coach. Up until that point I’d been the faithful wife. I was just another notch on his tennis
    racket.

    Roxy Mitchell: He’s a tough nut, Phil. Remember when you clocked him over the head with a tennis racket?
    Ronnie Mitchell: He was cheating.
    Roxy: Yeah. Still a little bit extreme though.
    Ronnie: I was only ten. He was twenty odd. Anyway he deserved it. He was a bully.
    Peggy Mitchell: No, you’re wrong. He was a good boy.

    Minty Peterson to Ben Mitchell: I hit your dad with a cricket bat once. I didn’t mean to. We was just mucking about. Next thing I know he’s on the deck. If that weren’t bad enough, your Uncle Grant come over, took one look at him, started laughing and then he looked up at me and I thought, “Oh my word, I’m in trouble now.” Nothing happened because, like I said, it was just an accident.

    Den Watts to Lofty: I remember when you started [working at the Vic]. You made Ethel look like Superwoman.

    Saeed Jeffrey, manager of the grocery shop on Bridge Street: When Mum and Dad went home [to Bangladesh], how long did they give us to learn about the business? About a month.
    Naima Jeffrey: And we got married in the middle of it!
    Saeed: I was going to be a doctor or solicitor, only I couldn't get the qualifications. I failed. I was going to take over [Naima's] dad's business, but I wasn't good enough. I failed.

    Lynne Slater: Exams, I wish I'd taken a few of them.

    Kat: I was rubbish at school. I had Zoe before I had a chance to sit my CSEs.

    Lynne to Kat: Remember Deirdre Pyke? She won all those music certificates at school and we all had to stand there and clap her. The smug look on her face.

    Cora Cross to Ava: Just because you went out and got yourself an education, lady, that don’t mean you’ve got any common sense.

    Linda: You got to meet the real actual Princess Diana? In person?
    Fiona “Tosh” Mackintosh: I had appendicitis as a kid. She was opening a new wing at the hospital. Radiant she was, like there was a light shining out of her.
    Linda: What was she wearing?
    Tosh: Pale blue blazer-skirt combination with white trim.

    Billy Mitchell to Tessa Sanderson: 1984, Los Angeles [Olympic Games] — I had a massive crush on you.

    Billy speaking to Tyler Moon and Fatboy: When I was your age [twenty-five], I was busy playing the field.

    Masood Ahmed: Chatting someone up in a nightclub’s not what it’s cut out to be. Believe me, I tried it enough times when I was your age [twenty-two].
    Ayesha Rana: Seriously?

    Jack Branning speaking to his niece Abi: I remember what it was like at your age [twelve] - everyone making decisions for you. It’s not easy, I know.

    Naima: Our marriage was arranged. I went through with it because I'm a part of our culture. We took it very seriously.

    Saeed: So why did you marry me?
    Naima: I thought so long as we drew up a working contract, which we did, things would be all right.
    Saeed: I know why you married me. Because as a married woman with a contract drawn up to suit yourself, you'd have more freedom than you'd have living with your family. You used me, didn't you?
     
  17. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Pauline, speaking in 2004: It's been nearly twenty years since [Arthur and I bought] our bed.

    Dr Legg on Arthur: Until he was made redundant, I think it would be fair to say that I saw more of Mr Fowler socially than in a professional capacity. He was the sort of chap who wouldn't let a cold or flu stop him from going into work. He was very cheerful and would do anything for anyone. The salt of the earth, you might say.

    Arthur Fowler: I used to enjoy Sundays when I was working, even [living] with [Lou].

    Mr Miller, Arthur's lawyer: Mr Fowler was a skilled man, proud of his place in the community and as head of his family. He worked for fifteen years, until in 1984, his world was turned upside down. Through no fault of his own, he was made redundant in a cutback in the work force.

    Arthur: I did the same job in the same factory for twenty years. That's all I know. I gave them my best shot and they made Arthur Fowler useless, redundant at forty.

    Jean Slater speaking in 2009: I haven’t worked for years, back when I was in the packing factory — all those little bottles of shampoo. I loved it — going in, seeing people.

    Arthur: That's when it all started to go wrong, didn't it? When I lost my job. I knew it was going to be bad even then.

    Pauline Fowler: It wasn't Arthur's fault they closed the factory down and no-one wanted his Dinkys.
    Lou Beale: It weren’t my fault either no-one wanted his Dinkys. It’s no-one’s fault, is it? Except that cow at Number 10.

    Arthur to Pete: You voted for this lot [the Tories].

    Arthur: Me and thousands like me were sold down the river.

    Suzy Branning, speaking in 2008: What’s in it for me?
    Archie Mitchell: There speaks a child of Thatcher's Britain.

    Ian on Margaret Thatcher: That woman saved this country.

    Arthur: When I was made redundant, I went round to every job centre, bought the T-shirt - nothing.

    Alfie: I once went down and I signed up to be a pearl diver because I just knew a hundred percent that they would not find me a job as a pearl diver. As I was walking out the dole office, I thought, "I actually quite fancy doing that." I could have been anything, but I didn't fancy being stuck indoors all day.

    Alfie on his career as a bus conductor: Clippy of the Year, ’83 to ’84.

    Alfie: I have frequented some of the finest restaurants in the country. I've done silver service, a la carte, the local Balti house. I was a waiter at the Clarendon Hotel in Scarborough.
    Kat: How long for?
    Alfie: Two weeks.

    Dr Legg on Arthur: At first he thought it would be just a matter of time before he found another job, but things were changing in Walford.

    Mr Miller on Arthur: His employers gave him an excellent reference, but due to his age and the general employment situation in the area, he was unable to get another job.

    Mark: When I was a kid and I first got into bikes, I must have bored the pants off everyone. I was only happy when I was with other bikers. They understood what you were talking about.

    Michelle to Mark: When I think about all the times somebody tried to show you a bit of affection, you just turned around and chucked a bucket of cold water over them.
    Mark: Like who?
    Michelle: Like Mum. All the years you were her blue-eyed boy, you were getting your shirts ironed for you, and me - I was being snapped at and packed off down the launderette.
    Mark: Did that really get up your nose?
    Michelle: Yes, it did.
    Mark: I remember you stomping off down the launderette with a handful of 10p's.
    Michelle: I used to nick them off your dressing table.

    Michelle: I was a girl. I was born knowing I had to do that sort of thing [housework], and you — you were just a poor, pathetic silly little boy, had to have it done for you. You never had to work to get your shirts ironed, did you? I mean, you had to practically fight her [Pauline] off doing things. They never offered me anything. I could have done with some of that attention.
    Mark: That's what I always felt about you and Dad. He'd be right in the middle of giving me a hard time about wasting money or whatever, and then he'd stick his hand in his pocket and give you a fiver at the drop of a hat.
    Michelle: That's different. I had to work for that. Once I realised he was a soft touch, I developed a technique.
    Mark: Cynical little cow.

    Michelle on Pauline: All my life, she's told me how I should do things.
    Mark: Parents do.
    Michelle: Yeah, but not like Mum, not with this great Fowler "thing" hanging over your head like some huge moral code that we all had to go by, whether we liked it or not, because that somehow made us better than everyone else. Didn't matter what else was going on — "if you do this, you do that, you'd be all right."

    Mark on Pauline: She can't say what she feels. Hurt, disappointment — all them things Gran taught her were bad things to let people see.

    Ethel on Lou: She said to me years ago, "Michelle's got what it takes, far more than Pauline ever had."

    Arthur: Our Michelle once showed an unhealthy interest in feminism. She watched a programme on telly. She was impossible for over a week.

    Mark: Always known her own mind, has Chelle.

    Pauline: I never wanted any secrets in my family.

    Mark on his rebellious nature: Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we [the Fowlers] were all so close.
    Pauline: I always thought that was what being part of a family was all about.
    Mark: Sometimes I felt like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't be myself. At school it was the teachers telling you how to act and how to behave, and when I got home it was you or Dad or Gran on me back.
    Pauline: And you're trying to say that's what made you go off and do all those dreadful things?
    Mark: Maybe. All I know is when I was on me own, I felt good about meself.
    Pauline: Even when you were stealing?
    Mark: Oh no, I never felt good about that.

    Carol to Bianca: Didn't I bring you up knowing it was wrong to steal?

    Carol to Bianca: I didn’t bring you up to tart yourself out for drinks.

    Heather Trott: I’ve never stolen anything in my life. Well, not on purpose anyway.

    Garry Hobbs: I used to go nicking lead with me mates.
    Reverend Lewis: You stole lead from church roofs?
    Garry: Yeah.

    Detective Sergeant Dougie Slade on himself and Alfie: We go way back. He was a holy terror.
    Alfie: That's right. We used to go to church every Sunday together. We even sung in the choir!
    Dougie: Only because he was casing the joint. Lots of silverware in them places!

    Nick to Lofty: I'm not talking about the demolition caper, am I? You forgetting that plumbing job we was on? Smuggling out all those designer jeans in the pipes?

    Pauline: Me and your dad, we always prided ourselves that we'd brought you up to know the difference between right and wrong. If we did stifle you, it was only because we cared.
    Mark: It made me feel terrible, knowing what I was doing was hurting you and Dad so much.
    Pauline: Why did you do it?
    Mark: I suppose I felt like I was some kind of disappointment to you. So in the end, I gave up trying. Everybody expected me to behave like a no hoper so I did.

    Pauline to Arthur: If you'd have stood up to [Mark] and got it sorted when he was a boy, none of this would have happened, but you couldn't face up to it, could you? You knew better. "Leave him alone. He'll be all right. All teenagers are mixed up. He'll be OK."
    Arthur: I did all I could. I did.
    Pauline: You couldn't face it.
    Arthur: And you did such a wonderful job, didn't you?! Wonderful, marvellous Pauline Fowler - Mother of the Year!

    Pauline: Mark's life would have been totally different if it hadn't have been for Nick.

    Dot: Lou used to go on about her lot, Pete and Pauline and the rest, moaning about how they were wasting their lives, and I’d sit and I’d nod and I’d feel like screaming out, “You’re lucky. You ain’t got my Nick.”

    Dot, speaking in 2014: I’ve been expecting [the news of Nick’s death] for over thirty years and grieving just as long. I’ve been facing it for over half me life. My Nick’s been good as dead for years.

