Pat Butcher

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Pat Butcher
Pat pam.jpg
EastEnders character
Portrayed byPam St Clement
Emma Cooke (flashback)
Duration1986–2012, 2016
First appearanceEpisode 138
12 June 1986 (1986-06-12)
Last appearanceEpisode 5286
17 May 2016 (2016-05-17)
Created byTony Holland
Introduced byJulia Smith (1986)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2016)
Book appearancesSwings and Roundabouts
ClassificationFormer; regular
Other names
  • Pat Wicks
  • Pat Evans
  • Fat Pat
  • Prostitute
  • Barmaid
  • Businesswoman
  • Pub landlady
  • B&B landlady
  • Cleaner
  • Waitress
  • Bookmaker

Pat Evans (also Wicks and Butcher),[1][2] is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders. She was played by Pam St Clement from 12 June 1986, just over a year after the show first aired, until her departure on 1 January 2012. Pat was also portrayed by Emma Cooke in a soap 'bubble' Pat and Mo: Ashes to Ashes, delving into her past with sister-in-law Mo Harris (Laila Morse), which aired in 2004. The character was killed off on 1 January 2012, shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her funeral was on 13 January 2012. Pat was one of the longest serving characters on the show, being on it for twenty-five years and six months. She returned along with other women from Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) past in a concussion-related dream sequence for a Children in Need special on 14 November 2014. She also made a return as a hallucination for Peggy Mitchell's (Barbara Windsor) death on 17 May 2016.



Pat as she appeared in Pat and Mo, played by Emma Cooke.

Pat is the youngest of four children. Her sister, Joan, had Down's syndrome, and was sent to a mental institution when Pat was four. Joan married Michael, who also had Down's. Their mother, Lydia, disowned Joan and claimed she had died at age 22.

After leaving school at 15, Pat unsuccessfully tried to become a model. She and her best friend, Mo Porter (Laila Morse), entered a beauty contest in Clacton at 16, winning the title of "Miss Butlins". There she met Frank Butcher (Mike Reid), who was holidaying with his girlfriend, June Simmonds. Frank was besotted with Pat, and they slept together. Frank was the first of what would be many lovers in Pat's life, and so began a love affair. However, June became pregnant with Frank's child, so Frank married her, breaking Pat's heart. Pat and Frank would meet up from time to time, and on each occasion the affair would be rekindled, but Frank would not leave June. Pat began working for shady club owner Tony Cattani (Vas Constanti), who got her involved in prostitution. This shamed her family, particularly her brother Jimmy (Alex King), and their relationship suffered. When Pat discovered that Mo, now Jimmy's wife, had slept with Tony, she informed her brother; Mo denied it, and Jimmy subsequently disowned Pat. While working as a prostitute, Pat was offered more money to work for up-and-coming gangster Johnny Allen (Billy Murray). Pat then worked as a well-known woman of the underworld for many years.

Pat embarked on numerous relationships. She had flings with Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) and Kenny Beale (Michael Attwell)—both restless men, unwilling to settle down with her. Kenny's younger brother Pete (Peter Dean) proved more reliable; he married Pat when he thought she was pregnant by him—a false alarm which his mother Lou (Anna Wing) believed was Pat's ploy to trap her son. While they were together, Pat had two sons, David (Michael French) and Simon (Nick Berry), who Pete believed to be his. Yet Pat could not settle down and embarked on an affair with Brian Wicks (Leslie Schofield). Pete eventually left her and they divorced. Soon after, Pat married Brian and he took on responsibility of her two sons. They left Walford due to David's feud with fellow schoolboy Derek Branning (Terence Beesley; Jamie Foreman) who terrorised the entire family because David got his sister Carol (Lindsey Coulson) pregnant. They moved to Romford[3] and Pat stayed with Brian until 1986, when he started physically abusing her.[4]


Pat as she appeared in 1986. The image shows the character's typical earrings and manner of dress.

Pat comes to Walford in June 1986, to tell Pete that he is not Simon's father. Many arguments erupt, but Lou steps in to convince a devastated Pete that Simon is his. When Pat starts work as a barmaid in The Queen Victoria pub later that year, she finds that Lou thinks Simon is Kenny's son, following an affair and she's adamant that Pat should keep this secret and not upset her close-knit family but Pete's twin sister Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard) overhears and tells Pete everything.

