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Trackback - Pauline Fowler (fictional)

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Pauline Fowler (née Beale) is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, a long-running serial drama about working class life in the fictional London borough of Walford. The character is no longer part of current storylines. She was played by the late actress Wendy Richard between 1985 and 2006. Pauline was created by scriptwriter Tony Holland and producer Julia Smith as one of EastEnders' original characters. She made her debut in the soap's first episode on 19 February 1985, and remained for twenty-one years and ten months, making her the second longest-running original character, surpassed only by Ian Beale.

Pauline's storylines focus on drudgery, money worries and family troubles. The matriarchal stalwart of the fictional London community of Albert Square, she is portrayed as a stoic, opinionated battle-axe—a family-oriented woman who alienates her kin due to overbearing interference. Pauline's marriage to the downtrodden Arthur was central to the character for the first eleven years of the programme, culminating with his screen death in 1996. She was used for comedic purposes in scenes with her launderette colleague, Dot Branning, and scriptwriters included many feuds in her narrative, most notably with her daughter-in-law, Sonia, and Den Watts, a family friend who got her daughter Michelle pregnant at just 16. A famous episode in 1986, which included Pauline discovering that Den was the father of Michelle's baby, drew over 30 million viewers, and was listed at Number 36 in The Times' 1998 list of "Top 100 cult moments in Film". Wendy Richard announced Pauline's retirement from the serial in July 2006, and the character was killed off in a "whodunnit?" murder storyline, with Richard making her final appearance on 25 December 2006.

Pauline was a staple in the UK press during her time in EastEnders, representative of the symbiosis between Britain's soaps and tabloid newspapers. Widely read tabloids, such as The Sun and Daily Mirror, would routinely publish articles about forthcoming developments in Pauline's storylines. Critical opinion on the character differs. She has been described as a "legend" and a television icon, but was also voted the 35th "most annoying person of 2006" (being the only fictional character to appear on the list). The character is well-known even outside of the show's viewer-base, and away from the on-screen serial, Pauline has been the subject of television documentaries, behind-the-scenes books, tie-in novels and comedy sketch shows.


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Last Edited: Thursday 16th August 2012 (8:26 pm) by Adam (StarRatingStarRatingStarRating)

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