    Lauren Branning: Were you always such a cow, Janine?
    Janine Butcher: Yes.

    Janine: I’m despicable. I always have been.

    Janine: I’ve been hustling since before I could walk.

    Lydia Simmonds: You were such a sweet little girl.
    Janine: No, I wasn’t. That’s why you loved me.

    Lydia to Janine: You’re just like your mother, highly strung. And you clung onto her for dear life.

    Janine on June: I used to cling to her like a little monkey. I wouldn’t let her put me down.

    Jean Slater: I had a craving for ginger nuts when I was [pregnant] with Sean. Maybe that’s why his hair turned out that colour!

    Sue Osman to Ali: You always wanted a baby, didn't you? You couldn't wait, could you? I wanted to wait. You couldn't. You were always a baby.

    Sue: Do you know what Ali said to me when I was having Hussan? He said, "I don't know what all the fuss is about. In China, they have them in the paddy fields and get straight back to work." Stupid Turk.

    Sue: When I was a child, there was no love, never. And then when we had Hussan, who I loved and loved, I knew what it was I'd missed.

    Roxy: Ron, you always used to [do my sewing for me].
    Ronnie: I did, but I was about ten and what did I used to say?
    Roxy: You used to say, “This is the last time.”

    Ricky Butcher: Everyone’s afraid when they start a new school. I drew spots all over me face and pretended I had measles.

    Ricky, speaking to his son Liam in 2010: When I was your age [eleven], I was little and people laughed at me. You know what I thought? If I’m so small, if I bunked off [school], no one would notice me — because no-one noticed me at all.

    Danny Moon on his father: [He’d] beat you up and then leave you aching, wind you up so bad that you’d just want to ... He'd drag you in and then disappear for days, weeks. Two whole weeks he left me and Jake once. I was only eleven.
    Alfie: Yeah, I know.
    Danny: Two weeks though. No cash — cadging off the chippy, cadging off your mum.

    Heather Trott on ‘Take on Me’ by A-Ha: I remember when this was first released, nineteenth of October 1984. I used to have a Morton Harkett necklace.

    Heather on Prince: I was a massive fan - front row on the Purple Rain tour, 1984.

    Heather on Hazell Dean: She did [singing:] “Searching, looking for love/All the time that I can/Searching, looking for love/I got to find me a man.”

    Pauline: Mark was going on and on at us to buy this ring for him. I thought we just couldn't afford it.
    Arthur said, "No, we'll wait and see," and then come Christmas, there it was, all gift wrapped and under the tree for him.

    Tina Carter on Christmas: We never had much but Shirl, she always made it special. Do you remember that year I kicked off because there weren’t enough presents and you stayed wrapping everything up in the kitchen?
    Shirley: You were just a kid then.

    Naima: That first Christmas we spent together, I wanted you to open the shop. You wanted me to cook Christmas dinner.
    Saeed: So we compromised.
    Naima: You opened the shop and I cooked us dinner.
    Saeed: It was the only turkey ever cooked in spices.
    Naima: I didn't know there was any other way to cook it.
    Saeed: And I only had one customer all day long.
    Naima: Ethel. She wanted cranberry sauce. We didn't have any.
    Saeed: And then we went for a walk along the canal.

    Sue: Hussan used to like Christmas. Well, kids do, eh?

    Den: Didn't you [celebrate Christmas] with your mum?
    Dennis Rickman: Not so you'd notice. I'd get up, open my presents and have some breakfast. Her and her bloke would crawl out of bed about eleven, go down the pub. I'd sit on my own watching everyone have a great time on the telly. They'd come back half cut. She'd cook while he touched her up.

    Jean on her son Sean: He wasn’t an easy birth. Breeched, he was. Started out difficult and stayed difficult. Sean was never an easy child.

    Jean on children: You give birth to them and you have all these dreams for them. You want them to have everything that you didn’t. You want them to be loved and to be safe.

    Jean: I remember when Sean was [new born] - tiny little fingers and toes, sweet little button nose.
     
  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

    Message Count:
    2,032
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    6,327
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    1985

    Mark Fowler: I've been tuning motorbikes since I was sixteen years old.

    Kim Fox on Denise: The gobby one who used to light up a room when she walked in it, that’s my big sister.

    Lucas Johnson: You always were a head turner. Dalston Ritzy, 1985. That’s the first time I saw you. You were sixteen. You had a crowd of boys all buzzing round you trying to get a dance. You always were a head turner.
    Denise Fox: That was back when things in life were simple.
    Lucas: None of them boys got a dance off you that night.
    Denise: That was because you scared them off. And you were the only one who didn’t have two left feet.
    Lucas: We did do pretty well on the dance floor back in the day.

    Denise: Do you know the main reason I got together with Lucas in the first place? Because my mother hated him.

    Denise speaking to her and Lucas’s daughter Chelsea in 2010: At [sixteen], I wouldn’t have been seen dead at a gig like this [a non-alcoholic Christian disco]. Your dad wouldn’t have been seen dead here neither. A night like tonight, he’d have took me out. He’d have borrowed a bike or some surprise — we done Southend once, just for that Peter Pan playground, just for the hell of it.

    Denise on Lucas: Back in the day, he was the original Skater Boy.

    Alfie Moon: I was the skateboarding champion of East London.

    Denise: I’d have been all right if it weren’t for fellas. I’ve been knocked up, knocked about, lied to and abused, and I’ve hooked up with some of the most serious mentalists this city has to offer.

    Denise: Every man I’ve ever known has walked away.

    Dot on Dr Al Jenkins: He used to live in Paisley Street. His mother and me, we used to go to the same church.

    Al: I used to be a choirboy for a while. Do you remember that?
    Dot: Oh yes, I do.
    Al: Till I discovered life’s temptations.

    Dot: Little Nico [Papadopoulos], I’ve known him since he was so high.

    Hayley McGee: Third year seniors, round the back of the science block — ring any bells?
    Garry Hobbs: First time I took an interest in biology.

    Darren Miller, speaking in 2008: Ricky was just confessing [his] earliest stirrings. He saw fit to give his three hundred year old maths teacher the
    eye!
    Ricky Butcher: She wore those thick brown tights, you know like Dot wears.
    Darren: And you still fancied her?
    Ricky: I don’t know, she had something about her.

    Garry: Here, Gus, when you were at school, was there a craze for cussing each other’s mums?
    Gus Smith: Yeah.
    Garry: Yeah, there was in my year. I was the best mum cusser in the year and all. I had a mum cuss for everything — “Your mum’s so thick, she looks like she’s been run over by a parked car”, “Your mum’s teeth are so yellow, your dad thought they were cheese straws” — you know, that sort of thing.

    Kelvin Carpenter, Tony and Hannah's son, to his parents: Me and Cassie [his sister] were fine until you two split up.

    Ian on a time capsule he buried: It was Michelle, Sharon, me, Kelvin — you get a load of stuff together that’s really important to you, you bury it in the ground and you hope somebody comes along in a thousand years and digs it up, gets to see what life was like in 1985.

    Ian to Dot: Bought [a video] camera off your Nick. Got bored of it the following week, sold it at a profit.

    Ian Beale: You were never my type.
    Sharon: You fancied me rotten when we were spotty teenagers.
    Ian: I was a teenager. I fancied everyone.

    Michelle Fowler, speaking in February 1985: I got three [Valentine cards] this year.
    Ian: Sharon got five.
    Michelle: I think she sent them to herself.
    Ian: She didn't send one of them to herself. 75p that cost me. Had to give up Space Invaders for two days.

    Minty Peterson: I don’t think I’ve ever had one [Valentine card].

    Ian: I had [a leather jacket] when I was a teenager. It was brown. One pound 43p a week it used to cost me out of me mum’s catalogue.

    Tom Banks to Ian: If there's one thing I remember about you, you were never short of a bit of cash. Even at school you were doing all right.

    Sharon: Didn't you used to flush [Ian's] head down the bog?
    Tom: I flushed a lot of heads in those days. '85 was a particularly good year.

    Tom to Ian: Last time I saw you play [football], we left you crying in the goal mouth.

    Mark to Tom: What happened to all those things we were going to do as kids, eh? Places we were going to see, things we were going to do. What happened to all that?

    Pauline Fowler to Tom: Merchant Navy, wasn't it? Thought we'd seen the last of you.

    Dot Cotton, speaking in 2005: I've had [a provisional driving licence] for twenty years.
    Pauline: I didn't know you wanted to learn to drive.
    Dot: Always fancied it. Didn't have a car, of course.
    Pauline: Not many people did back then.
    Dot: I was going to ask your Pete to teach me.
    Pauline: Why did you change your mind? Mind you, I never saw you with anything so much as a pushbike, let alone behind the wheel of a car.
    Dot: It was my Charlie. Come home, one of his periodic visits, rooting around in my drawers, seeing if there was anything he could steal, come across me provisional. I can see his face now, laughing, as if me learning to drive was the funniest thing he'd ever heard of.
    Pauline: You didn't let that spiteful little man stop you, did you?
    Dot: And he said I'd be a danger on the roads because of me nerves.
    Pauline: Dot, the only reason you had bad nerves was because you was married to him.
    Dot: It's the way he laughed that hurt me most.
    Pauline: There was only one reason that he didn't want you to learn to drive. The last thing he would have wanted is for you to have independence.

    Sue Osman on Reg Cox: No one gave a toss about him.

    Pete Beale: All Reg was to me was three pounds of King Edwards a week, plus the occasional [apple].

    Michelle on Reg: I didn't like him much.

    Nick Cotton on Reg: Ma reckoned he was the biggest skiver of all.

    Nick: Reg Cox. He used to live here when this place [Number 25] was flats.

    Sue on Reg: He weren't our neighbour. He was just some bloke who lived upstairs. Came and went as he liked. [He] used to go on at us. He hated kids. He was blind drunk most of the time.

    Arthur Fowler on Reg: He did like his drink.

    Den Watts on Reg: He drank on his own.

    Den on Reg: He used to cause ructions in the Public when he'd had too many, which was most days.

    Sue on Reg: He was a nasty old man.