Pat lives up to her promiscuous reputation and, with encouragement from Mehmet Osman (Haluk Bilginer), ends the year, prostituting herself. Animosity between Pat and Pete continues. When Pat is assaulted in February 1987 — left unconscious and close to death in the middle of the Square — Pete is prime suspect in the police investigation. He is later cleared when the real culprit, the Walford Attacker, is caught.

The arrival of Kenny in 1988 brings the question of Simon's parentage to the fore once again. Pat tells Simon and the Beale brothers that she does not know who is the father, adding further confusion. She also says that Den is a possibility but later rules Den out and demands that he has sex with her, or she will tell people that he is the father. That July, a dying Lou pleads with Pat to finally tell Simon the truth. Pat reveals that Brian, the man that Simon believed to be his stepfather, is actually his biological father.[5] Following Lou's death, Pat forms a close friendship with her former foe, Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), Pete's second wife. They find they had a common bond, with the dominance of Lou and Pete in their lives.

Frank comes back into Pat's life in 1987. June has died and he and Pat reunite, taking over tenancy of The Queen Vic. Pat struggles as stepmother to Frank's children, particularly his youngest daughter, Janine Butcher (Rebecca Michael). On 22 June 1989, Pat and Frank marry in Cockney style, driving out of Albert Square in a horse-drawn cart. By the end of 1989, the Butchers have moved from The Queen Vic to the B&B across the Square, which Pat runs while Frank opens a used car lot. Despite family and marital problems, Frank and Pat are happy until 1992 when they begin to struggle financially, forcing them to sell the B&B. Pat tries to turn their fortunes around by starting a cab firm, PatCabs. However, disaster strikes on Christmas Eve that year, when Pat — doing a short run for a regular customer — hits a teenage girl who later dies from her injuries. She struggles to cope with the guilt, particularly when confronted by the girl's mother. When breathalysed, she is found to be just over the limit. When Pat appears in court several months later, she is imprisoned for six months. Pat returns in the autumn, but by then the Butchers are in financial ruin. In desperation, Frank pays Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) to torch the car lot in an insurance scam. When this goes wrong and a homeless boy dies, Frank has a breakdown and in April 1994, he abandons Pat and his children, leaving Pat destitute and heartbroken. Eventually, Frank's daughter Diane Butcher (Sophie Lawrence) brings news that Frank is alive, and so Pat begins getting on with her life.[6]

Car dealer Roy Evans (Tony Caunter) arrives in Albert Square and is attracted to Pat, but early attempts to woo her get him nothing but refusals. Pat later softens and goes on a cruise with him, although she makes it clear that sex is not on offer. Her carnal abstinence is a blessing for Roy, as he later admits he is impotent and can offer nothing more than platonic love. Pat is relieved to discover that, for once, a man wants something from her other than sex. In November 1995, Roy moves in with Pat, but on Christmas Day, Frank returns. Pat finds it hard to contain her rage and emotion when she sees her estranged husband, but despite him stirring up old feelings, she chooses to stay with Roy and they marry in 1996. Pat and Roy weather money problems, Roy's ill-health and depression, brought on by his jealousy of Pat and Frank's shared past, which almost makes him commit suicide in 1998. Pat finally convinces Roy that it was him she wants, although she finds it hard to let go of Frank completely. Frank goes on to marry Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor), but he begins to have second thoughts in 2000, after realising that he still loves Pat.

While Pat, Roy, Frank, Peggy, Terry Raymond (Gavin Richards) and Irene Raymond (Roberta Taylor) are holidaying in Spain, Frank seduces Pat. Pat tries to end the affair, but when Frank turns up on her doorstep naked (apart from a comedy bow-tie), she realises that she had never stopped loving him either. Their affair continues and they eventually decide to elope to Manchester. They are due to depart on Guy Fawkes Night in November 2000, when Pat has second thoughts. But it is too late — Peggy has already found Frank's farewell letter, and shames the cheating duo by reading it to the entire pub before slapping Frank and Pat. Peggy throws Frank out and he leaves Walford alone. Roy is initially willing to forgive Pat and explains that certain things have got to change but his son, Barry Evans (Shaun Williamson), alerts him to a suitcase containing massage oils, fishnet stockings, and a red Basque that Pat was planning to take with her for Frank. Roy is horrified and throws Pat out, leaving her penniless and homeless. Roy later asks Pat for a divorce and in February 2001, Pat decides to join Simon in New Zealand, but Roy follows her to the airport and tells her that he wants to be with her, despite Barry's objections. Grateful that Roy has given her a second chance, Pat is adamant that she will not mess things up again. However, in March 2003, Roy discovers that Pat knew that Barry's wife, Natalie Evans (Lucy Speed), was having an affair with Frank's son, Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen). Roy believes that Pat has again chosen to support Frank's offspring over his own, and the stress causes Roy's second and fatal heart attack. Roy dies intestate, leaving Pat bereft and homeless, as Barry — beneficiary of Roy's estate — evicts her, despite Pat's efforts to support Barry and help rebuild his life, after the double blow of his marriage break-up and the death of his father.

