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'EastEnders' Pam St Clement: 'I didn't want Pat to die'

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EastEnders legend Pam St Clement has admitted that she did not want her character Pat Evans to be killed off - but thought her final episode was "fantastic".

Fans of the soap watched Pat die on New Year's Day after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her family and friends were seen gathering to say their goodbyes in an extended 70-minute edition of the show.

Eastenders: Pat's classic moments

© BBC

Pat lies seriously ill in bed

© BBC



In real life, meanwhile, St Clement announced her decision to leave EastEnders in July 2011, confirming that she wished to pursue "other work and life opportunities".

Speaking on This Morning today, St Clement said of her exit storyline: "To be honest with you, I didn't want the character to die. Not just because I was being a typical actor and wanted a comfort zone and safety net to fall back on in case. But also because I felt that a particular generation of characters in Albert Square was getting a bit thin on the ground, so you didn't have that to call on.

"I mean, there's Barbara [Windsor] if she wanted to go back - she's still there. I always put it like, characters like myself are like the fruitcake, and all the people who do the sexy scenes are like the icing. But we form the foundation which is necessary for that."

Eastenders: Pat's classic moments

© BBC

Dot learns that Pat has discharged herself from hospital

© BBC



St Clement added that, despite her concerns, she was thrilled when she read the script for Pat's swan song.

"Simon Ashdown had this idea for the character, which fitted in with her history in a sense," she explained. "They said, 'This is how we'd like it to happen - we think it's a fitting end and tribute to the character'.

"And as far as I can say, I read the script and I thought, 'Oh, this is fantastic - it's every actor's dream'. And I have to say, it also challenged me in a way that I hadn't been challenged. It was moving, it was challenging and it was a script that I needed to get my teeth into.

"The script, the performances, the direction - it all turned out to be a fantastic ensemble piece, if you like… Everybody was pulling in, everybody was doing the most wonderful performances and it was fantastic."

Upcoming EastEnders episodes will see Pat's family continue to struggle with their loss. Her funeral airs on Friday, January 13 at 8pm on BBC One.

> EastEnders Pat will be sorely missed, says Barbara Windsor
> EastEnders star Pam St Clement on bowing out as Pat
> EastEnders Pat exit: Cheryl Cole leads celebrity tributes
> EastEnders: Pat Evans's funeral in pictures
> Read more EastEnders news and spoilers

Watch some of Pat's EastEnders best bits in the video below:

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