Alfie Moon

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Alfie Moon
Alfie Moon.jpg
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Shane Richie
Duration 2002–05, 2010–
First appearance 21 November 2002
Created by Tony Jordan
Introduced by Louise Berridge (2002)
Bryan Kirkwood (2010)
Spin-off
appearances
"East Street" (2010)
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Barman
Bar manager
Market trader
Pub landlord

Alfred William "Alfie" Moon is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Shane Richie. He made his first appearance on 21 November 2002, and left on 25 December 2005. He returned to EastEnders on 21 September 2010,[1] following the return of on-screen wife Kat (Jessie Wallace) two episodes previously. Some of the character's more prominent storylines have included: his turbulent relationship with—and later marriage to—Kat Slater; the dementia and death of his grandmother, Nana Moon (Hilda Braid); believing that Kat's son Tommy had died of cot death, whereas in fact Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) had switched him with her own deceased child; Kat's affair with Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman); beginning a relationship with Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) and marrying her, but reuniting with Kat moments after the wedding; Kat becoming pregnant with twins, named Bert and Ernie; and starting a fire at their home.

Storylines[edit]

Backstory[edit]

Alfie's parents were killed in a car crash on Shrove Tuesday and the family commemorate their death each year. Although young, he took responsibility for his younger brother Spencer (Christopher Parker), who is nearly twenty years his junior, and his grandmother Victoria (Hilda Braid), widely known as Nana. Alfie spent three years in prison for credit card fraud after taking the blame for his second cousins Jake (Joel Beckett) and Danny (Jake Maskall).

2002–05[edit]

Alfie is ejected from Walford East tube station for fare evasion, and causes havoc in the market by getting a refund from Winston (Ulric Browne) for a video he stole and tricking Martin Fowler (James Alexandrou) into giving him free fruit. After acquainting himself with a few residents, he sneaks into The Queen Victoria public house and helps himself to a drink behind the bar. The landlady, Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor), assumes that Alfie is Chris Wright (Tom Roberts), the new manager sent by an agency. Alfie takes advantage of the misunderstanding to commit identity fraud against Wright. Alfie packs any stock he could find in a bin bag, ready to leave. Jim Branning (John Bardon) catches him, but assumes Alfie is throwing away outdated stock and tricks Alfie into giving him a pint on the house. Winston, Martin, Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) and Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) realise that Alfie has told them all different background stories but he manages to reconcile the inconsistent stories. Alfie later answers the phone to the real Chris Wright and tells him the position is filled, revealing his intention to stay. Alfie's brother and grandmother arrive unannounced in Albert Square and move into the pub with Alfie, much to his dismay. When Alfie is blackmailed by a former police officer, Dougie Slade (John Bowler), who reveals Alfie's true identity to Peggy, Alfie and his family are forced to flee with the pub's takings. However, Alfie leaves the money on Peggy's doorstep. Peggy manages to track him down and after he confides in her about his parents' death, she gives him another chance. Alfie reluctantly accepts her proposal.

Alfie shares a bond with barmaid Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) and an attraction develops. Eventually Kat reciprocates his feelings and one night when the pub is closed, Kat reveals her feelings to him. They decide to embark on their relationship slowly, but his inability to trust her causes her to rethink the romance and she breaks up with Alfie, within less than a week. Alfie is heartbroken when Kat returns from a trip to New York engaged to local gangster Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs). Andy, knowing Alfie's feelings for Kat, warns him to stay away from her and the wedding. Before the wedding, Kat visits Victoria in hospital, and thinking she is asleep, admits she still loves Alfie. Victoria tells Alfie and he rushes to the wedding to confess his true feelings as the ceremony takes place. Kat jilts Andy and he swears revenge before leaving Walford. Alfie and Kat quickly get engaged and decide to hold the wedding on Christmas Day, less than a month away. However, Alfie is still married to his first wife, Liza (Joanne Adams). Liza's mother, Marlene (Christine Ellerbeck) tells Alfie that their divorce is finalised, so he starts to prepare the wedding to Kat, until Liza reveals they are not divorced. There are only a few days before the wedding so he tries to quickly finalise the divorce while trying to keep it secret from Kat, though Liza makes it difficult as she wants Alfie to take her back. Alfie is forced to cancel the minister on Christmas Day and he panics, but gets his friend Ray (David Walliams) to pretend to be a minister, while planning to tell Kat the truth a few days later. Spencer warns Alfie not to start his marriage with a lie, so Alfie reveals the truth to a furious Kat. Alfie is about to tell the guests that the wedding is cancelled when his solicitor enters with Alfie's decree absolute. Alfie convinces the minister to cancel his Christmas lunch, and Alfie and Kat marry.

