EastEnders achieved its highest overnight rating in two years on Tuesday as the show’s live week got underway.
An average audience of 9.03m (39.8%) tuned in for the first of the show’s 30th anniversary episodes, with a further 532k (3.7%) opting to catch a later showing on BBC Three at 10.30pm.
The episode – which attracted a considerable buzz on social media – ended with a surprise cliff-hanger in which Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) was accused by her father of killing Lucy Beale.
Confusion arose among fans as to what Max (Jake Wood) had said, with some accusing him of ‘fluffing his lines’ during the live cliff-hanger.
However, EastEnders has confirmed that the line delivered by Wood was “…You killed Lucy” rather than “Who killed Lucy” as some had thought they had heard.
The episode was the most watched since New Years Day 2013, building to a peak of 9.6 million viewers.
Other highlights included Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) and Christian Clarke (John Partridge) returning to Walford and Richard Blackwood debuting as a new villainous character.
EastEnders’ live week continues tonight at 8.00pm on BBC One. All of this week’s episodes feature live inserts, with Friday’s transmission being fully live.