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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

In an episode as dramatic as its soap opera namesake, staff at the EastEnders wine store in Calais carried out their threat to issue Roberto Alonso of Bodegas Faustino with a court summons at the LIWSF. As reported in last week's Harpers, EastEnders boss Dave West alleges that in 1998 he tried to order 50,000 of wine from Faustino, but was told to go through its agent, French-based Don Felipe, instead. West alleges that Don Felipe then went bust, and is now pursuing Faustino for his cash, which could amount to 250,000 once interest and costs have been added. Amid comical scenes, EastEnders manager Marlene Deparis-Weinburg and two of her colleagues confronted Alonso at the Cellar Trends stand on the fair's opening day, Tuesday 18 May. Despite being told initially that Sr Alonso was not at the fair, he mysteriously appeared from the other side of the stand some minutes later to discuss the matter. And after your correspondent was warned not to stir things up, sonny' by a Cellar Trends employee, the EastEnders staff handed Alonso the summons. Alonso later told Harpers: They [EastEnders] had an issue with our agent in France. It's something for the courts.' Alonso also alleged that, ironically, Faustino was also owed money, 40,000, by Don Felipe, before the agent went bust. He added: I think I'm going to sleep well tonight. I just think they are trying to get a bit of publicity.' But Deparis-Weinburg was unrepentant: I think it went well; a job well done. I'm very confident.'