After a while, Alfie borrows several thousand pounds from Andy to bail out Kat's father, Charlie (Derek Martin), who has been arrested for assault. Andy begins demanding cash every week, which he knows Alfie cannot afford. Andy's plan to wreck the Moons' marriage starts to work and Andy offers Kat the chance to pay off the debt by spending time with him in bed. She reluctantly agrees and they sleep together, with a reluctant Kat oozing with guilt. Though unknown to her, Alfie has paid Andy the money. Andy keeps the money and gives Alfie a video tape of Kat cheating on Alfie with him. They watch the sex tape together and she reveals the whole story behind her infidelity. When Alfie insults Kat, she slaps him, with him doing the same thing. Afterwards, the couple attempt to put the incident behind them but their marriage starts to deteriorate and Alfie is unable to trust Kat. She moves out of Walford for while. During her return, it is seen that Kat has become an alcoholic and isn't bothered by the fact that Alfie wants them to resume their marriage. Kat has sex with Roger (Russell Boulter), a stranger, while intoxicated and finally sees sense, deciding to return to Alfie, but he discovers she has slept with a man she doesn't know and throws her out, so she leaves Walford again.

Alfie shares a mutual connection with Little Mo Mitchell (Kacey Ainsworth), whose marriage to Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) has collapsed. Alfie helps Mo bring up her baby, Freddie, and they decide to announce that they are an item. However, Kat returns before they have a chance, and she makes it clear that she wants Alfie back. He is torn between the two sisters, eventually choosing Kat. He lets Mo down gently, and they share a final goodbye hug, which Billy assumes is them getting together. In the pub, Billy drunkenly announces that Alfie and Little Mo are an item. Kat is furious and decides not to get together with Alfie, so as not to break her sister's heart. However, Alfie and Kat continue to grow closer, due to Kat's relationship with Alfie's grandmother, who is dying. After Kat helps Alfie complete some of Victoria's final wishes and overcome her death, it is obvious that they long for each other. Alfie announces that he is leaving to drive across the United States in a Ford Capri, and it seems he has gone for good when he waves goodbye to a heartbroken Kat on Christmas Day 2005. After getting drunk and drowning her sorrows in the pub, Kat is stunned to see Alfie waiting for her outside. Kat and Alfie then get into the car together and drive off.

2010–[edit]

Kat returns to London, revealing that she and Alfie conned a man called Frankie Finnerty, from whom she is now on the run. His relatives Lee and Jono Finnerty (Dylan Brown and Colin Parry) track her down but Alfie arrives pretending to be from the CID, scaring them off, though they take most of Kat's money. Alfie and Kat then talk about their history, and it is revealed that Alfie spent six months in a Spanish prison for property fraud and they tried to have a baby but he had fertility problems. Kat wants nothing to do with Alfie, however, and attempts to leave, revealing that she is pregnant, saying the baby is not Alfie's. Alfie doubles the remainder of Kat's money in a bet, and promises to stop scamming and get a proper job. Kat gives him 24 hours or she will leave. He is unsuccessful in finding a job so takes the money and uses it to rent The Queen Victoria from Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). Kat is not happy and punches him in the face, demanding he get the money back as they need a regular income. Instead, he sets up an illegal drinking den in the cellar, and sets up home with Kat in Kim Fox's (Tameka Empson) caravan on the Square.

Alfie contracts Greg Jessop (Stefan Booth) to refurbish The Queen Victoria. Alfie's second cousin once removed Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) arrives and gives him money to pay Phil for the lease. He introduces Michael to Kat but she is not pleased by his arrival. Michael later reveals he is returning to Spain, and Alfie finds some money and a letter from him, revealing that he is Kat's baby's father. Alfie does not let on to Kat that he knows but later they argue when Kat thinks Alfie does not want the baby, and he leaves. Alfie later reveals he does know and insists he wants the baby but Kat does not believe him, so she agrees to go to Spain with Michael. However, when Alfie tells Michael to make sure he looks after them both, Kat changes her mind. She then sees that Alfie has bought a cot and toys for the baby. Alfie struggles to pay the rent to Phil so tries to raise money by gambling, but loses. However, Phil's cousin Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) pays two months' rent for him after seeing how much money he lost gambling. He then unveils the newly refurbished pub to Kat. On the day of the grand opening, Greg says there has been a hitch, so Alfie, who has given away tickets to the event, has to host a party at the Slaters' house. However, the pub opens the next day, where Kat sees Alfie and Roxy together and fights with Roxy. Alfie takes Roxy's side and ejects Kat from the pub. However, they later reconcile and Alfie proposes that they renew their wedding vows, which Kat accepts. The day does not go quite according to plan, as he jeopardises his own ceremony to help Roxy with her sister Ronnie's (Samantha Womack) wedding, however, Kat realises she does not need a big ceremony. Instead of having an official ceremony, Alfie arranges an unofficial one in the middle of the Square with just he and Kat.

