It’s safe to say the UK soaps have given us our fair share of shocks, tragedies and uplifting moments during their time on the screen, with Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale to name but a few putting out gripping stories each week that touch upon real subjects.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top ten iconic moment in UK TV soap history and relive some of the best scenes from our beloved programmes. We bet your TV magazine subscriptions couldn’t have predicted these:
1. ‘You’re not my mother!’
One of the single most shocking lines ever screamed across Albert Square, Kat and Zoe Slater’s shocking revelation that Kat was in fact Zoe’s mother and not her sister was aired in 2001 and had viewers reeling. Afterwards Kat tries to take her own life, adding to the drama but is found by Zoe and saved.
2. The Emmerdale crash
One of the first helicopter crashes to occur in a soap, Emmerdale killed off its characters in style. Of course the ‘copter had to crash into the venue where Debbie and Pete were getting married, and it had just been revealed that Debbie had been sleeping with Pete’s brother…
3. The Gloved Hand Killer reveal
Hollyoaks’ gloved hand killer went on a rampage, claiming the lives of eight characters before finally being revealed as Lindsey Butterfield – after everyone suspected her sister Kim.
4. Tiffany Mitchell’s exit
The Mitchell brothers have had their fair share of love triangles and tragedy but when Grant tried to take his and Tiffany’s child away after being released from prison, viewers expected drama. Little did they know Frank Butcher was going to drive along and mow poor old Tiffany down in his car (accidentally).
5. Sonia’s surprise baby
Albert Square has had plenty of surprises but no one was prepared for Sonia screaming in the living room and Mo announcing that she’d actually giving birth to a surprise baby.
6. The Coronation Street tram crash
These soaps do like to kill off their characters in one go, don’t they? The Corrie tram crash, claiming the lives of Ashley Peacock and Molly Dobbs, was a fiery affair with plenty of explosions and screaming as part of the show’s 50th birthday and brought in 15.9 million viewers – the highest the show had enjoyed in seven years.
7. Haley Cropper’s exit
Haley Cropper was a much loved character and was taken away cruelly from the show with a pancreatic cancer storyline. Her last moments with husband Roy were heartbreaking as she decided to take her own life rather than die in pain, due to the cancer.
8. (Attempted) death by drowning
Tricky Dickie decided he didn’t want to go to jail after being exposed as a murderer back in 2003, so he decided to drive the Platts into the canal. Like you do.
9. Bradley and Stacey’s relationship
Bradley Branning and Stacey Slater were an unlikely pair and their relationship was a tumultuous one with affairs (the biggest being Stacey’s affair with Bradley’s Dad, Max), phantom pregnancies and multiple break ups. However, this all came to an end when Stacey revealed she was pregnant after being raped by Archie Mitchell, Bradley went round to confront him and the next morning Archie was found dead.
Bradley was quickly accused of murder but it was actually Stacey who did the killing. The pair tried to escape Walford but were seen by the police so Bradley decided to climb the Vic in an attempt to protect Stacey, then of course accidentally fell to his death. Phew, iconic.
10. Deidre behind bars
The British public was outraged when their favourite leading lady Deidre was cuffed and put behind bars for fraud back in 1998. Even Tony Blair got involved, trying to get her freed and someone actually got a tattoo a few years later to commemorate the iconic moment.