It's a phenomenon less frequent than a solar eclipse or the northern lights, but ‘EastEnders’ fans were left in shock on Friday night, when Tracey the barmaid actually said something.
Over the years, Tracey has stood behind the bar at the Queen Vic, witnessing cat-fights, wedding receptions and even a birth - but despite this, it’s been a long time since fans have even had the chance to hear her speak… until now.
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In fact, Tracey was an integral part of one of the biggest plotlines in ‘EastEnders’ history, picking up the phone to speak to Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), who Albert Square residents had been under the impression had been dead for almost a decade.
Despite the character not having any class of backstory - or even a surname - viewers of the show reacted with surprise and delight at getting to hear Tracey’s dulcet tones, even if it did take literal years for her to break her silence.
YES TRACY GWAN WITH UR SPEAKING ROLE, ur star was too bright for the murky depths of Walford - shine brightly my love, shine on. #Eastenders— Snukes (@QueerDiscOx) September 11, 2015
Tracey got some lines in Eastenders 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 finally!!!— Trixi (@fifi_trixi_bell) September 11, 2015
I'm so happy for Tracey in eastenders. Think she had more lines tonight than she has for the 8 years I've watched it! 😂— Erin (@Erag0n_) September 11, 2015
Eastenders' Tracey has said more in this one episode than in all her years combined! #eastendersSeptember 11, 2015
It's a rare occurrence but when Tracey speaks it's a thing to behold #eastenders— Mark Doyle (@markd_85) September 11, 2015
In fact, ‘EastEnders’ fans were so surprised to see Tracey so involved in the action, that the character’s name was even the second-highest trending term on Twitter, following Friday night’s show.
It’s nice to see her finally get her time in the sun. Surely it’s only a matter of time before Winston from the market gets a Shakespearean soliloquy to deliver in the middle of Albert Square, right?
Of course, attention is now turning to whether or not Tracey will be used in future episodes, or whether she’ll be returning to her self-imposed vow of silence.
Personally, we think it’s time for Tracey to step out from behind the bar and into the spotlight - and we have a few suggestions for potential storylines to help ease the character in.