5 epic soap exits, from Lucy Beale to Hayley Cropper

As Barbara Windsor's Peggy Mitchell leaves Walford for good, we take a look at some of the best character exits in soap history

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Longtime queen of Albert Square Barbara WIndsor is due to leave Albert Sqaure this week, in scenes bound to be pretty explosive – but she’ll have a long way to go before she can match these iconic soap exits of years gone by.

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1. Alan Bradley – Coronation Street (1989)

Boo-hiss villain Alan met his maker after colliding with a tram on Blackpool seafront. Alan’s persecution of Rita may finally have been over, but his daughter Jenny finds history threatening to repeat itself in this week’s episodes of Corrie.


2. Sarah Barnes – Hollyoaks (2009)

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When Hollyoaks gets rid of its characters, it does so with style. Church explosions, train disasters, serial killings in the hospital… we’ve seen them all. But the most inventive remains the sabotaged parachute that did for Sarah during a skydiving stunt. Oh, those screams!


3. Val Pollard – Emmerdale (2015)

Drama queen Val was decapitated by a V-shaped jagged edge of glass in a collapsing mirror maze. It was a grisly end for one of the show’s most narcissistic heroines — killed by her own reflection!


4. Hayley Cropper – Coronation Street (2014)

One of the best soap partnerships came to a cruel end, thanks to a right-to-die storyline that saw off the beloved Hayley. The awards season was then dominated by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh and screen husband David Neilson (who plays Roy).


5. Lucy Beale – EastEnders (2014)

Whodunnits have been synonymous with Walford — the most talked-about in recent years being the demise of Lucy Beale. A year after her death, devil child Bobby was unmasked as the murderer in a live special.

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EastEnders is on BBC1 tonight (Monday 16th May) at 8.00pm