    Nick: Old Reg was in the Vic. I was hard up, short of a few bob. I'd screwed the last few pennies out of that naffing mother of mine, spent it all on Special Brew. You could always con [Reg] into buying you a drink if you were careful about it. Right old scrooge at the best of times, but if you got him on about the war he was like putty in your hands. Reckoned he won the Battle of the Blitz single-handedly, didn't he? Smelly old liar.

    Detective Sergeant Rich to Den: Mr Cox was attacked as soon as he left [the Vic] after closing. Who was with him?
    Den: No-one, as far as I remember.

    Nick: The Vic closed. I bought a bottle of whisky. Well, [Reg] did.

    DS Rich: You see any strangers around that day?
    Saeed Jaffrey: Of course, plenty. We get the overflow from the market.

    DS Rich: Where were you [that] afternoon?
    Ali Osman: Out cabbying.
    Ian Beale: We was at school.
    Tony Carpenter: Staying out in Luton. I was doing a conversion job on a pub there. Bassett Street, Crown And Sceptre.
    Lofty Holloway: Betty's Old Snooker Club.
    Nick Cotton: At me mum's place.
    Den Watts: Visiting a friend.
    DS Rich: A lady friend?
    Den: 10 out of 10.
    Angie Watts to Den: The one you swore blind you were never going to see again!


    Nick on Reg: Went back to his place. He was legless and he had a bit of cash. Spotted that when he bought the booze at the off licence. Also, there were a few bits and pieces in that dump he called a home that was worth a few quid, like a few wartime medals for a start.

    DS Rich on Reg: He had a collection of [German war medals] up in his room. There were a dozen or so in a display case and on the day he was attacked, they were stolen.

    Nick on Reg: So I said to him, "Hand it all over". He went all funny. Made me mad as hell. It's like a mixture of too much dope and too much booze — feel like the most powerful man in the world. Two feet off the ground, you know. So I kicked his head in. Reg didn't make any noise. Well, not at first.

    Nick: I roughed him up good and proper and he snuffed it. Stole all his medals, flogged them and bought some gear.
    Dot: But why? Why did you do such evil things?

    Nick: To make me feel something, a bit of a thrill I suppose.

    Mark on Reg's war medal: I just found it on a skip, Tony's skip. It was under some bricks. I was just looking.

    DS Rich: It belonged to Mr Reg Cox. You sold it to Mr Holloway for five quid.

    Den: I remember when [Reg] went missing.
    Ali: We didn't notice anything.
    Den: It was the Pakis who discovered it.

    Naima Jaffrey on Reg: He didn't come in for his milk. For three days.
    Saeed: We keep a carton for him every day, see, and we got worried when he didn't come in for it. It was us who went and told Den and Pete.

    Patrick Trueman on racial harassment: You know there was a time I couldn’t walk down the street without somebody having a go. I’d ignore them once, twice — but the third time, I’d invite them to take off their jacket.

    Patrick: I know what it’s like to be hounded by the community. I know what it’s like to be hated, spat at, and no human being deserve that.

    Alan Jackson: I was coming back from the pub one night with me mates — black, yeah? This transit pulled up. About six blokes jumped out and went for us. Never seen them before in our lives. They had sticks, bits of wood, the lot. We ran. They chased us into this shopping precinct. We got split up. Me and me mate had to jump over this balcony to get away. It was about a twenty foot drop.
    Nigel: What happened to the other one, your mate?
    Alan: Chris. He got trapped in an alleyway. They used a stanley knife on his face and his back. His kids got nightmares just looking at him.

    Phil Mitchell: That reminds me of the Chinese woman used to run the chip shop down by the docks. Every Friday night, right, she used to get all the nutters in, giving it "chinky this" and "chinky that". She put up with that for years. Never lost her temper, not once. Then finally one Friday night, the gaff's packed and this geezer comes in and starts taking the mick. [Adopts fake Chinese accent:] "One chip and curry sauce!" And wallop, she flipped. She takes a dirty great ladle of boiling hot fat and bosh, straight in his boat — but it was her first offence, she said that he provoked her, and she only ends up with probation. Carries on working at the same chippy. Do you know, she never got one bit of aggravation after that. Who says violence never solves anything, eh?

    Alfie Moon on his red kimono: I rescued it from a fire in a Chinese restaurant. It's a hundred percent pure silk.

    Lydia Simmonds to Janine: My kimono, your granddad give it me. We got it off the market.

    Alfie on his younger brother Spencer: When he was born, he looked like an onion bhaji.

    Billy Mitchell: The first time I went out for an Indian, I drank from the water bowl and ate the lemon.

    Nana Moon on Spencer: I was old when he was born. He was the most lovely baby. Eyelashes like Elizabeth Taylor. They were such happy days.

    Alfie: It only seems like five minutes ago Spencer was there gurgling, wide-eyed and gormless, passing wind like there was no tomorrow.

    Alfie: Here Nana, you used to sing [‘When You And I Were Young, Maggie’] to me and Spencer when we were kids.

    Jean Slater: Forty-one hours. That’s how long Sean had me up for once. Brian stormed out in the end. It was three days before he came back.

    Jean: Sean was a terrible sleeper. I ended up sleeping on the floor of his bedroom, flat on the carpet. Then eventually he'd nod off.
    Big Mo: Why didn't you bring the mattress in and go to sleep on it?
    Jean: No idea.

    Zainab Masood: Do you remember when I was pregnant with Syed, how I decorated that entire flat in one week?
    Masood Ahmed: Yeah, every time I came home from work, you’d stripped another wall, painted the skirting.
    Zainab: That place was such a hovel.

    Masood on his son Syed: Do you remember when he was born? Twenty hours of labour. You were exhausted and there he was.
    Zainab: I was so proud to have given you a son.
    Masood: This tiny, tiny little boy. The look on your face, the purest love I’ve ever seen.

    Zainab: I was only a child when Syed was born.

    Zainab: Syed, from the moment that you were placed in my arms I have loved you beyond any reason.

    Zainab: To think that you were once that tiny baby in my arms, all pale and fragile.
    Syed: A sickly baby, yes I know.

    Masood speaking to Syed in 2009: I wasn’t much more than a boy myself. I was younger than you are now [twenty-four]. You know when I first lifted you out of your cot, I nearly dropped you. You were so tiny, I thought if I held you too hard I might damage you. Let me tell you, your first time away from your parents, your first job, even getting married — nothing changes you like seeing your child’s first smile. That’s real responsibility.

    Masood to Syed: From the moment you were born, you have been a wedge between us [himself and Zainab]. I don't even blame you. I don't. You were just a whiny obnoxious child full of your own self worth. From the moment you were born, you wedged yourself in the bed between us and then kicked me in the back.

    Zainab speaking in 2009: I have been a mum for the last twenty-five years and I have loved it.

    Zainab on her family: All I’ve ever tried to do is protect them.

    Michael Moon to Alfie: You always were my favourite Moon.

    Michael: Jack [Branning]’s my oldest mate. We’ve known each other since we were kids.

    Carol Jackson: I remember when you first came home from school with Jack. You sat on our wall sharing a fag, pulling the legs off of spiders.
    Michael: And you were popping out your sixteenth baby as I recall.

    Bianca Jackson: I was there when Sonia [was] born. She never stopped crying. I don't think she come up for air till she was about two.

    Carol to her daughter Sonia: Do you know what my mum used to say about you? “That child was born with a wise head on her shoulders.”
    Sonia: And she also used to say, correct me if I’m wrong, that I was a little bit weird and you should have never bought me that trumpet.

    Bianca: You were gorgeous [as a baby], Sonia. Lovely, chubby little thing. I used to sit you on me knee and make faces at you to make you laugh.

    Sonia Jackson: I never even knew my real dad. I've seen a photo. He was really ugly.

    Bianca: I remember Sonia's dad.
    Carol: Terry?
    Bianca: Yeah. You was always arguing.
    Carol: Yeah, because he was always knocking me around.
    Bianca: Is that why he left?
    Carol: No. He just upped and went, taking everything that wasn't nailed to the floor.
    Alan: Who's this?
    Carol: Terry Cant. You never met him.

    Sonia: I always thought my [father] would come for me.

    Carol: It's never been easy for me to trust anyone. Robbie and Sonia's fathers, they never cared. When the going got rough, that was it. They just went.

    Alan to Carol: When have you ever really committed yourself to anyone? I mean, you say all these blokes walked out on you — maybe you wanted them to walk out on you. Maybe that's why things kept falling apart, because in the end, you were scared of tying the knot.

    Jim Branning to Sonia: Like I used to say to your mother, "Carol," I said, "it's no good — different babies, different blokes. A kid's got to know where he stands, see. One mum, one dad, and both of them legally bound." Not that she ever listened to a word I said, of course.

    Derek Branning on Carol: A slapper who's had a bag of kids by a bunch of different fathers.

    Carol: I can't help what happened. I was young. I didn't know any better. I didn't wake up one day and think, "I know what I'll do. I'll have loads of kids by several different men." I didn't plan all this, you know. I didn't like meeting creeps and falling in love with them, but it happened. And it wasn't much fun being left to bring up their kids on my own either, but I did it. And do you want to know why? Because I thought one day, just one day, I'd get it right. I'd meet the right bloke, I'd live in the right house and I'd give my kids the right father. No matter how hard it got, I just kept on hoping. All I ever wanted was a family.

    Carol: All I’ve ever done my whole life is sacrifice my happiness for my kids.

    Bianca, speaking to Carol in 2010: You love it, playing the martyr. It’s been your role of choice for the last forty-seven years.

    Carol, speaking in 2011: I always thought that I’d end up in a place like this [a small flat] — you know, men would come and go and the kids would grow up and leave home and leave me on my own.
    Eddie Moon: Have you always been like this?
    Carol: Like what?
    Eddie: Frightened to have a life. There must have been a time when you were happy being you.

    Carol: Blokes used to be all over me. I was a looker.

    Robbie Jackson: Mum certainly knew how to pick 'em, didn't she?

    Bianca: Oh Mum, you know how to pick them, don't you? What about the bald one with the hairy ...
    Carol: Don't remind me!
    Bianca: What on earth did you see in him anyway?
    Carol: Money. He was loaded. Don't you remember all those presents he bought you and Robbie?
    Bianca: Well maybe he weren't too bad then!
    Carol: Well, Old Baldy only lasted a couple of weeks. Mind you, none of them lasted very long, did they?