Kat gives birth to a boy named Tommy but is soon rushed to hospital as part of the placenta was undelivered, causing her to haemorrhage. Charlie is left to look after the baby but decides to join the New Year's party downstairs. Ronnie's baby James, who was born on the same day as Tommy, dies of cot death and Ronnie swaps the babies. When Alfie returns home he finds James dead, believing him to be Tommy. Kat and Alfie struggle to cope with their loss but eventually start to get through it until Michael returns a month later to see his son. Although Kat tells Michael to leave, he stays because he has friends locally. Kat ends up kissing Michael, and though he rejects her, saying there is nothing between them without Tommy, Alfie sees Kat break down when Michael leaves. Eventually Kat's resentment causes Alfie to move out after they have a row, which makes their marriage turn sour. After Ronnie discovers this, she is shocked and asks in implication that he and Kat has split up. Kat then later sees Alfie leaving with Michael in his car for a weekend break away from Walford. When Kat is upset she tells him that a coroner has visited confirming that Tommy (James) died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He comforts her and tells her that he feels the same way about Tommy's death, as if he was his biological father. Kat appears to be slightly delighted as she says she is not alone. Kat and Alfie's relationship breaks down but Michael helps to get them back together. They consider IVF to try for another baby, but do not go through with it. Eventually, Ronnie confesses to Kat that she swapped the babies and returns Tommy. Alfie and Kat are reunited with Tommy after talking to a social worker. Ronnie is eventually sent to prison for her crime, though Kat forgives her. Kat and Alfie then holiday in Spain, leaving Alfie's second cousin Eddie Moon (David Essex) to look after the pub. When they return, they bring Shenice Quinn (Lily Harvey) with them, the daughter of Kat's friend Martina Quinn (Tamara Wall) who visited them earlier in the year.

Kat finds out she is pregnant and Alfie, believing he cannot have children, asks who the father is. Kat insists she has not cheated but Alfie says he knew what Kat was like when he married her. Alfie's attempts to make up for this after finding out he can have children all fail, even after Kat suffers a miscarriage, and she tells him she does not want any more children, and that their relationship will just be for show from now on. Alfie stops paying Kat attention in an attempt to help their relationship, but she has a one-night stand with Mark Garland (Chris Simmons), which she regrets after hearing a voicemail message from Alfie saying how much he loves her. Alfie then takes Kat, Tommy and Shenice on holiday, unaware of Kat's infidelity. However, when they return, Kat feels guilty so tells Alfie she cheated on him. Alfie demands to know why, so Kat tells him he already knows—because she is like that and always will be. Alfie tells Kat he would rather have Kat cheat on him and not know about it than not have her in his life. Kat does not want to do this and is further upset when Alfie will not allow her to explain that she did not cheat with yet another man, assuming that she has. The couple attempt to mend relations with each other over Christmas, but Alfie overhears Kat saying that she does not think he loves her. Alfie decides to visit a marriage counsellor, however Kat turns up late and Alfie says the counsellor never came. He then pays his friend Gerry (Paul Reynolds) to pretend to be a marriage counsellor to tell Kat that their marriage can be mended. However, when Alfie deliberately leaves Kat and Gerry alone, she says she thinks Alfie does not love her, and tells Gerry that she ultimately wants to end their marriage. Gerry tries to tell Alfie this, but he believes that Gerry has helped. When Charlie suffers a stroke, Alfie, Kat, Shenice and Tommy visit him, but Alfie returns before they do. After this, Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) gets Alfie into a VAT scam, and Alfie helps Roxy and Billy to set Derek up by intercepting his alcohol deliveries. Alfie struggles for money, and contemplates firing Jean to cut costs. He also stores Derek's goods at the pub to earn extra cash, but when Phil bans Alfie from doing this, Derek arranges with Alfie and Billy to steal a large amount of alcohol. However Derek is unknowingly scammed by Alfie and Billy, and he suspects Phil of conning him. When Billy is arrested on suspicion of the murder of Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison), Derek is worried he might implicate them in the alcohol theft and so tells Alfie to hide some supplies at Phil's garage in order to frame him. However, Alfie is spotted doing so and Phil confronts him and who makes it clear that Alfie should take orders from him, not Derek. When Derek discovers that Alfie has told Phil everything, he furiously threatens Alfie.

