EastEnders fans should brace themselves for an emotional episode tomorrow as the funeral procession for Dr Legg (Leonard Fenton) gets under way. The passing of Walford’s first on-screen GP ties in with the 34th anniversary of the soap itself. But as the day of the service dawns, Dot (June Brown) finds that she isn’t well enough to attend, having been up all night. She is, however, disappointed to see that her neighbours haven’t drawn the curtains in their houses as a mark of respect.
At the chapel itself, it’s left to Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) to step in and read the eulogy for Dr Legg that Dot has written and which mentions many of the births and deaths that the medic had attended over the years. Later at the Vic, Dot’s mood changed when she sees that so many people have turned out to raise a glass to the beloved physician and is stunned to see two blasts from the past – Lofty and Mary. Viewers can expect touching scenes to follow as they, along with Sharon and Kathy, reminisce and share their memories of Dr Legg’s visits to them over the years.
Speaking recently about his return as Lofty after three decades away, actor Tom Watt revealed that he’d needed little convincing when it came to making a comeback: “I was 90 seconds into a phone conversation about it with [executive consultant] John Yorke and thought it sounded great. He kept trying to convince me to do it and I said ‘You know I did say yes about five minutes ago!’ It sounded like a nice story, and a fun thing to do.”
Linda Davidson – who reprises the role of former punk Mary – added: “I said no at first because I always do! But then I had lunch with John, who’s been a mate for years. They told me about Len’s storyline and asked me to be in the congregation when Dr Legg dies and I said yes. Then John said they’d given Mary a few lines and it went from there.”
You can see the scenes tomorrow on EastEnders at 7.30pm on BBC1