Everybody hurts on EastEnders

I’ll confess I am no fan of EastEnders. In fact I can’t bear to be in the room when its characters are shouting at, or as seems to happen quite often, murdering each other. Unfortunately it is very successful and unfortunately the BBC keeps reminding us that there is yet another dramatic storyline coming up. Most of the time I can block out these promotions, but one has slipped through my guard in a fingernail scraping down the blackboard sort of way.


Yes it’s the one where three battered, bruised and blooded women sing a line from the REM song Everybody Hurts. I don’t know whether to laugh or be sick. What makes it worse is that the schedulers have made it a double bill with a trailer for Casualty. In this episode some colleagues are injured in a car crash and it looks like Charlie is the only one to save them. I haven’t watched the programme in years, but even so the plot has a familiar ring to it.

Back to Everybody Hurts. Of course it is not the first time the song has been used for a purpose its writers had probably not intended. It was chosen in 2010 by Simon Cowell as the Live Aid-style fund-raising single for the Haiti earthquake relief fund. That, from memory, was fairly cringe-worthy as well but at least it was well-intentioned. Apparently EastEnders celebrates its 30th anniversary next year and the Controller of BBC One Charlotte Moore is promising us a real treat. She has been telling journalists: “BBC One will bring the nation together to celebrate 30 years of EastEnders by going live across the anniversary week. Next February will mark a massive event on the channel by creating the ultimate ‘doof doof’.”

Doof doof? Lord Reith will be turning in his grave.