    Carol: My mother always said I could pick 'em.
    Lorraine Wicks: Mine said the same about me.

    Bianca to Carol: How would you be if you had a childhood like mine? Different blokes all the time, never knowing who my next dad was going to be. It wasn't easy, you know.

    Bianca: You never told us what was going on.
    Carol: I admit it, I was wrong.

    Bianca on Carol: Things was always worse when she was breaking up with a fella — making a fuss over us, wanting to do stuff with us, making us feel like we're the most important things in her life. Then she starts crying. It's horrible.

    Carol to Bianca: The best part of my life has been having you kids.

    Carol to her children: There's been loads of times in my life when I've felt like giving up. I've had more kicks in the teeth than a rugby prop forward, but I've always got up and carried on. It's you lot that kept me going.

    Blossom Jackson: Every man Carol has ever been with has just given up on her and walked out. And every time it happened, that girl had to pick herself up and start all over again.

    Carol: When Bianca was eight years old, she was practically a grown up.

    TJ Spraggan, in mid-conversation: You cut her hair off?
    Bianca: Yeah, both pigtails gone. Her mum went mental. And then the teacher, Miss Goody, called my mum in. “Yeah,” she said, “I know things must be difficult for you. You’re on your own, aren’t you? It must be really hard to keep on top of things.” My mum just looked at her and went, “Thanks for that, but the next time Tracy Jones tells my daughter that her dad’s not around because her dad’s a serial killer in prison, it’ll be more than her pigtails that go.” She scared the life out of her!

    David Wicks on Bianca: Has she never asked any questions about her real father?
    Carol: No. Not a single one. All she knows is that her dad is someone called Dave I knew when I was at school.
    David: And she's never wanted to be told anything more?
    Carol: Never. Not even the colour of your eyes. You see, as far as she's concerned, her father left her and me to get on with things on our own.

    Bianca: My dad left me.
    Ricky Butcher: Before you were born. It's not as if you knew what you were missing.
    Bianca: I did when I was growing up, seeing all me mates with their dads and I was just left with me mum.

    Robbie: School was the worst — playing football and not having anyone to look round at when you scored a goal. Mum would come sometimes, but she'd shout all the wrong things and people would take the mickey for days.

    Gary Bolton to Robbie: I wasn't there for you growing up, but I never forgot you.

    Bianca: I used to dream about finding me real dad. I used to make up all these stories in me head about what he’d be like.

    David: Did you ever wonder why I never come and see you?
    Bianca: Of course I did.
    David: And why did you think that was?
    Bianca: When I was little, I just thought maybe you was George Michael or a handsome prince or something. As I got older, I realised it was just because you were a bastard.

    Heather Trott: I’ve written some lovely fan mail [to George Michael] and I got a reply once too.

    Shirley Carter on ‘I’m Your Man’ by Wham: I hate this song. I always have.

    Al Jenkins: First single you ever bought?
    Roxy Mitchell: ‘Get Into the Groove’, Madonna.

    Heather on her 12” copy of ‘System Addict’ by 5 Star: I remember when I first stuck this on my record player. The world was so magical, full of possibilities. I was going to make something of myself.

    Heather, speaking in 2011: I’ve been waiting twenty-six years to get my ‘System Addict’ [sleeve] signed.

    Kat on ‘Frankie’ by Sister Sledge: I used to do a routine to this with me sisters but Lynne always used to get the steps wrong. She was useless.

    Dennis Rickman: I used to lie awake as a kid imagining what he'd be like, my dad. Someone who'd seen the world — army, navy, diamond thief. Someone big, solid, firm handshake. Someone who when I found him, he'd be there.

    Dennis to Den: I used to think about you all the time when I was a kid, all the time. See some tall bloke in a flash car, any bloke giving it large, and I'd think, "That's my dad." Used to think, "Any minute now, he'll come and get me. Take me home with him." And then I stopped being ten or whatever, wised up a bit.

    Dennis: I [had a] rubbish upbringing. No one's ever really wanted me and after a while, you stop blaming everyone else and start blaming yourself.

    Den on Dennis: All that time in care, enough to turn anyone into a total head case. All those years of being unloved, unwanted.

    Phil to Dennis: That little boy, that one in the children’s home, the one that looked out the window and saw all the horrible, nasty things that could hurt him and swore he wouldn’t join in anymore — that’s who you are.

    Den to Dennis: Something must have been done to you in one of those kids' homes you were in. Some sicko must have really got to you and messed up your head. Poor little kid, scared witless, sick with shame because of what they done to you and you couldn't tell anyone, could you? Because no one would believe a kid like you. Did they threaten you with worse if you opened your mouth and talked? No wonder you didn't care whether you lived or died. You poor little ... and they were supposed to be taking care of you, looking after you - and instead, some sick nonce ruined every little bit of your life and didn't think twice about it. Well, at least somebody wanted you, which is more than I ever did.

    Garry Hobbs on his father: Waste of space. I ain't seen him in years. I suppose that's what happens with families, isn't it? People drift apart. Someone's got to make the effort and well, we never did. I thought about tracking him down once, you know, asking what happened. Waste of time though really, eh?

    Charlie Cotton Jr: I hardly knew anything about my dad. I only met him when I was a kid.

    Tiffany Raymond: When I was a kid, my dad, he was God.

    Charlie Slater on Zoe: One day, she looked up at me and said, "Dada." I just bawled me eyes out, I felt so happy. It doesn't matter how she come into the world, I was her dad. Always would be.

    Kat: You never changed Zoe’s nappies.
    Charlie: Who do you think looked after her when your mum went to work and you went to school, eh?
    Kat: You was working as well.
    Charlie: Yeah. Night shifts for two years. Had to. It was the only way we could work round it.
    Kat: I don’t remember that.
    Charlie: Why should you?
    Kat: You worked nightshifts for two years to look after Zoe? When did you sleep?
    Charlie: I didn’t much.

    Roxy: Dad used to buy me a sugar mouse every Friday night when I was a little girl. He really liked jazz music. He used to play it when he was cooking. It used to send me screaming from the room.

    Jack Branning on Jim: He weren’t perfect but he was strong. I mean, Max, do you remember playing cricket down in Vicky Park in the summer? Used to bowl that ball hard, didn’t he? I remember one time he hit me in the shin. When the bruise come up like a melon, he just laughed.

    Helen, Tanya’s midwife: Max, did you ever play cricket?
    Max Branning: At school, yeah.

    Max: Last time I played rounders I had Wayfarers.
    Jack: Yeah and a right dodgy-looking Chris Waddle mullet.
    Max: I could have played lead, you know. I’m more of a batsman really. Mr Turnbull, PE, fifth year, sat me down and said, “Branning, you’ve got what it takes.”
    Jack: He was talking about me, you doughnut.
    Max: Simple hand-eye coordination, that’s what he said.
    Jack: You’re rewriting history.

    Max, speaking to his daughter Lauren: I never did tell you about the time me and Jack got chased by the police. Taking trainers we were, about your age [sixteen]. Jack would pay you a lot of money never to find out his tag name.

    Jack on Max: "Nine Years in the Nick" — that’s what Dad used to call him.
    Max: Yeah well, Dad used to call me a lot of things, didn’t he? Not a lot of it was nice. Or fair.

    Carol on Jim: I remember all the fights. Used to go through the night. Couldn’t bear to be wrong, could he?
    Jack: Does that remind you of someone, does it?
    Carol: At least you knew where you stood with him. You had to respect him for that. We always knew that he loved us.
    Max: Speak for yourself.
    Carol: He did.
    Max: If love’s a belt across the backside, he loved us plenty.
    Carol: I had issues with him too.

    Max: My dad give me [a clip round the ear]. Never did me any harm.

    Jim, speaking to Max’s son Bradley: Your father, and he was a lot younger than you [nineteen], he used to go out, do whatever he had to do, come home, get into bed. There was no [discussion] about how fair was this, how fair was that.
    Bradley: Well maybe he gave up trying [to talk to you]. I mean, did he ever come to you and open up?
    Jim: He come to me when he was in trouble.

    Jim on Max: He was wilful. I never had anything with him, nothing.

    Derek Branning: It’s an unwritten law, isn’t it? Fathers and sons always fighting like cats and dogs. I was just the same with my old man when I was
    [Joey’s] age [twenty-five].

    Carol to Derek: You've done this all your life, haven't you, talking with your fists? With Dad and the blokes you used to drink with.

    Kim Fox on Denise: B in Home Economics, this one.

    Dennis: I remember Rosa.
    Chrissie Watts: Where did you meet her?
    Dennis: In my second home. I was ten. She was the cleaner.
    Chrissie: Why did you like her? Was she kind to you?
    Dennis: Yeah, and she used to sing a lot.
    Chrissie: Did that make you feel happy?
    Dennis: And safe. When I was a lad, I was quite mouthy. I used to get in fights and when I'd come off second, she'd do stuff to them — put stuff in their beds.
    Chrissie: Like what?
    Dennis: Well, she said it was Jamaican magic, but I reckon it was itching powder.
    Chrissie: She put itching powder in their beds?
    Dennis: Yeah. If you laid into me on Monday, you could bet you'd wake up on Tuesday scratching.
    Chrissie: That's awful!
    Dennis: Well, they weren't no angels.
    Chrissie: Neither were you by the sound of it. I wonder why she liked you so much?
    Dennis: Don't know. Sometimes you just like people. Sometimes you just fit.

    Dennis on himself and Tony Jamison: We were in the same home together.

    Kate Morton: Dad used to be a police chief inspector. He worked long hours, grinding work really, and he never took holidays.
    Peggy Mitchell: I bet that drove your mother mad.
    Kate: I just don't think he liked seeing us go without — you know, two young girls and all the latest fashion to keep up with.

    Roy Evans: Were you ever married?
    Maureen Carter: Yeah, to Jack. Big strong bloke, soft centre. Lost him [in 1985]. Heart attack. We had a good marriage.
     
  19. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Peggy: I struggle every day to get past those last memories of my Eric — all the hospital visiting, clinics, sitting waiting for the x-rays. Those last few weeks in the hospital — all the waiting in the corridors, the hushed voices, the smell of the place — I couldn't stand it. That last week, he never said a word. The life just slipped out of him.

