The ender Pauline

Leeds production company keeps soap world's biggest secret:

BY SOPHIE HAZAN

A LEEDS production company is at the centre of the biggest Christmas and new year soap plot secret.

Staff at Daisybeck Productions of Meanwood, Leeds, have been sworn to secrecy after finding out exactly how soap character Pauline Fowler finally exits EastEnders.

The closely guarded secret wanted by every tabloid television critic worth his salt was uncovered when the Leeds-based film crew gained exclusive access to the legendary film set.

Launderette

But since their privileged behind-the-scenes visit everyone from the directors to the secretaries have been made to keep schtum.

Albert Square, The Queen Vic pub and the launderette where Pauline famously worked, were opened especially for Daisybeck Productions. They were filming a documentary special about the life and times of the veteran actress after 22 years at the show.

EastEnders Revealed: Goodbye Pauline, produced by Michelle Blissett, will go out on New Year's Day on BBC1.

Dee Marshall, Daisybeck head of development, said: "We are quite chuffed to be at the centre of something like this. Getting onto the set of EastEnders is like getting into Buckingham Palace after hours.

"The hoops we had to jump through were unbelievable. We were really chuffed we got to do it. It was quite a coup."

The film follows Wendy on a farewell tour of the set where she meets characters from the show's past and present including her soap character's son Mark Fowler.

Dee added: "Wendy shed quite a lot of tears. The crew said it was quite emotional. EastEnders has been a large part of her life."

Wendy, 63, has suffered years of ill-health and has recently been receiving treatment for a stomach ulcer. She has been in EastEnders since its first episode on February 19, 1985.

Exit

Wendy's contract ends in November and it is expected that Pauline will make her exit from Albert Square on Christmas Day.

And exactly how does Pauline die? "You will all have to tune in and see," said Dee.

Well, we had to ask.

sophie.hazan@ypn.co.uk