In Kat's absence, Alfie and Roxy become close friends, and Roxy admits to Alfie that she is in love with him. Things then become awkward between them, and she resigns from her job at the pub. After a while, Alfie manages to convince Roxy to return to her job, and later offers her a place to stay at The Queen Victoria when she walks out of the Mitchell household. Jean is conned out of the money that belongs to The Queen Victoria while Alfie is away, and when Alfie returns, he borrows money from Roxy to pay his bills, angering Kat when she finds out. Alfie starts a pub football team, and pays more attention to that than to Kat, leading to Kat starting an affair. Kat tries to resist but eventually the affair turns to love. When Kat's lover sends her flowers, Alfie becomes suspicious, and asks Kat if she is seeing someone else. Although she denies it, he asks her not to spare his feelings, so she admits to the affair. He demands to know who the other man is, but Kat refuses to tell him. Alfie ejects Kat from their home but she returns, saying she will do anything to sort things out. Alfie makes her phone her lover and end the affair. They then go on holiday to try and work on their marriage. After they return, Alfie becomes suspicious of Kat when he finds a ring Kat had pawned and she lies about it and a key that was found in the pub. He lies about going on an overnight trip and follows Kat to a nearby flat, where he demands to know who Kat is having an affair with. She insists she is trying to end it and refuses to name the man. Alfie finds a letter to Mr Branning, and knows it must be either Derek, Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) or Max Branning (Jake Wood). He confronts the three brothers, and when Kat calls Max's phone, he attacks Max. Kat arrives and says it is not Max but actually Derek. Alfie throws Kat out in a violent rage, but Derek returns to the pub to apologise and play a message from Kat. Instead of playing the one he has agreed to, where Kat tells Derek to leave her alone, he instead plays one he has kept from the summer where Kat asks to meet him and have sex. Alfie hits Derek and demands him to never come to The Queen Victoria again. He then gives Derek his wedding ring to give to Kat. Alfie enters a relationship with Roxy and asks her to live with him, and they declare their love for each other. Alfie helps Kat when she is questioned over stolen goods, but to prove to Roxy that he loves her, Alfie decides he wants to divorce Kat, who is devastated. She fights with Roxy, and then has sex with Michael. The next day she tells Alfie and Roxy this, and says that Michael is a better lover than Alfie. Alfie and Roxy decide to try for a baby, but when Kat and Alfie's decree nisi comes through, it is apparent that Alfie still loves Kat. He is determined to move on so proposes to Roxy and she accepts.

Alfie discovers Ronnie is being released from prison, but thinks that she would not return to Walford. He is angry to discover that she has, and forces Roxy to choose between him and her. Roxy chooses Alfie, but Kat gradually persuades him to accept Ronnie's presence back in Walford, and let Roxy see her sister. Kat also supports Alfie after the death of Michael, and the two become closer. The night before his wedding, Alfie visits Kat, and it leads to them kissing passionately. On the day of his wedding, Alfie confides in Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) that he still loves Kat. However, after Kat walks in during the ceremony, Alfie marries Roxy. Roxy then realises Alfie is still in love with Kat, and she orders him out of the church. He learns that Kat is leaving for Ibiza, so races to the airport, and reunites with her, moments before her flight is due to depart. As revenge for Alfie's treatment of Roxy, Phil sells The Vic, forcing Alfie and Kat out of their jobs and home. Kat reveals to Alfie that she is pregnant with twins, and they move in with Kat's grandmother, Mo Harris (Laila Morse). Kat continues to work on her market stall, selling women's clothes, but Alfie is unsuccessful in finding a job. When Alfie hears of Spencer's new bar opening in Australia, he decides to go and work temporarily out there. He returns the following month, and tells Kat that he has just bought a classic Ford Capri. After spending the night with Kat in a posh hotel, the couple return to Walford and Alfie sets up a burger bar on the Square. However, this later gets taken away from him, so he sets up a men's clothes stall instead. A feud with market inspector, Aleks Shirovs (Kristian Kiehling), causes Alfie to lose his stall, but he later gets a temporary job, at Ian's café. Kat and Alfie are thrilled when their twin sons, Bert and Ernie (Freddie and Stanley Beale), are born.