Pat moves into a bedsit. Janine (now played by Charlie Brooks) marries Barry and plans to con him out of all of his money and possessions. The day after the wedding, Janine admits everything and pushes Barry down a cliff to his death. She later brags about it to a disgusted Pat and starts to bully Laura Beale (Hannah Waterman). When Laura accidentally falls down the stairs and dies, Janine is arrested on suspicion of murder. Pat, who is Janine's alibi, lies to the police and so Janine is implicated as revenge for Barry's death. Pat is given a job at the bookies by gangster Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs) in 2004. They develop a rapport and when Andy is murdered by Johnny Allen (Billy Murray) in 2005, Pat is stunned to discover that he has left her his house in his will. Pat is summoned as a witness for the prosecution at Janine's trial in December 2005, where she meets Frank again. Once again, they have sex, but she soon realises that his primary motive is to convince her to alter her testimony at Janine's trial. Pat refuses, but Frank assures her that he will always love her.

In February 2006, missing male company, Pat begins flirting with Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker), who is married but unable to resist the chance at a casual fling with Pat. Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) sees them together and tells Patrick's wife, Yolande (Angela Wynter), which ends the affair and ignites a feud between Pat and Yolande. In August 2007, Pat discovers her mother lied about the date of her sister Joan's death. She and a kind stranger, Len Harker (Christopher Ellison), break into Joan's care home and learn that Joan died only a few years earlier after marrying a man with Down's syndrome. Pat is touched to discover that Joan often spoke of how much she loved her. In March 2008, Pat announces she is leaving Walford for Spain, but gets news that Frank has died of throat cancer. She is devastated and despite initial feuding, she and Peggy support each other through Frank's funeral. Pat opts to remain in Walford when her granddaughter Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) turns to her for help soon after, moving in with her four children. Having reconciled with one grandchild, Pat severs her bond with another when she discovers Steven Beale (Aaron Sidwell) is hiding his runaway half-sister, Lucy Beale (Melissa Suffield). Pat threatens to tell Lucy's father, Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), the truth and is hit by a car driven by Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) car whilst trying to apprehend Steven. She spends time in hospital, where Steven attempts to smother her before she can tell Ian. His plan fails, and Lucy returns to Ian.

Pat suffers a heart attack in January 2010 amidst increasing animosity with Janine. It is revealed that she has an underlying condition and needs a pacemaker but refuses to have the operation. Janine persuades Pat to have the pacemaker fitted and she makes a full recovery. Disgusted with the litter in Albert Square, Peggy and Pat both decide to run for council. They are interviewed by journalist Harvey Freeman (Martin Jarvis) but eventually they both pull out of the election. Harvey secretly woos them both, causing various rows between the women when they find out. They both finally unite against Harvey and humiliate him in punishment. Pat and Peggy's friendship strengthens, so Pat is hurt when Peggy leaves Walford without saying goodbye, upset to lose her best friend. When Pat discovers that Janine stabbed herself in order to frame Stacey after making the discovery that she killed Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb), she disowns Janine and goes to New Zealand to visit Simon. She returns in April to find that Bianca is in prison and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) is missing, although she is relieved when Whitney returns home shortly after.