    Peggy to Grant: I can't sit in [hospitals] without thinking of your dad. I swore I'd never do it again. He never came home with me.

    Peggy on Eric: He died a broken man because of you.
    Johnny Allen: He was a loser.

    Phil on Eric: When he died, I was glad.
    Jimmie Broome: And what effect would you say this had on your own subsequent life?
    Phil: Screwed me up.

    Phil: When Dad died, it was tough. Everything's got a meaning and everywhere you look there's a reminder that they're never coming back.

    Peggy: When I lost my Eric, I was in a terrible state. I was all over the place. I couldn't be consoled. I thought I'd never hurt like that again.

    Jackie Stone on Eric: I read about, you know, in the paper when he died. I was sorry about that.

    Peggy to Phil: When your father died, the last thing I wanted was to organise the funeral, but you have to do it. It gets you through.

    Peggy on Sam: She was only a little girl when he died.

    Sam Mitchell: Do you know what I wanted to be when I was [ten]? A nurse.

    Lofty: When my gran passed on, I had an asthma attack. I had to stay home [from the funeral].

    Dot on asthma: Ran in Charlie's family, you know. His sister died of a weak chest.

    Phil: When I buried my old man, I found fifty bob in his pocket — two pound fifty for a lifetime's worth of hard graft.

    Billy Mitchell to Grant: I know what happened with your dad [his violent nature], but you still cried your eyes out at his funeral, didn't you?

    Dot on Phil and Grant: When their father died, her Eric, [Peggy] was all that they got left.

    Peggy on Eric: He made all the decisions in our lives and when he died, my life sort of stopped having any meaning. I couldn't work out what I was supposed to do, what I was around for. I thought I wouldn't be able to cope, but I did.

    Peggy: When Eric died, people couldn't do enough for me. Everyone wanted to know how I was — but they didn't, not really. Sometimes when people want you to be all right, they can't bear to think that you're not.

    Peggy to Phil: You're the one who's held everything together since your dad died.

    Sam on Phil and Grant: When me dad died, they sort of looked after me and me mum.

    Glenda Mitchell, mid-reminiscence: ... and sandcastles and that dinghy! I’ve got such a picture in my mind, Ronnie. You and Rox, hair all braided, brown as buttons, two weeks every August doing absolutely nothing.
    Ronnie: Covered in cooking oil dancing to ’Agadoo’!
    Glenda: That’s when tans were fashionable. Oh, and shiny little faces and those little shorts and those shiny white shell bracelets. Oh and the caravan loo getting blocked. Remember that year?
    Ronnie: Yeah.
    Glenda: Etched in my mind, those memories of the South of France - your father driving and sweating all the way from Calais down to Frejus. It’s one of the few times he properly paid us three some attention. That’s only because he was stuck in a car with us for half a week.

    Mick Carter, looking round Purser’s Wood Farm and Caravan Site, Ramsgate: I spent many a happy summer on this caravan park.
    Dean Wicks: No wonder you got put into care!
    Mick: [The family caravan] is called Seaview. It’s got a little plaque on the side of it.
    Dean: They’re all so small. How’d you fit in?
    Mick: Me and Tina used to stay in a tent on the outside. Used to love it. It was a little adventure.

    Patrick Trueman on his former dancing partner Claudia Seagrove: The last time I saw her was in Leyton, that was about [1985]. She was walking down the High Road with she children there. She tell me I must come and check her out, but I never did — I don't know why.

    Lucas on the film "Mona Lisa”: I know where we saw it - Dalston.
    Denise: Oh yeah, it was the summer before Chelsea was born.

    Denise to Lucas: Your arms used to be such a safe place to be. That horrible little Abigail woman from down the bakery in Soho, you know, tried to bully me. That hassle with my mum. Your arms were the only place I could go to sleep, Lucas, the only place.

    Kim Fox: Mum [had a] B&B.

    Denise, speaking to Kim in 2012: A B&B just like Mum’s old one, you said. Actually, it is just like Mum’s old one because I’m doing all the work.

    Denise to her daughter Chelsea: I still remember the exact time and day I conceived you. Ten o’clock on a Tuesday. I also remember what you [Lucas] said to me that night. You said that you wanted dominion over me. I never knew what it meant but I liked the way you said it.

    Chelsea Fox: You didn’t go to university but you did all right.
    Denise: Yeah but I don’t know a lot of stuff. I never had the opportunity.

    Max Branning: Schooled at the university of life, I was.

    Nadim Abbasi, speaking in 2010: I didn’t go to university, didn’t do me any harm. Last year I turned over almost a million. But I started with nothing. Well, not quite nothing. My father gave me ten pounds. I had a market stall.

    Syed Masood mimicking Nadim: “I started with 5p. Look at me now.”

    Bushra Abbasi, Nadim’s wife: I was always fond of Syed and so was my husband.

    Simon Wicks: I borrowed some money. Fifteen hundred. I didn't borrow from a bank, they just laughed at me. I mean, what collateral did I have?

    Simon: You see, me and my mates, we borrowed this money for the band. Loan sharks. It seemed all right at the time — borrow money to make money. That's the idea, isn't it, invest in the band, become a millionaire. We needed clothes and instruments. We had bookings. We could have paid it back. Everything went wrong. All the bookings we thought we had fell through. Then Dave and Pete, they were me mates — mates, eh? — they left me holding the debts. Great big horrible ones, the sort that get a bit bigger every day.

    Rod Norman: When I was trying to get on in the music business, I'd run into all these would-be managers, would-be singers or whatever, and they'd be standing there giving me this spiel, and I'd look them in the eye and I'd think to meself, "Are you Elvis Presley, Phil Spector or Donald Duck?" Eventually, I realised that there weren't many Presleys, but there were an awful lot of ducks.

    Simon to Eddie Hunter: When you left the band, you left me with a right load of problems. Debts, the lot.

    Pat on Simon: He didn't come clean about the money till I found out he'd tried pinching from me.

    Pat: You helped yourself to my money, Simon.
    Simon: You called me a selfish little bastard. You were probably right, but it really hurt when you said that, Mum.
    Pat: I was upset about the money.
    Simon: I had no choice, did I?

    Pat on Simon: He left home because he couldn't face up to the mess he'd got into.

    Simon, speaking in 1985: I left home because of debts. They placed all the debts with one agency and now they're after me.

    Rod: I might have been a performer once, but to be honest I don't think I've got the bottle anymore, not after what I've seen — all them plans and dodgy managers, rotten contracts, and it all ended in fistfights in the dressing room and broken glass.
    Barry Clark: All right, you lost your bottle, you ended up a roadie, but you still cared. You were still a part of it.

    Mary Smith: Who [were you a roadie] with?
    Rod: Nobody you've ever heard of — The Issue, St Veronica & The Holy Sponges, The Boys From Planet Janet - second on the bill to everybody and falling apart by the time they hit Carlisle.

    Max: I had this guitar when I was a kid. I saved every penny. It was acoustic, it was nice. I come home one day and Jack and all of his mates had formed a band. They must have been, I don’t know, twelve, thirteen. I saw red and I smashed it. I mean, I loved that guitar and I smashed it.

    Jack: Max and Michael co-starred in a school production of “Grease” back in the day.
    Max: It was either that or detention.
    Michael Moon: Best mates ever since, eh Max?
    Max: Weird that, isn’t it? Never stayed in touch after school.

    Michael: When we were kids, me and Jack used to run up a tower block, out there somewhere in the sprawl, and the lifts wouldn’t work so we’d get to the top and you’d be so knackered and it would be like you were going to be sick, no safety rails or nothing, and you would stand on the top and you would ... and I’ll never forget the feeling of the whole city just laid out before me, the whole world, just waiting for me to conquer it.
    Janine Butcher: Some of us just made do with Barbies.
    Michael: I’d never forget that feeling, that it could all belong to me — if only that bird hadn’t screwed me over, if only that business deal hadn’t gone sour, if only ...

    Janine: I didn’t even like dolls when I was little. I used to rip their heads off.

    Michael to Jack: When we was kids — you know this — you don’t show [your emotions], you hide it, you hide it away, and that’s why, when it comes out, it’s all broken and wrong.

    Jack on Michael’s sleepwalking: My mum used to call him Midnight Michael. He used to do loads of weird stuff. He used to try and get in bed with her and wake her up when she was already awake.

    Eddie on Michael’s sleepwalking: It’s the only time you let me be your dad — bringing you back to bed, keeping you from harm.

    Derek Branning: Michael’s used to waiting, aren’t you? It’s the story of his life. Always waiting he was, outside the bookies, outside the pub. You know, when I look back, that’s how I picture him, standing there waiting. Very gullible he was back then, weren’t you? Do you remember that time I got you to stand outside the phone box for two hours? Told him his dad was going to call him. And then I’d ring up and say things like, “Hello, is that the zoo?” And he’d be going, “Is that you, Daddy? Is that you, Dad?”
    Janine: That’s not really very funny.
    Derek: No, it was horrible of me, really cruel.

    Michael on Derek: He chased some bullies away once.
    Alice Branning: They were ganging up on you?
    Michael: Yeah.
    Alice: Don’t tell me — he didn’t want any competition.

    Peggy: Men. You just can't work them out.
    Tiffany: My mum always used to say that.

    Chelsea: Did you ever think about aborting me when you first found out [you were pregnant]?
    Denise: No, no. I wanted you more than anything.

    Denise: I saw little Chelsea’s heart beat on her first scan and I never believed that I could feel love so hard for someone else — just, you know, wanting to protect someone.

    Carol to Bianca: I was just a kid when I was bringing up you and Robbie. I never had my twenties.
    Bianca: Why was that? Because every bloke you met, you made a commitment to.

    Natalie Price: [Bianca] had a pretty rotten time growing up at home.

    Natalie: I had a hard time when I was a kid. I used to look at families doing things like [playing together on the swings] and I used to wish I had what they had.

    Andrea Price: Nobody can have a perfect childhood just like nobody can have a perfect mother.
    Natalie: I understand that, but you didn't even try. You were so busy with your own problems you didn't even have time to notice me.

