List of EastEnders characters (1998)

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The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 1998, by order of first appearance.

Lola Christie[edit]

Lola Christie
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Diane Parish
First appearance 22 January 1998
Last appearance 6 July 1998
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Singer

Lola Christie is played by Diane Parish. Lola was introduced as a love interest for Mick McFarlane (Sylvester Williams). Parish notably returned to EastEnders in 2006 playing a different character, Denise Fox.[1]

Lola Christie auditions as a singer for Mick McFarlane (Sylvester Williams)'s band. Mick is impressed with her singing talents and offers her the job. Mick is attracted to Lola, they start dating, but she is always rushing off without warning and Mick is surprised to discover that Lola has a secret young son named Carl whose father, Neil, had abandoned Lola when she was 5 months pregnant. Mick proves supportive, but Lola eventually leaves Mick and the band when she gets her own recording contract as a soloist.[2]

Creation[edit]

At the time, Lola was the highest profile role for actress Diane Parish.[3] The character was a singer in Mick's jazz band, which suited Diane Parish as she had worked her way through drama school at RADA by doing session singing at a recording studio, though she had never seriously considered singing as a career. Parish has commented, "The only reason I took on the role of Lola was because her storyline wasn't really to do with her singing, that was just incidental. There was a bit of interest at the time - but I have to confess I didn't exactly have Island Records beating my door down with a contract!".[3]

Following the end of her initial six month contract, Parish decided to leave EastEnders. In a 1998 interview she revealed, "I had made a decision that I would stay only six months, whatever happened. But I was tempted to stay longer because it is such a great show and lovely people. Leaving was like ripping away from real friendships - but I'm not in this business to settle down. I get itchy feet and I left to do Picking Up the Pieces which is a real challenge. Being a part of EastEnders is like nothing else, a whole different beast from other shows because practically everyone has watched it at some time and you get to be known wherever you go. I thought that would end when I left, but I still get it even now."[3]

She has since revealed that she found it hard to cope with the fame of being in such a high-profile soap, and in a 2002 interview with the Daily Mirror it was reported that she "hated" her time in the soap so much, that she had no qualms about turning down a long-term contract: "I resented being a 'star' and I resented acting like one. It is cliquey, and once you are in a soap, that is it. The soap just clings on to you. People say: 'Everything you do before a soap and after does not matter.' It is true. EE made me odd. I was bobbing along happily as a jobbing actress, and then EE came along. I found it strange to lose my anonymity. People really believe they own you. They grab you, scream at you. I did not cope well. I became introverted and I stayed in a lot. I felt a bit depressed, too. I felt I had lost something. In the end I just had to get out. I lost the point as to why I was doing the job, and to be perfectly frank it just got messy."[4][4] However, in the same interview, Parish said she would consider returning to EastEnders if they asked her: "I'd handle things better. I love watching it. Jim Branning is fab."[4] Parish did return to the soap in 2006, but playing a completely different character, Denise Fox. On her decision to return, Parish said, "EastEnders was different back then. There was a spotlight on anyone in it - some actors were akin to pop stars. It's calmer now."[5]

Beppe di Marco[edit]

Main article: Beppe di Marco

Beppe di Marco, played by Michael Greco, is first seen when George Palmer and Peggy Mitchell (Paul Moriarty and Barbara Windsor) attend his father's funeral. He soon moves to Albert Square with the rest of his family. Beppe is his family's pride and joy, so it is a big shock to them when he is fired from the police force for attempting to frame Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp). Beppe is the local heart-throb and he has numerous relationships, which all ended in disaster.

Bruno di Marco[edit]

Bruno di Marco, played by Leon Lissek, is the patriarch of the di Marco family. He moves to Albert Square with his family after the death of his son. Bruno's wife, Luisa (Stella Tanner) suffers a stroke shortly before Bruno's birthday in July 1998. She recovers but remains frail and in December Bruno and Luisa decide to take a trip to Italy, before it is too late. When they get there they like it so much that they decided to stay.