When Pat discovers that Ricky and Janine's maternal grandmother, Lydia Simmonds (Margaret Tyzack; Heather Chasen), is staying with Janine, she believes that Janine is only interested in Lydia's inheritance and Janine jokingly admits this to Pat, although a close bond soon forms between Janine and Lydia. When Lydia dies in the night, Pat comforts Janine but later turns on her, believing that she killed Lydia to get her money, despite the fact Janine had already seen the will and knew that Lydia was donating her money to charity. When the police take Janine in for questioning over Lydia's death, Janine believes Pat phoned them, although it is later revealed that it was Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott). Pat is still adamant that Janine murdered Lydia, which causes an emotional argument. When it is discovered that Lydia has changed her will and leaves her whole estate to Janine, Pat persuades Lydia's son Norman (George Layton) to contest the will. He initially agrees, but after Janine agrees to share the money with Ricky, Pat convinces him to change his mind. Although Norman likes Pat and wants to see her again, Pat is oblivious to this.

When Pat discovers that Simon is about to lose his home in New Zealand, she fails to get a loan to help him because of her age. Norman offers to help and organises a loan for her. After speaking to her great-grandson Liam Butcher (James Forde), Pat decides she likes Norman, they kiss, and she asks him to stay. The next day Norman tells Patrick that he regularly earns commission for organising loans for people. Patrick then warns Pat about this, and once Pat finds out that the terms of the loan mean if she misses a payment she could lose her house, she rejects Norman, tells him to leave, and says she never wants to see him again. Derek arrives in Walford and recognises Pat. She runs away, but he chases her and forces his way into her home. Pat is fearful of Derek, and he taunts her, asking Pat if she is still a prostitute. Derek also tells her to tell David that he has not forgotten about their fight. When Roxy asks Pat about Derek's past, Pat confirms that he is dangerous. Pat struggles to keep up the loan repayments on her house, and counts on Ricky's bonus money to cover the debt. When Ricky returns from Dubai, he reveals that he has lost all his money, so Pat explains that they will lose the house by the end of the week if a payment is not made. A desperate Pat turns to Janine and asks for money. Janine gives her £50,000 without hesitation, but insists on Pat using the house as collateral, although this does not thaw the animosity between the pair. When Janine's boyfriend Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) spots Derek and Liam together, he forms an allegiance with Pat over their hatred of him and they proceed to call his probation officer to check up on him, infuriating Derek. He later confronts Pat, angrily threatening her. Shortly after, Patrick drops into Pat's and finds her collapsed on her kitchen floor. Pat is admitted to hospital having suffered a pulmonary embolus and the doctors run some tests but she discharges herself secretly, telling Ricky she has been allowed to go. Shortly after, Janine goes to see Pat, telling her she is moving the repayment deadline to the following day after an argument with Bianca. Pat rings Simon to find out whether he can pay her the money but is left horrified when he tells her his brother David slept with his wife. As her stress increases, Pat's chest pains continue and Patrick persuades her to return to the hospital. There, she is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has metastasised to her lungs, bones and abdomen. Pat refuses all further palliative treatment and returns to Walford to be with her loved ones, sharing one last drink with her family and friends in The Queen Vic.

On New Year's Day 2012, Pat's health rapidly deteriorates and she is visited by old friends including Ian and Dot Branning (June Brown). Janine arrives to evict the family after Pat is unable to pay all her debts back but soon realises that Pat is not faking her illness and is devastated. Visiting her sick stepmother, Janine confesses to Pat that she is pregnant and Pat convinces her to keep the baby, before they finally reconcile. Later, David arrives to see Pat but the pair argue and David leaves, David is persuaded to return by Carol. David tells Pat that he is sorry for the mess he has made of things over the years. David then tells Pat that he forgives her for all the times she let him down when he was a child. Pat tells David that she is scared moments before she dies. Everybody on the Square mourns for Pat the next day, and Norman comes back with a bunch of flowers for her, not knowing that she has already died. Pat's funeral, which is paid for by Janine, takes place and is attended by many Albert Square residents. Simon turns up after the funeral has ended with flowers and lays them down at her grave. In September 2013, Peggy returns and visits Pat's house to say goodbye, leaving a bottle of gin on her doorstep.

In May 2016, Peggy returns to Walford with terminal cancer that has spread to her brain. As her senses are affected, she hallucinates that Pat is in her home and they reminisce about their shared past. Peggy asks her to never leave her and Pat promises this, as Peggy takes a fatal overdose of her medication.

Creation and development[edit]

A selection of earrings worn by the EastEnders character Pat Butcher, played by Pam St. Clement, on display at the EastEnders Meet and Greet event.

