EastEnders fans in tears at touching tribute to soap LEGEND

EastEnders logo Queen Vic
EastEnders paid tribute to a Walford legend. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders fans sobbed at a powerful mention to soap legend Mark Fowler (Todd Carty) during last night's episode (Thursday, February 2) amidst Zack Hudson's (James Farrar) HIV storyline.

In EastEnders, Zack has been struggling to cope with his HIV diagnosis and forgot that it was Mark's birthday — the brother of his best friend Martin Fowler (James Bye).

To remember him on his birthday, Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) showed Martin an old photo of his beloved brother that Michelle Fowler (Jenna Russell) had sent her.

Mark first stepped onto the Square in 1985 as a troublesome teenager and later returned to Walford in 1990 as a changed man.

He went down in history as the first mainstream soap character to be diagnosed with HIV and was at the forefront of some major storylines during his time on the Square.

Sharon Watts shows a picture of Mark Fowler on her phone

Sharon Watts and Martin Fowler fondly remembered Mark Fowler on his birthday. (Image credit: BBC)

Mark lived with HIV for 13 years before tragically losing his life to an AIDS-related illness in 2004.

Fans got emotional at the thoughtful tribute to Mark on his birthday, whose diagnosis made a huge impact in raising awareness of the issue and went down as Walford's most memorable residents...

The touching tribute comes as Zack was recently diagnosed as HIV positive after sharing needles with his old friend Brett when taking steroids together in the past.

Currently, Zack has only told his friend Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) and is yet to tell his family and friends, in particular Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) who he is expecting a baby with.

After the poignant mention of Mark, could this encourage Zack to tell Martin about his diagnosis and get the support he needs? After all, Martin would understand what Zack is going through following Mark's diagnosis.

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.