Gianni di Marco[edit]

Main article: Gianni di Marco

Gianni di Marco, played by Marc Bannerman, is Beppe (Michael Greco)'s hotheaded younger brother. He works as a chef in the family restaurant, and later becomes manager of the business. Gianni has relationships with several women in Walford, and backs Beppe in various run-ins with Grant and Phil Mitchell (Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden), as the two groups of brothers often have conflicts over several interests.

Luisa di Marco[edit]

Luisa di Marco, played by Stella Tanner, is the wife of Bruno (Leon Lissek). She is often troubled by the antics of her grandchildren, and when she sees her youngest granddaughter Nicky (Carly Hillman) kissing Martin Fowler (James Alexandrou), the shock is too much and she suffers a stroke. She recovers but remains frail and in December Luisa and Bruno decide to take a trip to Italy before it was too late. When they get there they liked it so much that they decide to stay.

Nicky di Marco[edit]

Nicky di Marco
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Carly Hillman
Duration 1998–2000
First appearance 29 January 1998
Last appearance 3 August 2000
Introduced by Matthew Robinson
Classification Former; regular

Nicoletta "Nicky" di Marco, played by Carly Hillman, arrives with her mother Rosa (Louise Jameson), brothers Beppe and Gianni (Michael Greco and Marc Bannerman), and sister Teresa (Leila Birch) in 1998. Nicky becomes the best friend of Sonia Jackson (Natalie Cassidy) and briefly dates Jamie Mitchell (Jack Ryder), Asif Malik (Ashvin Luximon) and Martin Fowler (James Alexandrou).

In 2000, her mother Rosa arranges for some home maths lessons to help with Nicky's exams. Her tutor is Rod Morris (Forbes Masson), whom she falls in love with. Nicky makes the first move on her tutor and he initially reciprocates, but then takes things too far and sexually assaults Nicky, who then tells her family what has happened, but doesn't reveal she is partly to blame. This leads to her overprotective brother Gianni attacking Rod. Gianni is charged with assault but the charges are dropped when Nicky admits that she has not told the whole truth. Nicky then admits that she was afraid that her family wouldn't have believed that she had been molested if she had admitted she'd made the first move. When she realises her family have doubts of her innocence, she decides to leave home, and is last seen explaining that she has received the address for a hostel. Most of the di Marco family leave Walford soon after for a new life in Leicester in August 2000. The charges on Rod are also dropped.

Rosa di Marco[edit]

Main article: Rosa di Marco

Rosa di Marco, played by Louise Jameson. She is the mother of Beppe (Michael Greco), Gianni (Marc Bannerman), Teresa (Leila Birch) and Nicky di Marco (Carly Hillman). After the death of her husband, she moves to Walford along with the rest of her family, and she soon sets up her own restaurant with the help of her old friend, George Palmer (Paul Moriarty). It is later revealed that Rosa and George had a fling many years ago during the time her husband was in prison. This leads George to believe that Rosa's son Gianni could be his son.

Teresa di Marco[edit]

Teresa di Marco
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Leila Birch
Duration 1998–2000
First appearance 29 January 1998
Last appearance 3 August 2000
Introduced by Matthew Robinson
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Market stall holder

Teresa di Marco, played by Leila Birch, is Rosa di Marco (Louise Jameson)'s eldest daughter and a wild child, despite the fact she has her overprotective, big brothers Beppe and Gianni (Michael Greco and Marc Bannerman) looking out for her.

She first appears at her father's funeral in January 1998, and had recently failed her A-level exams, making her mother suspicious that she had done this on purpose, so she can stay as a waitress in the family restaurant. However, Teresa has higher aspirations than working in the family business, and so gets her own stall on the market.

Teresa also knows how to find trouble. She is caught with drugs by the police, finds out her boyfriend Tony Hills (Mark Homer) is gay, has flings with Lenny Wallace (Desune Coleman) and married Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) and then runs away with Matthew Rose (Joe Absolom) who is suspected for murder. When they are finally found, Matthew is found guilty and Teresa is crushed. She campaigns to get him freed, and when he is the two are reunited, but his desire for revenge on the real murderer Steve Owen (Martin Kemp) scares her and they break up.

Following her sister Nicky (Carly Hillman)'s accusations of assault, most of the di Marcos decide to leave for Leicester and, although reluctant at first, a heart to heart with brother Beppe makes Teresa realise she needs a new start. She then joins her family and heads out of Walford.