The character of Pat was conceived by the creators of EastEnders, Tony Holland and Julia Smith, in 1984. Although not one of the serial's original protagonists, Pat is referred to in the character outline of Pete Beale, who appeared on-screen in EastEnders' first episode, as written by Smith and Holland in their book, EastEnders: The Inside Story: "[Pete] married very young to Pat—it turned out to be a total disaster. They were too young, rushing into a difficult life for all the wrong reasons, and truthfully, [Pat] was a vicious shrew...[Pete] divorced [Pat] and married Kathy when he was 24...His two sons by his first marriage are nineteen and twenty and he hardly sees them..."[7]

Pat was first seen on-screen in June 1986, over a year after the show debuted. The character's introduction was the result of a deliberate policy "to add an extra edge of toughness to the show." Prior to this point, Holland and Smith had begun to feel that EastEnders was starting to get "a bit soft". During a meeting with scriptwriters, the programme makers decided to try to recapture some of the soap's "original grittiness that seemed to be getting lost in its own success". Thus the character of Pat was introduced to "add a new hardness to the atmosphere."[7]

Pat, played by actress Pam St Clement, was initially introduced on a three-episode trial basis. She was given an extensive backstory, heavily intertwined with various focal characters within the serial, including all of the Beale and Fowler family who mostly disliked her, particularly her ex-husband Pete Beale (Peter Dean), her son Simon Wicks (Nick Berry), and Pete's mother Lou Beale (Anna Wing). In addition, she was an old friend of Angie Watts (Anita Dobson), a former lover of Angie's husband Den (Leslie Grantham) and, as a supposed former resident of Walford, she was known to many of the other regular characters such as Dot Cotton (June Brown) and Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin).

The character's initial three-episode stint marked the beginning of what has been described as one of the soap's most complicated storylines, the paternity of Simon Wicks.[8] Pat immediately "threw a spanner in the works" by telling Pete that he was not Simon's biological father, as she had previously claimed.[8] After causing havoc Pat then disappeared; however, she was reintroduced later in the year, returning as a regular character, barmaid of The Queen Victoria public house. St. Clement had reservations about returning to the soap. In 1995 she told The Independent, "I couldn't envisage how this character, who creates absolute havoc everywhere she goes and is not at home with herself or with anybody else in the Square, could possibly fit in".[9] However, she was persuaded to continue by producer Julia Smith, who said: "'We've only seen one layer of the onion skin—the defensiveness—now we'll start to peel away more and get to the vulnerability that lies behind it'."[9]

Friendship with Peggy Mitchell[edit]

In 1998, Pat and her friend Peggy develop a feud with each other after Frank had an affair with Peggy. An EastEnders insider said: "Viewers will see the lot - tears, screaming and fighting. The romance has brought the studios to a standstill," said the insider. "There are TV screens around Elstree where staff can see what is being filmed and it has literally stopped people in their tracks. For the two days it was being filmed, staff on the lot talked about nothing else. Frank and Peggy are two of the show's strongest, most popular characters and the writers have hit on the idea of bringing Pat, another of the show's big names, in on the plot. Devoting a whole episode to just two characters is a tactic which has proved successful in the past. "We have used it for Michelle and Lofty and also for Dot Cotton and Lou Beale. St. Clement and Barbara are both first-class actresses and everyone at the BBC feels they will carry the explosive episode off with flying colours."[10] The scenes showing the characters' first fight had to be cut in order to be broadcast before the 9pm watershed as they were "powerful" and still was one of the "impressive episodes of all time". Barbara Windsor told the Sunday Mirror: "The writer didn't want a namby- pamby cat fight between two silly girls. We were throwing chairs and bottles and the adrenaline was at a high. When I saw the programme I couldn't believe how good it was. Pam and I were really proud."[11]

In an interview with TV Buzz, Barbara Windsor commented on Pat and Peggy's relationship: "I really loved Pat and Peggy's friendship, but my most memorable scenes involve us slapping each other; and we both really went for it! The fan mail we received would always go up a notch when they had a fight. We'd call each other everything under the sun too. Well, as far as we could go - obviously we couldn't swear. I'd love to have done a late-night episode - you'd have heard proper language then!"[12] She added: "My favourite storyline was where Peggy whacked Pat and Frank in The Vic. I stood on my little box - because I'm so tiny - and bang! Pat's earring went flying, then I fell off the box! I did a Norman Wisdom trip. It was very funny.[12]