    Andrea to Natalie: Ever since I can remember, you've been a stubborn little ...

    Natalie: I was brought up by a mum who resented me, blamed me for the life she never had.

    Andrea on Natalie: I never could get through to her as a child.

    Natalie: You know that [tarmac] they put on the roads? One summer, it got so hot that it all melted. So I dipped me lolly stick in it and wrote me name on the wall. Still there, I think. I was only little though.

    Natalie: I used to play [snooker] when I was a kid.

    Roy Evans: Nat, you ever been a church goer?
    Natalie: Sunday school when I was a kid.

    Michael Moon: I haven’t been to church in years.

    Kat on Little Mo: She had these little ornaments she collected from a kid.

    Lynne to Kat: You had [a figurine of a sleeping Buddha] when you was a kid.

    Little Mo, looking at a music box with a figurine inside: We used to have one of these when I was kid. Kat snapped the head off.

    Little Mo: I used to be really good at [arts and crafts] when I was at school.

    Kat: I was a teenager once meself - always trying to be something that you're not, looking at other girls thinking, "Why can't I be like them? More confident, more experienced."

    Audrey Trueman to Anthony: I've been warning you about girls like [Kat Slater] all your life.

    Anthony Trueman: Ever since I was little, there's always been this holy grail — medicine, a profession, respect, a job worth doing. All my life, I've done what other people want me to do. I've always been what my mother wanted me to be.

    Anthony: Ever since I was a kid, I've always done what Mum told me to — working, studying, staying in to do my homework, never playing out in the street with you and the other kids, listening to her, believing her when she said I was special, I was better than them.
    Paul Trueman: Better than me, you mean.

    Paul to Anthony: Even when we were kids, you always had the biggest room.

    Paul to Anthony: You've always known who you were — what you were going to do, how it was going to be, all mapped out and that. I've never known any of that stuff. I don't know who I am, never have done.

    Anthony to Paul: I can remember lots of times I'd be sitting indoors and I could hear you lot kicking a ball around outside, laughing. I so wanted to be out there — and she knew I did and she'd look at me and I'd get my head back down in my books and I'd feel trapped.

    Paul on Anthony: I seem to remember a time when he wanted to be just like me.
    Audrey: That's what you would like to think, but Anthony is smarter than you. He can do better things with his life than join street gang.
    Paul: Then why was he with me that night, the night when everything went wrong?

    Audrey to Anthony: You were easily led as a child.

    Audrey: Are you proud of yourself, leading a fifteen year old astray? Anthony wouldn't have been there in the first place if you hadn't dragged him along.
    Paul: Oh come on, you really think I wanted my baby brother with me? He knew he didn't have any respect out there. That's why he begged me to come along.

    Paul: Why did you beg to come along? You knew what we were going to do.
    Anthony: I looked up to you.

    Anthony to Paul: You stole the car.

    Audrey to Paul: You never even stopped when you hit that girl. Drunk and in a stolen car, you kept on going like a coward. I would never forget what you did that night. That poor girl was crippled for life.

    Paul: It wasn't me driving the car that night. It was you.
    Anthony: I had to do it. You were all too drunk.
    Paul: And you would never do anything to break the law, would you? You were fifteen. You didn't even have a licence.

    Paul: That night when we drove into the girl, Anthony was driving the car, not me. He crashed it, not me. He injured her, not me.

    Anthony: I wanted to tell the truth.
    Paul: But you didn't, did you? And when the police arrested us that night, you couldn't even look the copper in the eye. You were too scared, worrying about what Mum might think when she found out.

    Paul: The actual charges were driving under the influence, dangerous driving, failure to stop.

    Paul: I gave up eighteen months of my life for you. I helped you when you needed it.
    Anthony: I never asked you to do that.
    Paul: I would have done anything for my little brother. I used to really love you, man.

    Audrey: I always thought I didn't know the whole truth.
    Paul: How did you know?
    Audrey: He [Anthony] can hide his guilt from the police, but not from his mother.

    Audrey to Anthony: You were never any good at telling lies.

    Paul: Then why [didn't] you ever [say] anything?
    Audrey: You were older than him. You should have stopped him. Everywhere you took him, you got him into trouble. He had a gift, a God given gift. He had to be protected from you. So when the accident happened, I thought it was best if you were out of the way.
    Paul: You wanted me to go to prison?
    Audrey: At least in prison I could guarantee you wouldn't ruin his life.
    Paul: Just mine instead.
    Audrey: Your life was ruined long before that, Paul. You were a lost cause.
    Paul: If I had half the help [Anthony] had ...
    Audrey: I've always treated you both the same.
    Paul: Maybe if you'd given me the same chances ...
    Audrey: I gave you the same chances, Paul. You wasted them.

    Detective Inspector Riddick: You went to prison so your brother could have a future. What about you, Paul?
    Paul: I didn't matter.
    DI Riddick: You weren't guilty.
    Paul: Weren't I? I might not have run that girl over, but I was still guilty.
    DI Riddick: Of what?
    Paul: Breathing.

    Natalie: You were in prison?
    Paul: Young offenders. Two years in Pentonville.

    DI Riddick to Paul: You must have loved it — you did every second of your sentence. You kept on kicking off. I mean, most would have kept their heads down — been out in nine months, a year. Not you. You loved it so much you wanted to stay.
    Paul: Loved it? You any idea what it's like in prison?
    DI Riddick: Well, the rooms are small. Not much of a view from the window. And when that key turns in the lock, it's just you and what's going on in your head.

    Paul to Anthony: You, for all your fancy degrees and diplomas, I still learned to do one thing better than you — time. Except it wasn't mine, it was yours. You wouldn't have survived a minute in that place so I did your time for you.

    Natalie: If you took the rap for your brother and went to prison for him, then that's a good thing, surely?
    Paul: Yeah, I know that's what it sounds like. All I was really doing was buying myself a meal ticket. See for years after, I reckoned he owed me. The things I did to him!
    Natalie: Like what?
    Paul: Threatened him, blackmailed him. I even put him in hock for an old gambling debt. And after I made his life a misery, I started on everyone else — me mates, me mum.

    Audrey on Paul: The shame he's brought on this family. That boy never could take responsibility for his own mess.

    Paul: All my life, I've screwed people over, lied to everyone I've ever cared for, looked out for no-one except me — Number One. I used to think it was because of me upbringing — growing up without a dad, being banged up at eighteen and all that — but in the end, I realised it was all because of me.

    Paul: You built your precious career on my back. You owed me, Ant.
    Anthony: I paid that debt every day, in here [points to his chest]. Not just for you, but for Mandy Dury whose life I really did destroy. She was sixteen. She had her whole life ahead of her. Because of me, she'll never walk again. I did that.

    Anthony to Paul: You always got the rough deal. I had so many chances and I never took them, Paul. I never told [Audrey] how brave you were, what a true brother you were to take the rap for me like that. I could have tried to tell her. I could have made her see. I was always too scared, though, too much of a coward to tell her the truth, to tell her what really happened in the car that night. I saw how she was with you and I didn't want her to stop loving me like that.

    Paul on Audrey: I could never get through to her. All them years, I reckoned if only she knew [the truth about the accident], maybe she'd think more of me — feel something, you know?

    Shirley Carter: I’m the cheating, lying slag that ruined your life.
    Kevin Wicks: You’ve got that right.
    Shirley: And you’ve never done anything wrong, have you, Kev? You’re just the man who women dump on. It’s no wonder that I had to look elsewhere.

    Shirley to her daughter Carly: Your dad was ... We never kept in touch. His name was Daniel, Danny.
    Carly: Danny who?
    Shirley: Can’t remember. He’s just someone I met at a party. I’d had a bit to drink.
    Carly: You mean he’s a one-night stand?
    Shirley: Yeah.

    Carly: My dad — the quick fumble up against the wall. What was his name again?
    Shirley: Dan. He was a fireman, your dad.
    Carly: Wearing his helmet and face mask when he met you, was he?
    Shirley: He was in the boozer. All the lads used to use it from the station because it was just across the road.
    Carly: Where was this?
    Shirley: Portsmouth. We all went down there, all the girls, for the weekend. I didn’t really go out with him. He was just somebody who caught my eye.
    Carly: How old was he?
    Shirley: Twenties. He was good-looking. Where do you think you get your gorgeous blue eyes from?
    Carly: Did he know about me?
    Shirley: No. I never saw him again.
    Carly: What, sobered up, did he?
    Shirley: He used to make me laugh. He used to have all the blokes in the station in stitches. He was really popular. He was a nice guy, your dad. I only knew the bloke for a weekend. I don’t even know what part of Plymouth it was.
    Carly: Portsmouth. You said Portsmouth. Was any of it true?
    Shirley: He was good-looking.

    Shirley on Carly’s father: He was some sweaty knee-trembler I had down the back of an alley and I can’t even remember what his face looks like.

    Kevin, Robbie Jackson's schoolfriend, speaking in 1994: Do you remember when we were little kids, in Primary 2 or thereabouts? Remember when they took us on that school trip to see that panto? Mongo the Magician, he had a suit exactly like [the suit Robbie is currently wearing], only his shoes were a lot bigger.
     
  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    1986

    Nigel Bates: We used to do it every year — you know, kind of make a rhyme, like "Come alive in '85", "Get your kicks in '86" - that sort of thing.
    Grant Mitchell: Why?
    Nigel: A bit of a laugh, really.
    Grant: And did you?
    Nigel: What?
    Grant: Get your kicks in '86?
    Nigel: No.

    Heather: Every Saturday, Shirl, she’d come round mine and we’d neck a couple of bottles of Asti listening to Tommy Vance. Then we’d put on our leg warmers and our parachute pants and jump on the 188 because it took us outside the Hippodrome.

    Shirley: Here, Hev, do you remember that night in the Hippodrome in '86 when you made us dress up like Mel and Kim and that bird, that mouthy bird, had a go at you? She tried to steal your deely-boppers. I looked after you then, didn’t I?
    Heather: You knocked her out, Shirl. We ended up getting barred.
    Shirley: Yeah but I still had your back though, didn’t I?

    Shirley to her mother Sylvie: I thought I saw you once, years ago in a nightclub. I heard a voice and I thought it was yours, and I run to the bog and I puked up.

