Bobby Beale (EastEnders)
Eliot Carrington as Bobby Beale (2014)
|Portrayed by||Kevin Curran (2003–07)
Alex Francis (2007–12)
Rory Stroud (2013–14)
Eliot Carrington (2014–)
|First appearance||24 July 2003|
|Introduced by||Louise Berridge (2003)
Diederick Santer (2007)
Lorraine Newman (2013)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
Bobby Beale is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders who has been played by four actors since being introduced in 2003. Kevin Curran played Bobby from 2003 to 2007, and was replaced by Alex Francis on 7 May 2007. Francis was not credited in the role until 10 March 2008. In January 2013 it was announced that Bobby had been recast, with Rory Stroud taking over the role. Stroud first appeared as Bobby on 1 March 2013. His character departed from the show in May 2014, before returning in November, with Eliot Carrington taking over the role.
During the episode broadcast 19 February 2015, viewers saw Ian accuse Jane of being Lucy's killer, demanding she told him what happened that night. During the 'flashback' episode, airing the same evening, Bobby was revealed to be Lucy's killer, with it being revealed that Jane knew this all along as she caught him next to Lucy's body, and covered for him by hiding the body on the Common to make it look as though she had been mugged and murdered in the struggle.
Laura Beale (Hannah Waterman) becomes pregnant after a drunken one-night stand with Garry Hobbs (Ricky Groves) while married to Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt). She thinks Ian is her baby's father but he tells her that he didn't want children with her and had a vasectomy, before throwing Laura out. After the birth, Bobby (Kevin Curran) needs a blood transfusion and Garry is the wrong blood group to be his father, so Laura realizes that Ian must be Bobby's father. She tries to get him to bond with Bobby but Ian refuses to have anything to do with him but Garry is happy to help so she keeps what she has learned about Bobby's paternity a secret. She quietly registers Bobby's birth, naming Ian as his father, and this is revealed when Laura dies. Pat Evans (Pam St. Clement) finds Bobby's birth certificate, and Garry is heartbroken.
Bobby lives with Ian and his fourth wife, Jane Beale (Laurie Brett), and his older half siblings, Peter (James Martin/Thomas Law) and Lucy (Melissa Suffield). In 2009, Ian enters Bobby (now played by Alex Francis) into a children's talent contest but realises he cannot sing very well. He decides to cheat and gets Bobby's friend Colin (William Keeler) to sing while Bobby mimes. Dotty Cotton (Molly Conlin) discovers this during the contest and unplugs Colin's microphone, leaving Bobby upset. Jane is the only maternal influence in Bobby's life and Bobby thinks of her as his mother. Later in 2009, Jane leaves and Bobby takes this very badly. He starts bullying Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith), and when Tiffany confronts Bobby, he yells at her. When Ian tries to restrain Bobby, he shouts that he wants his mum. He then goes missing from school. Jane returns to help search for him, and Bobby runs to her saying he was out looking for her.
In 2010, Ian suggests to Jane that she adopt Bobby and this is finalised in November. In 2011, Bobby and Ian plan a surprise 40th birthday party for Jane. However, as she walks in, they see her kissing a man named Martin (Alisdair Harvey). Bobby is confused and the next day, Ian sarcastically asks how he should tell Bobby about her potential affair, but this does not have the effect Ian hopes for and she divorces him, leaving Walford soon afterwards. In August, Bobby hears that Jane has died from Shenice Quinn (Lily Harvey), after Ian starts telling people he is a widower to get women. Bobby is upset so Ian tells him that he was only joking and calls Jane to prove to Bobby that she is alive. When Mandy Salter (Nicola Stapleton) moves in with them, she and Bobby like each other and start to bond but Bobby still visits Jane, prompting her brief return to Walford until she takes a new job in Wales, leaving Bobby with Ian.
