It was the mid eighties when the BBC launched their soap opera EastEnders with much fanfare, causing my Mum and mothers across the land to tune in eagerly for a dose of market trading folk from a small London suburb. Such was the popularity of the show back then that the characters who made up the original cast are still fondly remembered today.
The programme has a very memorable theme tune, but it came as quite a surprise to most people when Anita Dobson, aka Angie Watts, the Queen Vic landlady, released a record which put lyrics to the theme song.
The lyrics may well be considered cheesey now (and probably was back in 1986 when it was released) but it has to be said that Anita Dobson didn’t actually have a bad singing voice, so whilst it was most likely the popularity of EastEnders that saw the record reach number 4 in the UK charts, at least there was some talent involved in the production of the record.
The EastEnders theme tune was originally composed by Simon May, with the lyrics added afterwards by Don Black. It was produced by Dobson’s husband Brian May. That’s right, the big haired Brian May from Queen! Well, it’s nice that he supported his wife, isn’t it?
Sadly for Anita, whilst she did release other records after this, none were particularly popular, which I suppose comes as no surprise since she was never going to be popular with the younger market because it would be like buying a record sung by your Mum.
Want to have a listen for old times sake. Check out the video clip below. Sadly I couldn’t embed it, but there’s also footage of Anita performing the song on Top of the Pops. I bet she felt a bit of a plum during the quite long instrumental break.