'EastEnders' Premiered 30 Years Ago Today

Reg Cox met his demise in the first episode of EastEnders.
British soap opera EastEnders premiered on February 19, 1985, telling stories about the denizens of Albert Square in London's East End borough of Walford. Exactly 30 years and over 5,000 episodes later the show is still going strong.

An ensemble cast of 25 launched the BBC One show, and some of the characters they played - Ian Beale, Arthur Fowler, Den and Angie, Dot Cotton - went on to become national icons.

The first episode started with the murder of Reg Cox, who lived in the top flat of 23 Albert Square. Den Watts, Arthur Fowler, and Ali Osman discovered Reg unconscious in his flat. While the rest of "the Square" -- led by busybodies Ethel Skinner and Lou Beale -- was mired in gossip about Reg's condition and argued over comparative neighborliness, Pauline and Arthur Fowler -- middle-aged and on the dole with two teens to support -- fretted about telling family matriarch Lou that they had a third child on the way.

It took 13 more episodes for it to be revealed "Nasty" Nick Cotton had bludgeoned him with a lead pipe in order to steal his war medals for drug money.

13 million viewers tuned in for the premiere. Watch it below:

BBC One is celebrating the 30th anniversary by going live all week. With shocking revelations and unguessable twists, it's a week that will might Albert Square forever. There will be a series of live elements in all the episodes that week, with a fully live half hour on Friday night at 8 p.m. Lucy Beale's killer will finally be revealed during Thursday's episode.

* Who Killed Lucy Beale on 'EastEnders'? Oddsmakers Say Bobby Beale

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