More than 16 million viewers tuned in to BBC’s ‘EastEnders’ on Friday night to see the soap’s first ever LIVE episode.
The historic screening saw Stacey Slater (played by Lacey Turner) sensationally reveal to father-in-law Max Branning she killed Archie Mitchell, who was murdered on Christmas Day.
The show was broadcast live to mark EastEnders’ 25th birthday celebrations.
It was also Bradley Branning’s (Stacey’s husband) final episode as the character dramatically died after falling from a roof top in the Square – while trying to flee from police.
A tearful Stacey and Max (Bradley’s father) rushed to him in support but there was nothing they could do – moments later an emotional and deeply upset Stacey told Max: “It was me. I killed Archie.”
Figures reveal a total of 16.6 million viewers tuned in – the highest average UK television audience since last year’s Britain’s Got Talent live final.
Last year’s ‘X Factor’ grand-final attracted 19 million viewers but that was only recorded as a ’peak’ viewing figure – but received an average viewing rating of over 15 million.
Many cast members were touted as possible killers including Phil, Ronnie and Peggy Mitchell, Janine Butcher, Ian Beale, Brandley and Jack Branning and Queen Vic barmaid Tracey.
Actress Lacey Turner knew her character was the killer just TWENTY minutes before the start of the live episode after being told by director Diederick Santa - as the cast rehearsed TEN possible endings in the build up to the special show.
Lacey told The Sunday Mirror: “We all knew he (Santer) was going to see Archie’s killer but I didn’t think for a second it would be Stacey.
“To be honest it still hasn’t sunk in and I can’t believe I was the one who killed Archie.”
Speaking on the outstanding viewing figures, show director Santer said: “To get this incredible response from the audience is truly remarkable – these numbers go far beyond what we ever hoped for.”
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