Six million watch Ronnie and Roxy depart EastEnders

Six million viewers saw Ronnie and Roxy depart EastEnders on New Year’s Day.

The BBC One soap’s hour-long special at 7pm was watched by an average of 6m viewers while, over on ITV at 8pm, a standard length Corrie was seen by 6.2m. These figures take into account standard catch-up viewing up to 2am.

EastEnders‘ special episode had been teased for weeks on the basis of whether Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) would marry despite setbacks from her sister Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons).

The loved-up couple did tie the knot, but tragedy soon followed when Ronnie and Roxy met a watery demise after hitting the wedding venue’s deserted swimming pool.

Roxy failed to resurface after first taking the plunge while Ronnie’s attempts to rescue her sister proved futile thanks to her wedding dress getting in the way, the sodden lacy gown eventually causing her own death. 

Their exits from the soap had been known about for months but – despite some tabloid leaks – it was never confirmed by the beeb just how they would go. A number of alternative endings had purportedly been made with one being featured on the BBC Snapchat channel.

“I’m sorry I can’t respond to any comments..I’m honestly broken. An appropriate end to the darkest year ever.” – Samantha Womack tweeted

A less-hyped edition of Coronation Street saw funny girl Mary Taylor (Patti Clare) seemingly depart the street to be with her son in South Africa. However, in a heart-warming twist, she returned at the end, much to the delight of friend Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden).

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