Ian and Mandy prepare to marry in 2012 but the wedding never takes place as Mandy tells Ian that she is forcing herself to love him, and leaves. Ian suffers a nervous breakdown and goes missing, leaving Bobby in Lucy's (now played by Hetti Bywater) care, but Ian returns several weeks after being found homeless. Bobby is scared when he sees Ian, as he looks scruffy and has a beard, and Lucy rejects him. Though Bobby is saddened by Mandy's abrupt exit, he is soon befriended by Dennis Rickman Jr. (Harry Hickles), son of Ian's friend, Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean). In March 2013, Bobby goes on a school trip and goes to America when Ian visits his cousin Michelle Fowler (Susan Tully). When they return to London, he tells Ian's love interest Denise Fox (Diane Parish) that it is his father's birthday and she gives Bobby free candles and decides to attend Ian's party. Bobby buys a snake called Monty which escapes and causes havoc in Dot Branning's (June Brown) house. Despite previously bullying her when they were younger, Bobby and Tiffany begin a relationship and get each other walkie talkies. When Tiffany's mum Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer) trashes Ian's new restaurant, Ian agrees not to go to the police in exchange for Bobby and Tiffany not seeing each other anymore. Tiffany is upset when Bobby does not call her on the walkie talkie. Tiffany and Bobby then start meeting in secret.
Bobby participates in a school spelling competition, where he is competing against Tiffany. It was revealed that they had broken up, off-screen, because they did not support the same football team. Bobby is thrilled when Jane returns to Walford and is even more excited when she decides to buy into Ian's restaurant and moves in with her friend, Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra). The Beale family are distraught when Lucy, Bobby's sister, is killed. After Jane breaks down in Ian's arms, they kiss and this results in Ian hoping they will reconcile and even tells Bobby that they are getting back together. Jane, however, is annoyed and shouts at Ian. Bobby tries to intervene but, Ian shouts at him and tells him that he will never be as good as Lucy. An upset Bobby runs upstairs and Jane leaves, still upset and frustrated with Ian. Shabnam Masood (Rakhee Thakrar) advises her to follow her heart and after Bobby arrives, she decides they should leave Walford. After packing their things, Bobby says goodbye to Ian and they leave abruptly but return for Lucy's funeral. In November 2014, Jane returns and reveals that Bobby has gone missing. She assumes that he has returned to Walford and her suspicions are correct, after he is found by Masood. Bobby reveals that he wants to move back to the Square, which delights Ian and they both go to live with Masood. Jane later finds a case file, full of paperwork, that could lead to Lucy's killer being caught. Ian is proud that Bobby would do such a lovely thing for his deceased sister, but Jane is worried and thinks that he is putting too much pressure on himself.
During a live scene in the second episode of 19th February 2015 (the flashback episode of Good Friday 2014), it is revealed that Bobby killed Lucy. Jane finds Lucy lying on the living room floor whilst Bobby is on the other side of the room holding a jewelry box. Bobby says "Whatever she says, she started it. She made everyone unhappy". On the 20th February 2015, Jane tells a heartbroken Ian, Peter and Cindy that she killed Lucy, however Ian soon realizes that her story doesn't add up and discovers Bobby is the culprit, and that Jane has been covering up for him. Jane explains how Bobby never meant to kill Lucy and how she convinced him that he wasn't responsible her death (which Bobby eventually agrees to after much persuading.) Cindy also discovers that Bobby kept a note Lucy made to her father just before her death. Cindy tearfully reads the letter to a heartbroken Ian, which says how sorry she is for her actions and how she promises to change. The Beale family (besides Peter, who left the house in disgust upon the revelation of his sister's death) then agree to keep what happened that night a secret from Bobby, the police and the residents of Walford. Peter, however, makes peace with Bobby before going to New Zealand.
Creation and development
|“||Bobby has overcome a complicated start in life - Garry thought he was his father until a blood test proved it was Ian. Not to mention enduring the revolving door of his father's love life...Bobby's biological mum, Laura, died in dubious circumstances. Jane was the closest thing to a mum he had, but she left, unable to endure another minute as Mrs Beale. Mandy took over the unlikely role of "mum" for a while until she too left The Square.||”|
—A reporter from the EastEnders website on Bobby (2013)
In December 2003, Neil Wilkes of Digital Spy revealed an upcoming "baby bombshell" storyline involving Garry Hobbs (Ricky Groves) torn between Laura Beale (Hannah Waterman) and Lynne Hobbs (Elaine Lordan). Garry mistakenly believes that Laura's unborn child is his but it is in fact Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) who is oblivious to this information. It was then confirmed that Laura was to be killed in an "explosive exit" after she comes clean with both Garry and Ian. An EastEnders insider said in May 2004 "Garry's grown to love Bobby despite all the trouble caused by his night of passion with Ian's wife Laura". In July 2007, Laurie Brett who plays Jane Collins said that Bobby will start becoming "a bit of a handful". In December 2009. a writer for the Sunday Mail said that when Bobby went missing, it made viewers feel sorry for Ian for a change. In February 2010, Woodyatt said that Bobby's character was a fail-safe option if the live episode of EastEnders went wrong saying "We've all got our little strategies in case it goes wrong. I'm going upstairs to check on Bobby. Steve Mac is going to say, 'I've had enough of this' and just walk out." When Nicola Stapleton reprises her role as Mandy Salter, she said that there a part of Mandy that wants to be maternal as she gets on well with Bobby, who becomes her "little mate". In January 2013, after leaving EastEnders, Laurie Brett said "I would never say never to going back, as I loved playing Jane. She's Bobby's mum and it will always be that way."