Alfie receives a letter from the council stating that they are due to be evicted, from number 23 Albert Square. He hides this from Kat, but Stacey, who is now living with them, finds it and he is forced to tell his family the truth. Alfie lies to Kat that he has secured a loan from the bank and then considers starting a fire for the insurance money. Despite Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) advising him against it believing the house to be empty, he takes an old picture of Nana Moon with him and then drops a lit cigarette into a paper-filled wastebasket.

When outside, he phones Kat who is resting on their bed unaware of the fire and a horrified Alfie then rushes to the house to rescue her however Mo who has stored a stash of dodgy hairspray in the house leads to the fire igniting it and when Alfie opens the front door the house explodes. Alfie succeeds in rescuing Kat and receives minor burns to his hands Kat however is badly burnt and Alfie is racked with guilt.

Alfie and the Moons receive support from his former enemies Donna and Aleks Shriovs who offer sympathy and support and help from the entire community and they move in with the Masood family. Alfie is praised as a hero despite being suspected by local firefighter Tosh. He is also nervous when he is interviewed by the fire investigation officer and is phoned and told that Kat has woken up. Later in the Queen Vic pub he has an outburst regarding Kat’s condition and is taken upstairs by Mick Carter who advises him against telling Kat about his actions as it would surely destroy there relationship however Alfie is adamant to tell the truth.

When Kat does wake up Alfie visit her and she thanks him fro saving her life so he decides not to tell her the truth and is relieved when the fire investigation officer Neil Wallace informs him that the insurers will most likely payout for the fire damage and rules the fire as an accident.Stacey later discovers the picture of Nana Moon and realizes that Alfie started the fire which destroyed all of there possessions and order him to tell Kat however he refuses and this creates a rift between them. The insurance company later on refuses to pay out due to Mo storing hairspray in the house and this is listed as commercial goods and invalidates the insurance policy as commercial cannot go under domestic and later on he drunkenly informs Stacey about this.

Stacey suggests ringing the insurance company again but Alfie refuses adamant that they won’t change their decision to not pay out and blames Mo for this and despite Stacey suggesting Alfie use the money he’s got from selling the Capri to sort out there finances. However he dismisses the idea as all his money has been used up to buy food and items for the kids. Masood returns home from his post round and is unimpressed with the mess as it is Tamwar’s birthday. Alfie later on lies to Masood telling him that Kat doesn’t want to move out and a shocked Masood tries to persuade Alfie otherwise; it’s not working for them having such a full house and Alfie loses his temper with Masood and accuses him of kicking them out.

A desperate Alfie sits on the wall outside the Masood’s and he clocks the estate agent coming out of number 43 the house he had earlier talked about renting with the estate agent as a new accommodation for him and Kat. Alfie desperately tries to blag a couple of nights in the house before he’s got a deposit together the estate agent who immediately dismisses the idea. The estate agent firmly tells Alfie to call him when he’s got the deposit and Alfie reluctantly heads to the Council Office in order to receive temporary accommodation and waits for his ticket number to be called in and when it is finally Alfie’s turn for his meeting at the council. Alfie explains his situation to the council worker and begs for accommodation.

When Alfie is told that all he can be offered is one night in a bed and breakfast he is devastated. Back on the Square Alfie confesses all to Stacey about the mess they’re in. Stacey firmly tells Alfie that he needs to tell Kat the truth. As Alfie heads into the hospital and tells Kat he urgently needs to tell her something. She cuts him off and tells her that she has something to say too and wants to go first. Kat tells a shocked Alfie that she wants to marry him. He agrees and they marry at the registrar’s office with two nurses as witnesses and return to Walford. With the help of a friendly locksmith, Alfie squats in number 43, without telling Kat and Mo. Stacey moves out and Alfie convinces Kat that this is for the best. On 11 November they are evicted and out of desperation they squat in a new flat with help from Donna. Lee Carter calls the landlord of the flat when trying to fix the boiler, so they are evicted again and they stay at the Vic with Alfie's friend Mick Carter. After Kat makes an emotional speech to the social housing manager, they are offered a council house in Hull. Stacey tries to stop her but before they leave Kat discovers a photo of Nana that was not lost in the fire. Alfie confesses that he started the fire, leaving Kat devastated. Alfie tries to apologize, but Kat decides to end their marriage, moving in with Stacey and Lily. Later, as Christmas approaches, Alfie tells a still bitter Kat that he will try to fix things in order to change her mind.

