Pat and Peggy - the final curtain for Walford’s double act
Matt Conder looks back at some classic moments and wonders if the end really is nigh for the legendary duo.
There may not be much time left to enjoy one of Walford’s most explosive, yet seemingly indestructible relationships.
Over the years we have seen the pair comfort each other, support each other, and also slap each other! We really have seen them through the good times, and the bad times. And so with the news that Barbara Windsor has filmed her final scenes as Peggy Mitchell, we may well be watching the last act of the Pat and Peggy show.
From coming to blows over men - to getting drunk in the back of an ice cream van, there’s never been a dull moment in this legendary East End relationship which has certainly stood the test of time (well most of it anyway). Pat Evans (played by Pam St. Clement) recently described Peggy as “the Queen of stale beer and pork scratchings”. Peggy also came to the conclusion that Pat “talks like a tart and acts like a tart”. But generally after a few bottles of Sambuca (or whatever Roxy has left behind in the cabinet) the pair are soon the best of friends again – strange that isn’t it?
You could write an entire novel on their past, but here is just a selection of classic Pat & Peggy moments from the archives:
* Frank writes a ‘dear Peggy’ letter – November 2000
After their fun and frolics in Spain, Frank & Pat decide to permanently rekindle their relationship and plan to do a runner from the Square. Frank leaves a letter ‘explaining everything’ assuming himself and Pat would be long gone by the time Peggy read it. But as Peggy says; “one thing I have learnt since being married to Mr Butcher, is to never under estimate his capacity…to make a cock up of things!” And poor old Frank certainly did that. Thanks to his poor forward planning, later in the Vic he and Pat got the now famous Peggy double slap for their troubles – red faces all round then!
* Ice Cream Ambulance – October 2009
Heather goes in to labour unexpectedly and quick thinking Pat commandeers Shirley’s ice cream van to transport the mum to be to Walford General. With Patrick and Peggy in tow, they soon make it to the hospital using the chimes as a makeshift siren! After Patrick takes Heather in, Pat & Peggy reminisce over a bottle of vodka and a calippo. They proclaim their love for each other and end up dancing around the van. Well, how else was it going to turn out?
* Catch the pigeon? More like catch the Harvey! – June 2010
Pat and Peggy go up West to meet the two-timing Harvey (brilliantly played by Martin Jarvis OBE). They both arrive at the Palladium for a date with him and the penny drops. Deciding not to buy them a programme, Harvey instead decides the most courteous thing to do is leg it! In a scene which wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Benny Hill Show (cue Yakety Sax music), Pat and Peggy chase after him through the streets of London. Sometime later, Harvey thinks he has finally lost them – but as he stops to take a breath the dynamic duo catch up with him as he jumps on a tour bus. Pat and Peggy climb up to meet him and give some tourists a trip to remember. Cue the slaps. (Check out ‘Beyond the borders of Walford’ in Walford Lite for more on this episode).
* An indecent proposal – June 2010
After recovering from very red cheeks courtesy of a ‘Pat and Peggy special’, Harvey decides he will give it one last try and hopes they can all remain ‘friends’. Pat and Peggy soon work out that instead of friendship, the slimy geezer is only really interested in one thing and one thing only. So the pair decides to get shot of the dirty old goat for good. Peggy sends Harvey upstairs to her bedroom with the promise she will be up with champers later. Instead she creeps up and steals his clothes and gives them to Pat - who promptly slings them out the door. In an attempt to retain a grain of dignity, Harvey strolls out into the packed pub wearing only a towel. Pat soon realises he’s about to leave with Queen Vic property - and being such a law abiding citizen, she decides to reclaim it, leaving Harvey stood in a very drafty doorway with nothing left to the imagination. Lesson #1:Don’t mess with these East End girls!
You will notice I haven’t included all of Pat & Peggy’s classics, so why not tell us at Walford Web about your favourite moments!
So when Peggy leaves the Square, will Pat seek another resident to be her sidekick? Perhaps it wouldn’t be too unrealistic to imagine her and Dot as a double act? Although some of Pats interests and hobbies might not be very compatible with Dots own ideas of life and morals!
One thing is for sure, when Peggy does pull her last pint, we will have seen the final curtain come down on undisputedly the most legendary soap character in history and the end of Walford’s best double act.
Pat and Peggy spin off show anyone?
© 2010 Matt Conder.