Digital Spy revealed on 31 January 2013 that Alex Francis departed from EastEnders to "concentrate more on school commitments". EastEnders Executive Producer Lorraine Newman said of Francis' departure "Alex has been a highly valued member of the EastEnders cast and we wish him the best for the future." The role of Bobby was recast to Rory Stroud and started appearing as Bobby from 1 March 2013. In April 2013, when Ben Hardy is recast as Bobby's brother Peter Beale, he said "Ian's wonderful relationship with Denise and the inclusion of Lucy, Peter and Bobby in the household will reinvigorate the clan with vibrancy and energy. I am really looking forward to seeing them all together on screen." Additionally, in June 2013, upon the announcement that Bobby's stepsister was to return to the program, new actress Mimi Keene said "with Peter, Lucy, Bobby and Cindy to contend with, it'll be a lively household".
Third recast and Lucy's murder
Bobby was recast for the third time, this time being played by Eliot Carrington who made his first appearance in the episode broadcast on 25 November 2014. Bobby was revealed to be the killer of his sister Lucy Beale on 19 February 2015 in a special flashback episode. Treadwell-Collins mentioned that the killer reveal would be different to the show's earlier whodunnit. “With Archie, it was a one-line reveal, but with this one it’s more complicated: there are a few conversations.” Following the reveal, the executive producer said that the storyline is the "start of a bigger story". He also mentioned that the original killer was Jane Beale and then Cindy Williams, but stated his reason for the change: "There was one other suspect for about a day, but then it didn't feel right. We always said that this story had to come from the heart, and with this, it's the start of a whole big new story for the Beales." Bobby being the culprit was originally suggested by series producer Alex Lamb.
On 19 February; after the second live episode of EastEnders and Bobby Beale was revealed to have in fact killed Lucy Beale; fans took to social network website Twitter to express their feelings towards the episode; an American teenager whose real name was in fact Bobbie Beale received many comments regarding why did Bobby kill Lucy; Beale was confused to why they thought she had killed someone called Lucy and commented to Buzzfeed News ""I was definitely confused. I saw the BBC tweet it, and then I realised. I looked up the show and I thought, Oh, this makes sense now, but at first I was really confused because I thought it was a real-life thing and I thought Bobby Beale killed someone and I was like, 'It's not me'." She also revealed that she had initially sent a tweet asking why three people from Scotland were messaging her about "killing someone named Lucy".
Rory Stroud was nominated as "Best Young Actor" at the 2013 Inside Soap Awards. A reporter from the EastEnders website said "We feel for cute-as-a-button Bobby Beale, whose home life is about as stable as Kim Fox (Tameka Empson) in stilettoes after ladies' night at R&R."
In September 2013, Stuart Heritage of The Guardian newspaper said that the character should be axed because Stroud "can actually act. He can speak in full sentences and walk around and stuff. That's not who Bobby Beale is. Bobby Beale should be mute and confused by everything, just like he was when Alex Francis played him."
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- Kilkelly, Daniel (19 April 2013). "'EastEnders': Peter Beale recast, returning in summer". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (18 June 2013). "'EastEnders': Cindy Beale's daughter to join Walford". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
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- Kilkelly, Daniel. "EastEnders boss on Bobby reveal: 'It's the start of a bigger story'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Wilson, Jess (20 February 2015). "Bobby Beale namesake: American teen hounded with abuse on Twitter for killing Lucy". 3am. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- Dainty, Sophie (22 July 2013). "Inside Soap Awards 2013 - longlist nominees in full". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Heritage, Stuart (26 September 2013). "Which character should be next for the EastEnders axe?". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2015.