At the end of a week of suspense and live broadcasts, viewers were left aghast after it was revealed that 11-year-old Bobby Beale killed his sister Lucy in a special double-episode shown February 19.
EastEnders broke records across the board and saw its highest viewing figures in years, becoming the only programme to achieve more than 10m viewers in 2015 so far.
The suspense appears to have done the BBC and its main TV channel a lot of good. BBC One’s Word of Mouth metric (whether respondents have talked about the brand with friends and family in the past two weeks) increased from six per cent to 12.9 per cent since the 30th anniversary week began on 16 February.
YouGov’s Attention metric measures the percentage of those who have reported hearing anything, either positive or negative, about a brand over the past two weeks. And the score rose from 12.7 per cent to 17.6 per cent.
The BBC used social media extensively too, achieving true interaction with the show’s viewers with the hashtag #EELive in the corner of the screen. Using YouGov’s social media analysis tool, SoMa, we pulled the conversations from our Twitter panellists that mentioned EastEnders, #EastEnders, #EELive, #HowsAdam and #WhoKilledLucy? between 17 and 25 February.
During this period, 51 per cent of UK Twitter users were exposed to the programme and when the culprit was unveiled the percentage of people that had either posted or heard of the programme was 44 per cent.
The week was an undoubted success for the show. They will hope that lapsed fans can now be persuaded back. Douf-douf-douf, douffer-douffer.