The Queen Vic curse appears to have struck again in EastEnders after Linda Carter served divorce papers to horrified husband Mick Carter. It was a neat, and clearly deliberate, recreation of the famous scene where Den handed deceitful wife Angie Watts that fateful letter from his solicitor on Christmas Day 1986, the first of the Walford’s boozer’s beleaguered partnerships.
With EastEnders‘ 35th anniversary looming, ex-landlady Sharon Mitchell gave current incumbent Linda the lowdown on the infamous Bagstocks, original publicans who’s marriage ended in murder, and some of the other couples who ran the pub all ending up being cursed. Is she right? Let’s consider the evidence…
The original king and queen of the Vic’s reign ended spectacularly when Dirty Den’s cheating drove wife Ange to alcoholism, and she spun the audacious lie she had six tragic little months to live just so her hubby wouldn’t leave her. Den knew she was faking the dying swan routine and in front of around 30 million people he filed for divorce and threw her out. Sharon’s adopted mum moved away in 1988 and died off screen from liver failure in 2002. ‘Appy Christmas, Ange…
Pat and Frank Butcher
Brassy barmaid Pat and third husband Frank took over for a few years but were forced to sell up when money got tight and tension crept into their relationship. While they were living at the pub Frank’s teenage daughter Diane went missing for months, and was presumed dead. The curse followed them for years after moving out and neither had a happy ending: Frank’s debt made him torch his car lot business for the insurance after which he walked out on his family; Pat later found happiness with Roy Evans until he dropped dead of a heart attack, and she herself succumbed to cancer.
Sharon and Grant Mitchell
Den’s princess grew up and became embroiled with the Mitchell family, marrying thuggish Grant but bedding his brother Phil which led to the most famous love triangle in ‘Enders history. Shaz’s recorded confession to her affair being played to pub packed full of punters became an instantly iconic moment, dubbed ‘Sharongate’, and set the tone for the tumultuous state of her relationship with Phil which is in more of a mess now than it’s ever been.
Peggy and Frank Butcher
Grant and Phil’s feisty mum Peggy ran the place with a rod of iron and a quotable catchphrase (all together now: ‘Get outta my pub!’), but she wasn’t alone for the whole time – she married diamond geezer Frank who ran the place with her, but the old spark between him and Pat reignited and the discovery of the affair led to an unforgettable showdown in which Peggy confronted the pair and gave them both an almighty slap.
Kat and Alfie Moon
Drafted in as a bar manager for Peggy, cheeky chappie Alfie found love with tart with a heart pint puller Kat Slater. Unfortunately, the couple’s fairytale romance quickly, and predictably, turned into a nightmare across their two stints as bar bosses: Kat’s affair with Derek Branning and mucky ‘indecent proposal’ from sleazy gangster Andy Hunter, the notorious baby swapping incident with Ronnie Mitchell’s dead child, endless rows and an increasingly toxic vibe between them, even after they left the Vic, made Taylor and Burton look like couple goals.
Den and Chrissie Watts
Den came back from the dead in 2003 and resumed running his old gaff with new wife Chrissie at his side, but he was still an unfaithful love rat and his infidelities became his eventual undoing. Curly-haired Chrissie was no victim like lovestruck Angie, and she clobbered her husband over the head with the Queen Vic bust and buried him beneath the barrel store, then attempted to frame Sam Mitchell for the murder.
Peggy and Archie Mitchell
Peggy reclaimed her Queen Vic throne alongside third husband, brother-in-law Archie, one of the nastiest pieces of work Walford has ever seen. Coercive, bullying, manipulative and abusive, he chipped away at bubbly Peg’s self-worth and made enemies of most of his customers resulting in his murder. Stacey admitted to doing him in as revenge for raping her.
Roxy Mitchell and Alfie Moon
Archie’s youngest daughter inherited the damned watering hole after his death and stole Alfie away from Kat during one of their periods of estrangement. Nice guy Alfie and wild child Rox could’ve been a good match, complementing each other’s differences and settling down after dramas with other partners, but the pub’s hex put paid to that when cruel Alfie dumped Ms Mitchell at the altar and went back to Kat. Because that worked out so well before…
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