EastEnders and Gavin & Stacey make list of top Christmas TV cliffhangers


The moment Dirty Den stunned wife Angie with divorce papers on EastEnders has topped a poll of the best Christmas TV cliffhangers.

The 1986 episode of the long-running BBC soap took 32% of a poll by UKTV’s Drama channel, placing it ahead of last year’s Gavin & Stacey special which left viewers in the lurch over Nessa’s proposal to Smithy.


In third, according to the poll of 2,000 viewers, was a 2012 episode of Sherlock, where the detective stepped off a hospital roof to his apparent death.

EastEnders also took fourth place, with its 2007 Christmas episode revealing Stacey and Max’s affair.

And rounding out the top five was a Downton Abbey episode in 2012 in which Lady Mary gives birth only for her partner Matthew to be killed in a car accident.

The Royle Family made the top 10 with a 1999 special showing Denise going into labour while the 2010 Coronation Street tram crash episode also made the cut.

EastEnders took 10th spot with Frank Butcher’s return in 1995.

Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama, said: “These incredible TV cliffhangers represent some of the most memorable moments in British TV history.

“TV has the power to tell stories that hook you in and keep you gripped which is something the whole family can then come together to watch and enjoy.

“We’ve found that people love to watch back these dramatic moments, remembering the first time they watched it with their loved ones and forging new family traditions.”