Departure and death[edit]

Executive Producer Bryan Kirkwood (pictured) stated that St. Clement's departure would be a "fitting" storyline.[13]

On 7 July 2011, it was announced that St. Clement had quit EastEnders.[13] The actress revealed that she wanted to try other things, saying "I have enjoyed 25 and a half wonderful years in EastEnders creating the character of Pat but feel it's time to hang up her earrings. Leaving the EastEnders 'family' will be akin to a bereavement. But I'm looking forward to the other work and life opportunities that I will have the time to pursue."[13] Pat will leave later in the year and executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said her departure would be a "fitting" storyline.[13] Pat's son David Wicks returned for her departure storyline.[14] Pat was killed off in the special New Year's Day episode. St. Clement said she was pleased for a dramatic exit. She told The Sun: "They didn't just want me to say ta-ta and get on the No 30 bus because that wouldn't do me justice. They wanted something dramatic, a fitting tribute to the character." She said that the loss of Peggy, Pauline and herself would spell the end of the EastEnders "matriarchs". She added: "A trio of people all of the same age leaving does leave a gap. Who is next in the age line? There isn't anyone."[15] On 31 December 2011, it was announced that Pat would be getting her own exit theme. EastEnders music composer Simon May reworked the tune to create "Pat's Theme". An EastEnders insider told Digital Spy: "It's only right that as we say goodbye to the iconic Pat Evans we pay tribute to such a character with a wonderfully touching special theme tune. As we say farewell to a legend of over 26 years, we welcome in what will be a truly remarkable New Year in E20 by adding the Olympic Park into the opening title sequence."[16]

Barbara Windsor who played Peggy Mitchell predicted that Pat would be "sorely missed" by fans. Speaking of Pat's exit, Windsor told This Morning: "Oh, I can't bear it - Pam! And she will be sorely missed - more than I was missed in the show, because she could go to anybody - any family she could go into. I am devastated." She definitely wanted to leave, but I don't know if she wanted to be killed off - that's the chance you have to take," Windsor continued. "I was positive that I was going to go up in a load of flames with The Vic - I thought that was going to happen, but of course it didn't. With Pam, I was very, very surprised, because she could always go back. But she's accepted it now and she'll have a new life."[17]

St. Clement stated that she didn't want her character to die, but said her final scenes were "fantastic". St. Clement commented: "Simon Ashdown had this idea for the character, which fitted in with her history in a sense," she explained. "They said, 'This is how we'd like it to happen - we think it's a fitting end and tribute to the character'. And as far as I can say, I read the script and I thought, 'Oh, this is fantastic - it's every actor's dream'. And I have to say, it also challenged me in a way that I hadn't been challenged. It was moving, it was challenging and it was a script that I needed to get my teeth into. The script, the performances, the direction - it all turned out to be a fantastic ensemble piece, if you like… Everybody was pulling in, everybody was doing the most wonderful performances and it was fantastic."[18]

St. Clement said she was "moved" by the Farewell Pat tribute. Speaking on Daybreak, St. Clement explained: "I wasn't going to watch [the final episode] with anybody - I was going to record it and then watch it in a darkened room somewhere, where I could be terribly critical and jump about saying, 'Stupid woman - why did you play it like that?' But everybody said, 'Oh no, sit down'. I said, 'I don't want to disturb you all' - but I did make myself behave! And I was quite dispassionate, actually. The strange thing is, after I read the script, I was very moved by it. But as soon as I started working on it, I think everybody did start getting quite emotional - but I couldn't. Even about myself leaving - people in the cast would come up and say, 'How do you feel?' and I'd say, 'I can't go there, I can't think about that, because the work's not finished'. The strange thing is, the only thing that moved me was the Farewell Pat programme. Which is strange, but I suppose that was personal in a sense." Also, St. Clement explained the experience of filming her final episode. She added: "It was a great challenge, that script," she commented. "I looked at it and thought, 'Oh, heck, how do I give light and shade to something where somebody is actually dying?' And some of the scenes could have been interpreted as being somewhat similar with Janine and David. So I had to make them different - but I had to make them different within the confines of the illness."[19]

