Pauline Fowler’s big Irish adventure in Classic EastEnders

Pauline Fowler’s big Irish adventure in Classic EastEnders

Back in the days when budgets were bigger, the people of Albert Square were off overseas at the drop of a hat. Just last week, we were in Paris with Phil and Kathy. Soon, we’re off to Italy with Ian, on the trail of Cindy, Steven and Peter. And in this week’s episodes of Classic EastEnders, our bags should have been packed, our teeth clenched and our toes curled, ready for perhaps the most notorious jaunt of all…

Alas, the Drama channel has decided to skip the episodes featuring the Fowlers’ trip to Ireland. This is possibly for the best, as they all-but sparked an international incident the first time around, so insulting did the show’s Irish viewers find the catalogue of clichés on display: portraying the residents of a small country town as a bunch of twinkly eyed, donkey-riding rogues at best – and abusive drunks at worst. 

More damning still, while designed to bring a dash of much-needed sunshine and whimsy to the famously gloomy EastEnders, this whole sorry endeavour is about as whimsical as a toothache.

That means skipping three episodes, so we’re happy to bring you up to speed on what you’re going to miss, plot-wise. There is, at least, good news for Pauline, who discovers that kindly Maggie Flaherty is her full sister, and not a mere half-sister as she suspected – born to old Lou and Albert Beale before they could marry. 

Meanwhile, Mark and Ruth befriend Maggie’s cocky son and impish grandaughter – Conor and Mary – of whom there is much more to come…

Taken for a ride

Back in Walford, Barry is puffed up like pigeon on parade, as the fragrant Vanessa reels him in to an exclusive business opportunity. The lovestruck fool sinks £140,000 into the deal, just as Vanessa stops taking his calls…

  • Watch these episodes, first shown in September 1997, on Drama. Double bill at 1pm weekdays. Catch up on the UKTV Play app.

This week in Classic Coronation Street • This week in Classic Emmerdale

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Published at Mon, 28 Jun 2021 10:16:28 +0000