    Phil Mitchell on Manda Best: She had a cracking pair of legs but she always hid them in them horrible dungarees. [We didn’t] do very much.

    Heather: You used to hang about with Phil?
    Manda Best: Let’s just say we had our moment in the sun.

    Manda on Phil: I loved him once.

    Manda: That was a very happy time for me, with Phil. He acted the big tough guy but secretly I reckon he was a bit arty. You wouldn’t think it of Phil, would you?
    Minty Peterson: No, you wouldn’t. Phil wasn’t some great romantic, you know.
    Manda: I remember one Valentine’s Day he sent me the most beautiful card, hand made. [Quoting the message inside:] “I long to see the morning light colouring your face so dreamily.” So romantic.
    Minty: Eric Clapton wrote some good lyrics, didn’t he?

    Minty to Manda: I made you that [Valentine] card.

    Manda: I always thought you’d be good with your hands, Minty.

    Manda: I remember you always being a bit on the grumpy side.
    Minty: I was probably just a little bit jealous of Phil. He always got the best looking girls.
    Manda: You were such good friends, you two. It was all knockabout fun back then, wasn’t it? All jokes and windups. I was the tall dopey girlfriend, you
    were the clown, Phil was the big macho man, but there was always a bit of an edge with you.
    Minty: No, there wasn’t.
    Manda: There was. You were always putting me down. You were always a little bit chippy with me.
    Minty: I didn’t mean to be.

    Minty: Oh come on Mandy, you don’t think you were the only girl [Phil] was seeing back then, do you? You were just one of many.

    Ugly Mug: Here Phil, what was the name of that girl you went out with that time? The redhead, the one with the legs up to her armpits. Katherine, weren't it?
    Phil: No, Sadie.
    Ugly Mug: Sexy Sadie, that's the one.
    Ugly Mug's mate: Cracking girl.
    Ugly Mug: Phil always did get the lookers.
    Billy Mitchell: Yeah, it was holding onto them he had trouble with.

    Grant on Phil's conquests: What about that blonde bird who used to work down at the airport?
    Phil: What, Sally? Underarms like the Black Forest.
    Grant: What about Gina? You know, the one who had the mate who, er ...
    Phil: Yeah yeah yeah, I remember. She should have been arrested for that, shouldn't she? She was, eventually. Holloway, last I heard.
    Grant: Eleanor, your very own Posh Spice. Nothing like a convent girl who loves a bit of rough.
    Phil: Apparently, she bats for the other side.
    Grant: You don't half pick 'em, don't you?

    Denise Fox: I tell you who I used to like - Gary Lineker. I used to have his calendar in my kitchen. I used to say, “It’s a crying shame how February is the shortest month in the year" — because you would not believe how fit he was in that picture. Oh yes, oh he was lovely, oh he was — poetry in shorts.

    Denise: I always did like a tough guy.

    Denise to Lucas Johnson: You never were exactly the domestic type. You didn’t know one end of a saucepan from another.

    Suzy Branning to Max: You’re no good on your own. You never have been.

    Syed Masood, speaking to Zainab in 2009: I’ve been waiting twenty-four years to sample your cooking.

    Charlie Slater to his daughters in 2002: What are you doing for your nan's birthday? And no kissagrams. I don't want a repeat of her fiftieth.

    Zoe Slater on a pair of ostentatiously large earrings: Our gran wore those for her fiftieth birthday.
    Sonia Jackson: I hope it was dark.

    Liz Turner: Owen always sends me flowers. Hasn’t missed a birthday since he was sixteen. Always buys me daffodils, ever since he was a kid.

    Minty: When did you smoke?
    Garry Hobbs: When I was fifteen.

    Shabnam Masood date of birth: 01/04/1986

    Ruby Allen: 5/4/86 — Scarlett’s birthday.

    Zainab: You’ve brought me many things in life, Shabnam — love, joy, hope — but there’s one thing I prayed you would never bring me — shame.

    Masood to Shabnam: You were up all night when you were a baby. Right little screamer you were.

    Zainab, speaking about herself and Masood: We were happy once, when you [Syed] were younger, when it was just the four of us.

    Denise: I can remember when I went into labour with Chelsea. I had to pack me own bag, put meself on the bus.
    Heather: Where was your fella?
    Denise: Good question. Being in that hospital on my own, that had to be one of the most terrifying nights of my life.

    Chelsea Fox: I weren’t born till 1986.

    Kevin Carter, speaking about Chelsea in 2006: I’ve got y-fronts older than her.

    Lucas Johnson to his daughter Chelsea: I was [seventeen] when your mum gave birth to you. Me and your mum, we were just two kids, and all of a sudden, we were parents.

    Chelsea to Denise: Was it so wonderful having me? It can’t have been that great. I was, what, a mistake?

    Chelsea to Denise: What was you when you had me — unlucky or stupid? I stopped you from living your life, did I?

    Denise: I cried when I first held Chelsea. I looked her straight in the eye and all I could see was me mother staring straight back at me.

    Lucas to Chelsea: I remember the first time I saw you. You had this little blister on your finger where you’d been sucking on it in your mum’s womb.

    Denise: You always were a tough little thing, weren’t you? Right from the start.
    Chelsea: And I wonder where I get that from?

    Kim Fox: Denise always had a temper on her.

    Kim on Lucas: He’s always had a temper on him.

    Kevin Wicks to Denise: You named your daughter after my boys — Chelsea [Football Club]. Good job you didn’t support Charlton, wasn’t it? “Charlton Fox” — not quite the same, is it? At least it weren’t Accrington Stanley.

    Lucas to Chelsea: I was so nervous when we brought you home. I never in my life carried anything that felt so precious. I used to lie with my face right up close to yours just so I could feel your breath against my cheek.

    Lucas: I used to love you dancing round the flat, pretending you were Aretha Franklin.
    Denise: It’s called escapism. It’s what happens when your boyfriend hides his drugs in your baby’s cot.

    Denise to Lucas: When Chelsea was a baby, you holding her, your hands on her skin — your dirty, smack head hands stroking her hair and then shooting up.

    Denise on Lucas: Drugs, drink, other women — you name it, he had his hands in it.

    Chelsea: My dad, he never stuck around, did he?
    Denise: Your dad, he didn’t behave very well. He was a horrible man, scum.

    Denise: It was you who walked out on us when [Chelsea] was three weeks old.
    Lucas: I was a different person then.

    Lucas: I was a scared kid. I ran.

    Denise on Lucas: I was glad to see the back of him.

    Denise to Chelsea: When Lucas walked out on us, you gave me something to live for. You needed me and I promised that I would never let you down.

    Denise on motherhood: A couple of months’ sleepless nights and nappies that look like they’ve come out of an alien and it all becomes a blur. I couldn’t even remember my own name. I once left Chelsea on the bus. I walked all the way home, I was going through me handbag, I thought I’d lost something. I just couldn’t suss out what it was.

    Denise: Me mother, when I had Chelsea, could just be a little bit overwhelming, but once she learnt to back off a bit, things were all right.

    Carly Wicks: Since when did you start giving me orders?
    Kevin Wicks: Since the day you were born and don’t you ever forget it.

    Kevin to Carly: When you came along, it was a bit unexpected. Well, at least on my part. I didn’t know it at the time, but your mum had met someone else.
    Carly: And you stayed with her?
    Kevin: I loved your mum. I was prepared to give her another chance.I never asked [who the real father was]. I didn’t want to know. I just didn’t.

    Dean Wicks: Did you know my dad, Kevin Wicks?
    Buster Briggs: Yeah, I knew him.
    Dean: How well did you know him?
    Buster: Well enough.
    Dean: Were you mates?
    Buster: I wouldn’t say that. Kevin was a good man.
    Dean: When was the last time you saw him?
    Buster: That sister of yours, her christening I think.

    Buster to Tina: I remember when you were really little, Carly’s christening. All you wanted to do was talk about my bike. And Mick, he must have been only about ten. He got caught short. Went and peed in the font. Right little toe rag he was then.

    Tina Carter, mid-story: So to prove she ain’t scared, right, of “all this superstitious rubbish” on Friday 13th, she walks out straight under the ladder, trips over the black cat, falls smack right on her artery, right in the middle of the broken mirror.
    Masood: So your schoolfriend died?
    Tina: She had some very nasty grazes.

    Grant to Nigel: Remember that time we went down to Brighton, to the races, and you fell out with a couple of geezers in that boozer? I stepped in to give you a hand and got a good pasting for my troubles. And where were you? You'd legged it out into the garden, over the wall and back onto the train.
    Nigel: You said you were never going to mention that.
    Grant: I swore I'd never tell another soul about that night and I never have.

    Phil: Brighton 1986 — how many Old Bill did it take to get us in that meat wagon, eh?
    Minty Peterson: Eight. I think seven of them were on Grant and you were struggling with that WPC!
    Phil: What are you talking about? I had a pig on each arm, a pig on each leg and I won't tell you where the WPC was!

    Detective Inspector Samantha Keeble: I joined the force in 1986. My parents thought I should have done a secretarial course. I found Page Three open on my desk every day. I know people think I’m hard, but that’s just because I’ve had to fight all the way.

    Nick Cotton speaking to Phil at an alcohol support group in 2009: Imagine when you were twenty-five, Phil, seeing yourself here, jabbering on about your feelings.

    Max Branning, speaking to his daughter Lauren in 2011: You think when I was your age [seventeen], you think this was the kind of life I chose for myself — flogging heaps of junk [on a car lot]?

    Phil: How long's it been [since we've seen each other]?
    Minty: Back in the days when blokes wore make up, I think.

    Rod Norman: I've moved on all me life. It's the way I'm made, I suppose. New towns — countries sometimes. No-one knowing nothing about you except for what they see. Taking you for what you are instead of dragging stuff up from the past.
    Barry Clark: Different girl every night?
    Rod: We're not all like that. There was this one girl, Ginny. She used to cook for the last band I was with. Came everywhere with us, took everything in her stride, always laughing. Don't remember her moaning, not once. She went off with the drummer, same as they always do.

    Rod, mid-anecdote: ... So they arrested him in this hotel room and he stood there stark naked and covered in blue paint. He's out of his box. They've been having a pillow fight so he's covered in feathers and all. You've never seen anything like it in your life.

