The Square? Corrie? Emmerdale? Which is the most dangerous?

01/10/14

Walford ways to die

As EastEnders celebrates its 30th birthday by revealing who killed Lucy Beale, we look at whether you'd have a better life expectancy living in the Square, the Street or the rolling hills of Emmerdale.

Let's face it, it's unlikely many of us have watched a soap opera and thought: "ooh, I wish my life was just like that."

Mainly because rows, fights, divorces, depression and heartache seem to be the order of the day in them most of the time.

And quite often the scriptwriters seem to decide that things aren't dramatic enough (or one of the actors goes off to "try their luck in Hollywood") and we get one of those classic soap moments - someone gets killed off.

When Lucy Beale's body was found on Walford Common earlier this year she became, by Newsbeat's count, the 24th murder in EastEnders since it started back in 1985.

Lucy Beale from Eastenders
Image caption Lucy Beale - whose killer will be revealed in a special live EastEnders in February

In fact, that very first episode also featured a murder, with Reg Cox found fatally injured in his flat.

Since then Albert Square has enjoyed some impressive crime statistics, and some colourful ways to bow out.

Characters have been stabbed, killed in faked car accidents, shot, strangled with a bow tie, pushed off a flyover, and hit on the head with a bewildering series of implements including an ashtray, a frying pan, the old Cluedo favourite the lead piping, a picture frame and a bust of Queen Victoria.

You may not remember Dirty Den but back in 1986 he was one of the main characters who everyone thought had copped it via a bunch daffodils. But he dramatically turned up alive many years later.

Reg Cox was the first character to die in Eastenders - in the show's very first episode.
Image caption It was Nick Cotton, in the flat, with the lead piping. Reg Cox was the first character to die in EastEnders

If that all sounds a bit gritty and urban for you, and you think you'd be better off in the pretty Yorkshire countryside of Emmerdale - you couldn't be more wrong.

In total, 101 characters have died in Walford - Emmerdale's managed 104 although it is a few years older. We count 27 characters murdered or violently killed in the Dale - and that's not including the dramatic scenes of 1993 when a plane actually crashed into the village.

Coronation Street's never managed an actual aviation disaster, but it came close with 2010's tram accident, broadcast live to celebrate the Soap's 50th anniversary.

Fifty dangerous years for the residents of the street with 159 deaths, although only 16 murders so certainly a safer place to settle than Walford.

Prince Charles in the Rovers Return
Image caption Even royalty has survived going for a drink in the Rovers Return

All in all, we don't really feel we can recommend a soap opera as a good place to enjoy a long and happy life. And don't even get us started on Brookside.

Although there is one place where you have at least a fighting chance: the world's longest running soap is Radio 4's The Archers.

And despite fires, fallings from roofs and tractor mishaps, not one of the show's colourful countryside characters has ever been murdered.

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