There was confusion then celebration at the BBC tonight, when EastEnders, long considered to be a fictional TV soap, was, in fact, discovered to be a genuine East End community complete with actual real life people in real life situations!
The proof came during today's Christmas episode, when a number of the cast were gathered together at Ian Beale's house for Christmas Dinner. As the throng finished eating, the strains of the Doctor Who theme could be heard emanating from the TV in the background.
There had been earlier signs.
Sean Slater had arranged a sing-song in the Square to serenade his girlfriend Roxy, and chose, not a made-up ditty from some scriptwriters imagination, but the real-life 1980 Jona Lewie hit Stop The Cavalry, further proof, if it was needed, that EastEnders is far from some mythical, miserable, monotonous and morbid made-up manor.
Assembled at the Beale's were the Masoods, Minty, Gary, Bianca and her lot, Shirley, Darren Miller and Heather Trott, that fat lass who can't stop eating cheese. It had been thought that these were all actors but, as the Doctor Who theme proved, they are all real people, albeit with sad, miserable, impoverished lives.
A BBC spokesman said:
"Oh, it's real, all right. Actors? You think we employ actors as terrible as this lot?"