    Rod: I got a bit mixed up with drugs. Nothing too heavy, but heavy enough, you know.

    Rod: [Heroin] killed my best friend.

    Rod: I spent half me life climbing in and out of windows when I was on the road.

    Rod: I did one or two things that weren't too clever. There's no point regretting things. You just got to pick yourself up and start again, that's my motto. The only trouble is, some people won't let you forget. You make a mistake and you're weak — and if you're weak, they can use you. So they do you a little favour — only somehow it always feels like it's the other way round.

    Brad Taylor, henchman for The Firm, an East End crime organisation: You've done a bit for us in your time, right?
    Rod: Right.

    Minty on Jack Dalton, head of The Firm: This geezer crossed him once, right. When they found his body, they'd chopped off both his feet and ...

    Jean Slater on her son Sean: He was the sweetest little thing you ever saw in your whole life. Slept through. Potty trained himself at eighteen months. Perfect angel.

    Jean: I always thought it might be Sean [who inherited her bipolar disorder], the way he behaved sometimes.

    Roxy Mitchell on Brian Slater: He wasn’t afraid of what his kids might turn out to be like.
    Sean: Well, he should have been.
    Roxy: He stayed because he loved you.

    Jean: Brian was a wonderful man. Always put others before himself. Responsible, reliable, a good husband and father.

    Janine Butcher: I remember when I was little, I used to sit on the back of Dad's chair and brush his hair while he was watching the cricket. They were the good old days. Everything was so simple then.

    Lydia Simmonds, looking at old photographs: Here’s one of you [Janine] and your mother outside our old house.

    Michael Moon to Janine: You were raised Christian.

    Kat: I did cookery CSE at school. I did French CSE and all.

    Kat: I've got no O Levels.

    Kat: I may have left school early, but I've got a CSE in smelling rats.

    Kat: I did a couple of weeks on a [hairdresser] training scheme when I was sixteen.

    Max Branning to Jim: You ain’t got the slightest clue what I was like since I was sixteen.

    Max on a pair of cufflinks: I wore them on my first day at work.

    Max: I wanted all the money, all the status, all that jazz.

    Max on his brother Jack: All our lives, he thought he was the good looking one, swanning around, bringing girls home. I was always the one with the brains.

    Suzy Branning: I was the one with the looks and the brains.

    Derek Branning: Max and Jack could never be relied on, could they?

    Derek to Jack: You always was a sucker for a pair of pins and a bit of cleavage, weren’t you?

    Derek: I’ve had strippers fall in love with me. They probably meant it at the time as well, until me money run out!

    Rachel Branning, Max’s first wife: Always been jealous of his little brother, with good reason. When
    Jack was around, Max had to [make] do with the left-overs.
    Tanya Branning: Is that when you met him?

    Rachel to Max: Our first date, you asking me to the pictures.

    Qadim Shah: My family were involved in choosing my partner.
    Amira Shah, his daughter: But you fell in love with Mum.
    Qadim: Yes, very deeply.

    Jamie Mitchell on his father: He said that when I was little, [my mum] used to draw me these wicked pictures, and he said that if she hadn't married Dad, she could have gone to art school.

    Kevin Masters, Peggy's boyfriend: It's been hard for [Peggy], bringing Sam up on her own.

    Sam on Peggy: She lost me a long time ago, the day she shacked up with that moron [Kevin].

    Phil: I was the one you could always count on, the one who took care of you when Dad died.
    Peggy: Oh yeah, you played the man of the house all right, when I had any fellas in the frame. What was all that about? Jealous, were you?

    Glenda Mitchell to Peggy: You always wanted what I had — my girls, my legs, my husband.

    Manda Best on Peggy: She always was too big for her boots, jumped-up little busybody.

    Peggy: I regret moving away from the boys. Mind you, they were grown up by then, of course.

    David Wicks on his daughter Karen: She was quite a kid, wasn't she? She had a lot of spirit. I remember when she was little, reading her stories and putting her to bed. She'd have a cheeky little grin on her face, always wriggling around when I was trying to get her to go to sleep. She was such a sweet little thing.

    Joe Wicks on Karen: When she was alive, I never thought much about her. She was just there and that was it.
    Grant: Well, that's what it's like when you've got a brother or a sister. You don't really think about it, but it's like you're never alone, you know? You're never lonely.
    Joe: Yeah, that's what it was like with me and Karen.

    Joe on Karen: She was OK, you know, for a sister. She was OK.

    Lorraine Wicks: When my kids were little, David and I used to argue all the time — real screaming, throwing things rows.

    Joe: Were we happy?
    David: We had our moments.

    David to Joe: Do you remember that time, it was your birthday, we went down to Formby. We took a cake down on the beach and you got in a strop because the wind blew all the candles out. How old were you, seven?
    Joe: Six.
    David: Then you did a wobbly because the cake dropped in the sand and Karen said something ...
    Joe: She said, "Never mind, Joe, because we can take it to the woods. Bears like icing too."
    David: That's right. Always sunny side up, eh?
    Joe: Except you wouldn't let us go. You said you had to get back to Bolton for some meeting or other. But she didn't cry, oh no, not our Karen. She wouldn't do anything to upset her precious daddy, now would she?

    Eddie Moon to his sons, Tyler and Anthony: Sometimes I wonder if you two actually sprung from my loins.

    Anthony Moon: Some of us weren’t born weeds, were we?
    Tyler Moon: No, but you were born a weevil!

    Alfie Moon, looking at old photographs: That’s me and Spence! Look at him with his blond hair. That’s either Margate or Highgate. No, that’s Margate because I recognise the beach.
    Nana Moon: Sweetheart, that’s your mum. Remember?
    Alfie: Wow, look at her smile!

    Jake Moon on his ability to catch peanuts in his mouth: I learnt it off a kid on a beach in Clacton. Took me about ten days.

    Joe on Blackpool: I used to go there when I was a kid.
    Lorraine: We had some good holidays up there, didn't we?
    Joe, looking at an old photograph: We'd all been to the fair that day. Karen wanted to go on the Big Wheel, but once she got up there she started crying.

    Tina Carter to Mick: Shirl smuggled us into Dreamland without paying.

    Sam Mitchell: I used to love places like [the adventure playground] when I was a kid - just sit on the swing and see how high you could go. You think life's going to go on like this forever.

    Little Mo: When I was a kid, I had this book. It was my favourite, and there was this little girl and she went off to a magic country and she had a four poster [bed] with curtains on it and everything. I thought that was romantic. I always wanted a four poster.

    Little Mo to her sisters: You know when I was little and I had that exercise book and I used to draw them pictures of what we all looked like in my dream?
    Kat: Ballet dancers, weren't it? And fairies.

    Roxy Mitchell to Ronnie: You’re the one that took ballet.

    Janine Butcher: I used to love dressing up when I was a little girl. You know those fairy wings? They were my favourite. Just put those on and you could just fly away.

    Roxy: When I was a kid I wanted to be a fairy princess but that didn’t work out.

    Janine: My favourite [fairytale] was Cinderella. I used to think my fairy godmother would magically appear in a puff of smoke one day, make all my wishes come true.
    Whitney Dean: What would you have wished for?
    Janine: One more day with my mum.

    Jamie Mitchell: When I was kid, I asked Mum what happens when you die. She said, "Every new star, that's for a person. It's their soul." I looked after she died, but I could never see. Me and my dad used to sit there looking, just the two of us sitting in the dark trying to find her. Then sometimes I'd think, "That's her, that's the one," but I never knew. I never knew for sure.

    Lynne Charlotte Mitchell [Jamie's mother] died 29th November 1986

    Sarah Hills: I've always wished I was dead. Even when I was a little girl I wished it. I remember once, I'd have only been about six years old, and I was in my room and Mum and Dad were screaming at each other down in the kitchen, and somehow it felt like everything in the world was all my fault. And I thought to myself, if I hold my breath, and I held it for long enough, then somehow it would all go away and it wouldn't be my fault anymore, but no matter how hard I tried, I could never do it. Life just goes on and on and on.

    Janine: I never had many pictures with my mum.

    Lydia Simmonds to Janine: That picture [inside June’s locket] was taken on your third birthday. Your mother loved that photograph. You were such a happy child.
    Janine: That’s not the way I heard it.

    Norman Simmonds: Me and my sister [June] may well have had our differences, but I know she was a good woman and she wanted the best for her children. Many’s the time Frank and me would sit in a pub and after a few, he’d bring out the photos — his kids.

    Norman: Frank was my best friend all those years ago. He’s the one who gave me the capital to start my radio repair shop. He believed in me.

    Norman: I used to repair all sorts in my shop. Radios were a speciality.

    Ricky: Do you remember Mum?
    Janine: I do have one memory of us all singing along to the radio — you know, that song, ‘The Tide is High’ by Blondie.
    Ricky: I remember that. There was me, you and Mum singing along.
    Janine: Except it wasn’t my memory. It was yours and Diane’s. I wasn’t even born when that came out.

    Janine on Christmas: I think there's only been one that I've ever actually enjoyed.
    Ricky: When was that?
    Janine: The year before Mum died.
    Ricky: You was only three.
    Janine: It's the one time I can remember us all being together as a real family — Mum, Dad, you, Claire, Diane. I thought it would be like that forever.
    Ricky: So what do you remember then?
    Janine: That I was desperate to get that doll's house off the telly. Do you remember the one I mean? It looked like a treehouse or something. You pushed the top and then all those rooms spun round. I couldn't believe it when I actually got it. I thought I was the luckiest girl on Earth.
    Ricky: I remember, yeah. Mum took photos, didn't she, of you in those "Thomas the Tank Engine" pyjamas.
    Janine: Well, I always was a little trendsetter.

    Jamie on Christmas: When I was a kid, it was wicked. House just looked like a grotto, but then Mum died and we never really bothered.

    Shirley Carter: Do you remember when you used to make me post all those letters to Father Christmas?
    Mick Carter: Yeah. I used to ask for the same things every year — the mighty Hammers to win the league, a Castle Grayskull and for Mum to come home.

    Mick: When we were growing up, every birthday and Christmas, every Sunday lunch, I used to sit there and I used to wish that Mum was there, just to blow out the candles, carve the turkey.
     

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