EastEnders: Den's exit


> BBC One

Sixteen years ago he went out with a big splash into Walford's Canal.

Queen Vic's landlord, Dirty Den, left Albert Square for a second and final time last night with more of a dull thud.

Leslie Grantham's unimpressive return as Den Watts was complete, courtesy of a large dog-shaped door stop wielded by his son's girlfriend and his wife.

But if the BBC hopes the death of one of EastEnders' most famous characters will lift the fortunes of the flagging soap it will have to bump off a few more of its cast.

Whilst Walford's equivalent of Charlie's Angels played by Tracy-Ann Oberman (Chrissie), Michelle Ryan (Zoe) and Kim Medcalf (Sam) were impressive in their revenge, the plot of last night's 20th anniversary birthday show was too predictable.

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Only the brief return of Den Watts' daughter Sharon and his recovery after a blow with an ornament statue were real surprises.

However, the most pleasing thing about last night's episode was the end of the Square's not-so-menacing Andy Hunter, played by Michael Higgs, who was pushed off a bridge for messing with EastEnders' newest gangster.

Let's hope the BBC brings in some new blood rather than bringing old characters back to life in its next 20 years.

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