It was later confirmed that EastEnders would air a special tribute episode to Pat after her funeral episode on 13 January 2012.[20] An EastEnders insider commented: "Pat is EastEnders - she was the heart and soul of the show and bosses have pulled out all the stops for her funeral. Not only is the episode extra long, with plenty of nods to the iconic lady, it really is the end of the earring. We are hoping that everyone dons their biggest and tackiest earrings to mark one of the saddest days in the history of Walford."[20] Co-star Lindsey Coulson said that Pat's departure was a "real-loss".[21] She told This Morning: "They were really difficult scenes to play, because we didn't want Pam to leave," Coulson explained. "So apart from not wanting to lose the wonderful character of Pat, we were mourning the loss of Pam. "You don't see everybody all the time [at EastEnders] at all, and sometimes you can go for months without seeing somebody. And most of the time you're on this big wheel and when people leave, you go, 'Oh, that's really sad', but you get back on. But actually Pam is a real loss up there."[21]

Former EastEnders cast member Martin Kemp said that the decision for Pat to leave was the "right" thing to do.[22] He told Bang Showbiz: "I still watch EastEnders from time to time. I did quite a few scenes with Pam, I remember we spent three or four days locked in a cellar once so we had quite some scenes. She's a great actress, I'm sure she'll go on to other things. I think she's making the right move, it's nice to spread your wings a bit. Although viewers will miss her I don't think anyone is bigger than the show, it doesn't matter who comes or who goes. When I was there I always thought the star of the show was and always will be the pub, The Queen Vic. Everything else is an extra around it."[22]


As of May 2005, the 1992 episode that saw Pat run over a teenage girl is the 11th most watched TV episode in the UK, and the second highest rated episode of EastEnders. It was watched by 24.2 million viewers.[23]

In popular culture[edit]

The character of Pat has been spoofed in the cartoon sketch series 2DTV. The impressionist who provides the voice is Jan Ravens, Who has not only provided the voice of Pat, but also acted the part on-screen in several episodes of the BBC's Big Impression, which devoted a regular sketch to various EastEnders characters, and she also played Pat in the other impressionist series Dead Ringers. The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson also contains sketches where impressionist Debra Stephenson portrays Pat in situations, often with Coronation Street character Ken Barlow, played by Jon Culshaw.[citation needed] She is also the frequent target of jokes in Harry Hill's TV Burp, usually alluding to her former prostitution and alleged sexual promiscuity.[citation needed] Comedian Lee Evans had once used Pat as one of his jokes in his tour Live at the O2 Arena.[citation needed] In the first episode of Series 3 of The Inbetweeners, Jay gets his ears pierced with large round earrings and is mocked by his friend Simon Cooper, who calls it the ‘Pat Butcher look’.[24]


  1. ^ FAT PAT GETS PIC-NICKED Sunday Mirror, 10 June 2007
  2. ^ SPOILER ALERT EastEnders' Pat Evans left fighting for her life Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Now Magazine, 1 May 2008
  3. ^ "This Morning - (EastEnders) Pam St Clement Interview - 3/1/2012". Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  4. ^ EastEnders books, The EastEnders Handbook by Hilary Kingsley, ISBN 0-563-36292-8
  5. ^ EastEnders books, EastEnders: The First 10 Years: A Celebration by Colin Brake, ISBN 0-563-37057-2
  6. ^ EastEnders books, EastEnders: 20 years in Albert Square by Rupert Smith, ISBN 0-563-52165-1
  7. ^ a b Smith, Julia; Holland, Tony (1987). EastEnders - The Inside Story. Book Club Associates. ISBN 978-0-563-20601-9.
  8. ^ a b Brake, Colin (1995). EastEnders: The First 10 Years: A Celebration. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-37057-4.
  9. ^ a b "Tomorrow some 20 million people will tune in to EastEnders". The Independent. 24 December 1995. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
  10. ^ Kempster, Doug. "Take that, Pat!; Peggy lashes out, all for the love of Frank". Sunday Mirror. The Free Library. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Take that, Pat - and hands off Frank". Sunday Mirror. The Free Library. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  12. ^ a b TV Buzz (31 December 2011 – 6 January 2012). "I can't believe EastEnders are killing off Pat!". The Sun: 37.
  13. ^ a b c d "Pat set to hang up earrings". Sky News. BSkyB. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
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