POOR Bradley Branning. Come the end of the live 25th anniversary edition of BBC1’s EastEnders, not only was he dead, but had no idea who killed Archie. Having just fallen off a roof while being pursued by police and landed in a bloody, expired heap, he missed the denouement – what we’d all been waiting to find out – who bashed evil Archie Mitchell over the head with the bust of Queen Victoria on Christmas Day?

Actually, he wasn’t the only one missing out. Charlie Clements, the actor who plays blushing Bradley, had no idea whodunnit until he was told by presenter George Lamb in a post-programme interview over on BBC3.

He looked as shocked as any man who’s just fallen to his death, discovered his pregnant wife is a killer and is dying to get to the post-show party.

After Thursday’s double episode with two weddings – Bianca and Ricky plus Bradley and Stacey, both marrying each other for the second time – we were promised the identity of Archie’s murderer would be revealed in the first live edition in the soap’s history.

This was an occasion when the actors really could only follow Noel Coward’s advice to learn the lines and not bump into the furniture.

It wasn’t so much a case of acting as acting suspiciously, something the entire cast has been required to do since Archie was “busted” on Christmas Day. Everyone was a suspect.

Doing a live show isn’t new and East- Enders were modest in their ambition going for a half-hour episode. Coronation Street did it for an hour and The Bill did it with explosions.

But what a lot was packed into the 30- minutes of EastEnders they gave us.

Bradley and Stacey tried to do a runner.

Janine tried to do a runner. The wedding celebrations continued in the Vic. The police plodded about the Square as clueless as usual.

Fill the Fug did some damage, Sisters Ronnie and Roxy argued over Archie’s parenting skills. Police cars raced with lights flashing. Dot smoked. And Ian played a video featuring the soap’s icons, like Dirty Den, Angie, Arthur, Pauline and Kaff of Kaff’s Kaff fame. A cunning way of injecting a spot of nostalgia into the proceedings.

How did it compare to the other unforgettable moments in EastEnders’ history, like Dirty Den serving divorce papers on wife Angie on Christmas Day, or Sharongate, when an adulterous relationship was publicly exposed in the Vic on a tape.

Or best of all, the “douf,douf,douf” moment when Zoe Slater learned that Kat wasn’t her sister, but her mother.

“You can’t tell me what to do. You ain’t muy mother,” screamed Zoe across Albert Square.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2010 northernecho.co.uk TV & ENTERTAINMENT 25 NOMINATION: Aisling Loftus in Daniel Elliott’s short film Jade “Yes, I am,” responded a tearful Kat.

Last night’s didn’t match that, partly because murders are ten a penny in soapland.

Of the 70 deaths in EastEnders’ history, 16 have been violent. And the whodunnit angle has been exploited many times before, from who shot JR in Dallas, to who shot Phil Mitchell, in East- Enders itself.

As the show featured 51 members of the EastEnders cast, they were lucky to get a word in edgeways. So great acting was never going to happen.

As it turned out, the most shocking moment wasn’t Bradley’s death fall or Stacey’s surprise confession. It was the sight of Minty stripped to the waist during a drunken game of flip, sip or strip in the Vic. Now there is something there really should be a law against.