Creation and development[edit]

Alfie Moon was conceptualised by EastEnders' scriptwriter Tony Jordan.[2] The character is based on Jordan himself. Jordan has commented, "Alfie is basically me – a Jack The Lad in jeans, cowboy boots and dodgy shirts who wears his heart on his sleeve." Julia Crampsie, the BBC's casting executive, recommended that Shane Richie be considered for the role.[2] Richie was already a familiar face to the UK audience, having had a career as an entertainer, appearing in various gameshows, variety shows and facing advert campaigns, most notably for the washing detergent Daz. Jordan was apprehensive about casting Ritchie in the role. He commented, "I just had this image of the guy with the mullet from the Daz adverts. And if we had Shane where would it stop? Harry Hill? Les Dennis? Bradley Walsh? But Julia was insistent, so I went to a workshop where we'd see lots of actors and [Richie] was fantastic."[2]

Jordan has suggested that many of the rows featured on-screen between Alfie and his love-interest Kat were word-for-word arguments he had with his wife, Tracy. He commented, "We'd be watching EastEnders at home, then an Alfie and Kat scene would start and I'd think, 'Oh shit', because I'd know what was coming. And then we'd have another row about how I don't argue properly because when we do argue I'm just making mental notes for stuff to write the next day."[2]

Reintroduction (2010)[edit]

On 7 February 2010 it was announced that Richie would return to the show to reprise the role in autumn 2010.[3] The decision was made following the resignation from the show of Barbara Windsor, who played Peggy Mitchell, which left what executive producer Bryan Kirkwood described as a "hole" in the programme.[4] Kirkwood decided that the time was right for Kat and Alfie to return, saying that they "very much herald the new era of EastEnders."[5] Richie had ruled out a return in 2009, saying that the show had moved on from his character and he felt he did not have the energy to be in such a "full-on" show again.[6] Richie commented on his return: "It's an honour and a privilege to be asked back to the iconic series of EastEnders which is at the top of its game! I'm looking forward to finding out what Alfie has been up to over the last few years but more importantly – what the future has in store for him."[7] John Yorke, controller of BBC drama production, said: "Alfie is one of EastEnders '​ most loved and iconic characters, so he's bound to get a very warm welcome from viewers when he returns to Walford. We've had so many new and interesting characters settle into Albert Square since Alfie departed that it's going to make for fantastic viewing when one of the show's most familiar faces rides back into the East End."[7] It was reported by The Daily Mirror that Alfie and Kat would regain control of The Queen Victoria public house after it burns down.[8] Controller of BBC drama production John Yorke predicted that their return would make "fantastic viewing", given the wealth of new characters introduced since their departure.[9] Wallace signed an initial one-year contract, and returned to filming in July.[10] Wallace and Richie were the first cast members signed by new executive producer Bryan Kirkwood.[4]

The plot saw Alfie and Kat regaining control of The Queen Victoria public house after it burned down,[11] and Kat returning to Walford pregnant, with some public suspicions about the paternity of her child.[12] To promote the characters' return, the BBC released a trailer across the BBC network in September 2010. The western-themed trailer sees Kat outside of The Queen Victoria, with various characters looking on and Kat saying "Where d'ya get a drink around 'ere?" with Alfie replying "I think you're gonna' need one." The advertisement uses the tag line "It's all kicking off in the square".[13] The return, in September 2010, drew 9.22 million viewers and 37.7% of the total TV viewing audience.[14] Kat returned on 17 September 2010.[15]

Talking to What's on TV, Wallace commented on Kat's reunion with Alfie. She said: "She punches him! Alfie has come looking for her and hasn't seen her for months. He keeps saying to her 'You're fat' and she says 'I'm not fat. I'm pregnant!' Then she says, 'Don't worry Alfie, it ain't yours'. She's peed off with him. He's been in prison and she's had to survive on her own pregnant. But she loves him unconditionally. No matter what they do, they will always end up together. She wants stability... a future for the baby and her. She sets him this challenge and he buys it."[16]

Baby swap[edit]

"The storyline presented Ronnie with grief, disbelief and anger and the temporary breakdown of her relationship as well as her gradual coming to terms with her loss and the efforts to re-build her life following the tragedy. This underlined the fact to viewers that whilst the loss of baby James was a catalyst, Ronnie's reaction was born out of extreme personal trauma in her life and not as the direct and sole consequence of losing her baby. It is Ofcom's view that the broadcaster did not intend the storyline to suggest that her actions were a typical response of a mother who had experienced SIDS and therefore sufficient editorial context was provided to viewers."