Joe di Marco[edit]

Joe di Marco
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Jake Kyprianou
Duration 1998–2002
First appearance 29 January 1998
Last appearance 4 June 2002
Introduced by Matthew Robinson
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Student

Joe di Marco is played by Jake Kyprianou between 1998 and 2002. Joe's most notable storyline is being "the focus of a tug-of-love" between his mother and father.[6] Joe, along with his father Beppe di Marco (Michael Greco), was axed by the executive producer of EastEnders, John Yorke.[7]

The Italian di Marco family were introduced early in 1998 by executive producer Jane Harris.[8] They were heralded as the "family that would rival the Mitchells"—who are one of the most successful and long-running families to have been featured in EastEnders.[9]

The di Marcos "landed with an almighty thud in January [1998], turning out in force for the funeral of patriarch Giuseppe", Joe's grandfather.[10] The following month, the family moved to the area in which the soap is set, Walford.[11] Joe is featured in various storylines that focus on his relationship with his father, Beppe, and Beppe's struggles as a single parent. "There was a flurry of interest" in 2000, when Joe's estranged mother Sandra (Clare Wilkie) was introduced into the serial. She vows to take Beppe to court for custody of Joe, but after a lengthy battle, and a tug-of-love that leads to Joe getting injured, this does not occur. In the storyline, Joe remains with his father after Beppe agrees to give Sandra visitation rights.[2][12]

The majority of the di Marcos stayed in EastEnders until 2000, when a new executive producer, John Yorke, decided to cull them all, except Joe, Beppe and his estranged wife Sandra (though she was also written out early in 2001 when the custody battle storyline ended).[13][14] The di Marcos were reportedly "slaughtered because of a shortage of ideas for what to do with them."[9] However, a spokesperson at the time commented: "These changes…are just part of [John Yorke's] plans to revamp the series and give it a new look."[15] The cuts paved the way for the arrival of the "hugely popular" Slater family.[16] Beppe and Joe remained until 2002, when they were also axed.[17] The characters departed in June, two months earlier than contracted. This was due to Beppe's actor Michael Greco, who requested to be released early from his contract because he was angry at being axed. Scripts were rapidly turned around and the characters were given a hasty exit.[18] The boy who played Joe, Jake Kyprianou, reportedly gave up acting after leaving the role.[6] The di Marcos are now deemed as something of a failure for EastEnders.[12]

Storylines[edit]

Joe di Marco is the son of Beppe and Sandra di Marco (Michael Greco and Clare Wilkie). Sandra abandoned Joe when he was young due to Beppe's interfering family. Joe was raised by his father, his grandmother Rosa (Louise Jameson) and his great grandmother Luisa (Stella Tanner).

Sandra comes back into Joe's life in 2000. He bonds with his mother, and despite initial hostilities Beppe also welcomes Sandra back into his life.[19] However it transpires that Sandra is only using Beppe to get access to Joe and she later reconciles with her former lover, Jack Robins (Chook Sibtain). She and Jack plan to abscond with Joe, however Beppe catches her in the act. Beppe and Sandra are then involved in a custody battle for Joe. The constant rowing has a negative effect on Joe and he finds it difficult to choose between his warring parents. This culminates in him getting hit by a car when he disobeys his father and runs across the road to be with his mother. Joe is not seriously hurt, but the accident makes his parents rethink their behaviour. Beppe eventually allows Sandra visitation rights and Joe remains with his father.

Beppe's serial womanising has a negative effect on Joe in 2001, when he walks in on his father being seduced by his teacher, Kay Bradshaw (Vanessa Earl). Joe is so unsettled that he refuses to go to school the following day. In 2002, Joe leaves with his father to live in Leicester following Rosa's death.

