The cardigan-loving whingebag that is Pauline Fowler has finally kicked the bucket - hooray!

But is it just me or does the Square already seem a lonelier place in EastEnders?

After 21 years playing the most miserable character in Britain's most depressing soap (that's some achievement) Wendy Richard couldn't just slip out the back door without so much as a fond farewell.

Peggy Mitchell would never have stood for it for one thing - most folk can barely announce they've bought a new top without it warranting a do at the Vic with a buffet.

And so the BBC scraped together a televisual version of a leaving speech and carriage clock in the form of last night's EastEnders Revealed: Goodbye Pauline.

While Pauline may have been an old curmudgeon whose obsession with her son Martin bordered on the frankly ridiculous by the end, you couldn't help feeling a tiny bit sad at the loss.

And if there were awards for putting family first then, by jove, Pauline would be able to fill that manky old mantelpiece full of pictures of the children who had abandoned her with them.

Wendy Richard must be thrilled she'll finally be able to get a decent hair cut and wear some fashionable gear. Incidentally, I bumped into her once in London and she looked very attractive.

So, so long Pauline, I've got a feeling EastEnders won't be quite the same without you.