—Ofcom's broadcast bulletin clearing the storyline[17]

Richie revealed in an interview with This Morning that Kat and Alfie would be involved in an ongoing storyline, which he said is "going to be the biggest soap story in probably the history of soaps."[18] At the end of 2010, Kat and Ronnie both give birth on the same day, but Ronnie's baby, James, dies and while Kat is in hospital and her baby, Tommy, is unattended, Ronnie swaps the infants. The storyline received over 6,000 complaints, making it the second most complained about EastEnders storyline. It was then decided to end the storyline earlier than originally planned.[19][20] It was reported by the Daily Star Sunday that Ronnie experiences a change of heart after visiting relatives in hospital and seeing the midwife who delivered her son.[21] An EastEnders spokesperson said, "We do not comment on future storylines but we have always said Ronnie will do the right thing and Tommy will be reunited with Kat."[22] Wallace revealed that she doesn't regret her involvement of the baby-swap storyline, saying that she was "just doing her job".[23] Wallace told Bang Showbiz:"I stand by it. We're actors at the end of the day, we do our job and then we go home. It's drama, that's it."[23] She also praised Womack's acting and will move on to "bigger and better things" once she departs later this year.[23] She added: "[Samantha is] a fantastic actress who played a brilliant role in a fantastic storyline so I wish her all the best."[23]

Derek Martin said he was surprised by the new baby swap storyline when it was published in the media.[24] Speaking on This Morning, Martin commented: "I'm one of those actors – I don't know how many others do it – but when I get the scripts, I only read my bits. So I looked [and saw], 'Charlie leaves his grandson upstairs, goes downstairs, gets on the drink, gets drunk – the baby's dead'. So that's terrible guilt obviously – because I feel as though it's my fault that he's died. I was surprised when I saw the story come out – because I don't read the others' [lines] – that it was a baby swap."[24] Discussing the surrounding controversy of the plot, Martin added: "Don't forget, there's millions of people – there's 60 odd million here, and they've all got different opinions. Every subject, everything that comes up… everybody will have opinions about that. So therefore you have to accept that's the public – some are for, some are against, and that's the way it is."[24] He continues: Over the years, don't forget, EastEnders have always had subjects. When [Charlie's] brother had raped Kat and we didn't find out until later on, that was a very strong storyline. And when Little Mo was bashed by her husband Trevor. These stories are all part of real life."[24]

Samantha Womack admitted that she thought the plot was "implausible".[25] She commented: "I thought it was implausible. Most women who lose a child would not go out and abduct one," she told The Mirror. "But Ronnie is a soap character and she is not necessarily representing real life. Soap is based on controversy and sensationalism because bosses are trying to get high ratings and they can't write things like 'Ronnie had a cup of tea'. Otherwise people wouldn't watch it."[25] On 1 August 2011, Ofcom cleared the storyline.[17] The baby swap storyline prompted a huge 1,044 complaints reported to Ofcom.[17] Ofcom also added that many of the complaints were made because the storyline was presented "in an offensive manner" because it "appeared to suggest that a mother who has suddenly and tragically lost a baby through cot death would react by stealing another baby to replace that loss".[17] Kym Marsh supported Ofcom's decision to clear the storyline.[26] Marsh wrote in her magazine section: "Last week, EastEnders was cleared of wrongdoing by Ofcom, the media regulator, over its baby swap storyline, and I think that's the right decision. It's just a storyline, like any other. I understand why people got upset about it, but no-one meant to upset anybody. Soaps are supposed to portray real life to a certain extent, but it's meant to be high drama for entertainment purposes. I mean, how many murders can you have in one square? There's a nod to real life but, for the most part, soaps help take people out of the real world."[26]

Arson[edit]

In August 2014, it was revealed that a fire would engulf the Slater house. On 2 September, it was revealed that Alfie would start the fire in return of an insurance claim, after having been broke following the birth of the twins, with Kat still inside. The fire and its aftermath took place on the week of 15 September 2014.[27]

Reception[edit]

