Eddie Royle

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Eddie Royle
Eddie Royle.jpg
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Michael Melia
Duration 1990–91
First appearance 3 July 1990
Last appearance 12 September 1991
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Pub landlord

Edward "Eddie" Royle is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Michael Melia from 1990 until 1991.


Born in Ireland, Eddie came to Britain with his parents as a boy. Bright and energetic, he couldn't wait to join the police force and when he did, he loved his job, priding himself on being an honest copper. However Eddie encountered corrupt practices in the force, so he took early retirement and decided to start afresh in Walford.

Eddie arrives in Walford in July 1990, as the new landlord of The Queen Victoria public house, which he buys from Frank Butcher (Mike Reid). He is a serious minded landlord, far different from his predecessors Den Watts and Frank Butcher. Not everyone takes to him, particularly when they discover his prior profession. Eddie doesn't really have any real friends in Albert Square, but his father John (Paddy Joyce), often turns up in Walford to keep his son company. Whilst being landlord at the pub, Eddie rents a room to his barmaid Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean). Although he never approves of her relationship with the local thug, Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp), and this often makes things awkward between the pair.

Eddie never married as a policeman, however, in Walford, he decides he needs a mate. He patiently pursues Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), but she sees him kissing Eibhlin O'Donnell (Mary Conlon), who is his former girlfriend visiting from Ireland. Kathy refuses to accept his explanations and so their lukewarm romance ends. In April 1991, when Sharon seems to be opening her heart to him and is fed up with Grant, he rashly offers himself as a replacement, but is rejected. When Grant finds out, he beats him up so badly that he is hospitalised and needs brain surgery. Whilst recovering, he receives another visit from Eibhlin. He ends up proposing marriage and she accepts.

Eddie cannot forgive Grant for his violent assault and so he contacts an old police colleague to check up on Grant's dodgy dealings. However, Sharon discovers what is going on and manages to remove some dodgy packages from Grant's garage before the police arrive. Eddie is furious, and is even more enraged when he discovers that she'd agreed to marry Grant, so he sacks her. Although Sharon successfully sues him for unfair dismissal, Eddie refuses to give her job back to her. In August 1991 Eibhlin moves in with Eddie. Meanwhile, Eddie begins coaching Clyde Tavernier (Steven Woodcock) in boxing and that same month he is approached by an old friend, who is coaching Clyde's upcoming opponent. He and Eddie try to bribe Clyde to purposefully lose the fight in a betting scam, which causes a blazing row between Clyde and Eddie. Grant's rage towards Eddie also resurfaces when he discovers that it was he who had tipped him off to the police about his shady dealings. This further alienates the community and it seems that everyone in Walford has something against Eddie.

Eddie is stabbed to death

In September 1991, while Eddie is taking his pet poodle, Roly, for an evening walk he is stabbed to death. Clyde Tavernier discovers his bloody body in the Square, and after foolishly picking up the murder weapon, he flees in panic. Unfortunately for Clyde, there is a witness who had seen him standing over Eddie's body and fleeing the scene — Nick Cotton (John Altman). Clyde is arrested for Eddie's murder and imprisoned. However, a second witness, Joe Wallace (Jason Rush), later comes forward to attest that he had seen Nick Cotton in the vicinity on the night of the murder. It turns out that Nick was attempting a robbery when Eddie saw him, and in order to silence him, Nick stabbed him. Clyde is released and Nick is arrested for the murder, but surprisingly he is found 'not guilty' at the trial in 1993, as there is not enough evidence to convict.

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