Richie has received immediate acclaim for bringing humour to a programme so depressing and has won a number of awards and nominations for his portrayal of Alfie. In the National Television Awards, he won Most Popular Actor in 2003,[28] with nominations in 2004[29] and 2005.[30] He was nominated in the Best Newcomer and Best Comedy Performance categories at the British Soap Awards in 2003,[31] and won Best Actor in 2004[32] along with nominations for Best Comedy Performance and Best On-Screen Partnership (shared with Wallace).[33] He also won Best Actor in 2005, and was nominated in 2006,[33] as well as being nominated for Best Exit along with Wallace in 2006.[31] He was further nominated in 2011 for 'Best Actor.[34] In the Inside Soap Awards, he won Best Newcomer in 2003,[35] Best Couple (with Wallace) in 2004,[36] and Best Actor in 2005.[33] He was nominated once again in the 'Best Actor' category at the 2012 Inside Soap Awards.[37] At the TV Quick Awards, he was awarded Best Soap Newcomer in 2003,[38] and Best Soap Actor in 2004[39] and 2005.[40] In 2004, he won a Rose d'Or for Best Performance in a Soap.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In Pictures: Kat and Alfie promo shots". Archived from the original on 13 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Simon, Jane (16 February 2006). "21 years of EastEnders". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Gould, Lara (7 February 2010). "Shane Richie to return to EastEnders as Alfie Moon". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Green, Kris (11 May 2010). "Bryan Kirkwood (Executive Producer, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (9 September 2010). "'Enders boss teases "spectacular" fire ep". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  6. ^ French, Dan (20 July 2009). "Richie rules out 'EastEnders' return". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Green, Kris (7 February 2010). "Shane Richie returns to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Green, Kris (1 July 2010). "Kat and Alfie to regain The Vic in 'Enders". Digital Spy. London. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Kat and Alfie to make EastEnders comeback". BBC News. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  10. ^ Sheridan, Emily (14 July 2010). "Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie arrive on EastEnders set to prepare for return of Kat and Alfie". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Green, Kris (1 July 2010). "Kat and Alfie to regain The Vic in 'Enders". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  12. ^ Rank, Serge (11 August 2010). "Mini-Moon for EastEnders Kat". ATV Today. Associated Television. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Kat and Alfie Trailer – EastEnders – BBC One". YouTube. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Millar, Paul (21 September 2010). "Soaps Ratings Roundup: September 20". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "17/09/2010". BBC Programmes. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  16. ^ Millar, Paul (19 September 2010). "Jessie Wallace: 'Kat punches Alfie'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d Kilkelly, Daniel (1 August 2011). "'EastEnders' cleared by Ofcom over baby swap plot". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  18. ^ Love, Ryan (23 September 2010). "Shane Richie teases 'biggest soap story'". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  19. ^ "EastEnders' Baby Swap Plot To End Early". Sky TV. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (7 January 2011). "Confirmed: 'Enders baby plot to end early". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  21. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (22 February 2011). "'EastEnders' cast film wedding scenes". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  22. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (6 March 2011). "'EastEnders' baby swap ending revealed?". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c d Kelly, Kristy (28 January 2011). "Jessie Wallace stands by 'Enders plot". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c d Kilkelly, Daniel (7 January 2011). "Enders actor: 'Baby plot surprised me". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Sperling, Daniel (21 January 2012). "'EastEnders' baby-swap plot was implausible, says Samantha Womack". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Eames, Tom (9 August 2011). "'EastEnders' baby swap Ofcom decision correct, says Kym Marsh". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  27. ^ Daniel Kilkelly (9 September 2014). Digital Spy http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/spoilers/a594297/alfies-arson-plan-leaves-lives-on-the-line.html#~oPYCJCm3C7vqG3.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ "EastEnders dominates awards". BBC News. 28 October 2003. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  29. ^ "Forsyth nominated for TV awards". BBC News. 12 October 2004. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  30. ^ "Dr Who up for hat-trick of awards". CBBC Newsround. 25 October 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  31. ^ a b "Awards for "EastEnders"". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  32. ^ "EastEnders wins battle of soaps". BBC News. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  33. ^ a b c "British Television Soap Awards". thecustard.tv. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2009. 
  34. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (7 March 2011). "British Soap Awards 2011 voting opens". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  35. ^ "EastEnders scoops eight soap awards". BBC News. 29 September 2003. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  36. ^ "EastEnders takes narrow soap win". BBC News. 28 September 2004. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  37. ^ "Inside Soap Awards Final Nominations Revealed". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  38. ^ "EastEnders cleans up at TV Quick Awards". CBBC Newsround. 9 September 2003. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  39. ^ "Street wins top soap at TV awards". BBC News. 7 September 2004. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  40. ^ "Street triumphs at TV soap awards". BBC. 8 May 2005. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  41. ^ "Rose d'Or honour for EastEnders". BBC News. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  • List of soap opera villains

External links[edit]