Eliot Saunders[edit]

Eliot Saunders
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Lawrence Lambert
First appearance 16 February 1998
Last appearance 19 March 1998
Classification Former; guest

Eliot Saunders, played by Lawrence Lambert, is the father of Josh Saunders (Jon Lee) and ex-husband of Julie Haye (Karen Henthorn). Eliot is angry about Julie taking Josh to live in Scotland. As Eliot is Jewish, Josh is obliged to have a Bar Mitzvah to appease his father before he leaves for Scotland. Josh is initially opposed to this, as he is not remotely interested in religion. He starts missing his Bar Mitzvah tutorials, which does not please Eliot who says he and his family will not support Josh in his life if he does not go through with it. Josh ultimately decides to go ahead with the Bar Mitzvah. It takes place in March 1998.

Hayley Edwards[edit]

Hayley Edwards
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Karin Diamond
Appears on 26 February 1998
Classification Former; guest

Hayley Edwards, played by Karin Diamond, is the sister of Huw (Richard Elis), who tries to contact her brother in February 1998 to tell him that their father has died. She leaves messages with Huw's friend Lenny Wallace (Desune Coleman), but Huw denies knowing anyone called Hayley (he had fallen out with his family when he was caught in bed with his fiancée's sister). Hayley then arrives in Walford to persuade him to attend the funeral, but he flatly refuses until the last minute, when he takes the train home to Wales with her.

Louise Raymond[edit]

Main article: Louise Raymond

Louise Raymond, played by Carol Harrison, is the estranged wife of Terry Raymond (Gavin Richards) and mother of Tiffany Mitchell (Martine McCutcheon) and Simon Raymond (Andrew Lynford). She is first seen during the wedding ceremony of Terry and Irene Hills (Roberta Taylor), when Louise stops proceedings to announce that she and Terry are still married.[20] Harison has described Louise as "very strong and resilient but deep down she has a very vulnerable streak [...] there are two sides to her. She is a lot of fun but she carries a lot of pain. Louise is a woman of the world who has had very high highs and very low lows. She is also a woman who sees people's flaws and accepts them without judgment."[21][22]

Josie McFarlane[edit]

Main article: Josie McFarlane

Josie McFarlane, played by Joan Hooley, is the mother of Mick McFarlane (Sylvester Williams). She is described as "well-groomed...confident" and someone who "set high — if not impossible — standards, and inevitably people failed her."[2] Josie fosters a young girl named Kim (Krystle Williams), who she claims is a distant relative of Mick's. Kim is actually the illegitimate daughter of Josie's philandering husband, and after her mother's death, Josie kindly takes her in instead of seeing her go into care.

Kim McFarlane[edit]

Kim McFarlane
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Krystle Williams
Duration 1998–2002
First appearance 25 August 1998
Last appearance 22 January 2002
Introduced by Matthew Robinson
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Student

Kim McFarlane, played by Krystle Williams, first arrives in Albert Square in August 1998 along with her guardian Josie McFarlane (Joan Hooley). Both have supposedly come over from Jamaica to visit Josie's son, Mick (Sylvester Williams), however it soon becomes clear that the purpose for their visit is not as innocent as Josie initially makes out. Mick is expecting his mother, but is surprised when she turns up with Kim, whom he has never met or heard of before. Josie claims that Kim is a distant relative, whom she is looking after for a while. However, it is subsequently revealed that instead of being a distant relative, Kim is actually Mick's half-sister. Kim is the product of an affair Mick's father had when he was temporarily estranged from Josie. Her mother had died when she was eight and Josie - who had lost her husband by then too - adopted Kim, rather than see her taken into care. Mick is shocked at this revelation, but he is a pretty easy going guy, so he soon accepts Kim as his new little sister, although he find Kim's tagging around after him a little irksome at first.

Kim attends Walford High School and soon becomes friendly with local girls Sonia Jackson and Nicky di Marco (Natalie Cassidy and Carly Hillman), although she is a bit younger than them, so she often gets excluded from their more mature conversations. Later on in her time in Walford, Kim attends a modelling audition with Nicky to give her moral support. However, it is Kim who is successful and not Nicky. Ambitious Josie is delighted and sets about trying to get Kim to attend as many auditions as possible. However, Kim is rejected at a casting for not being slim enough and so she starts cutting out food, developing an eating disorder that threatens to spiral dangerously out of control. It takes the combined efforts of Mick and Dr Fred Fonseca (Jimi Mistry) to get Kim back on the road to recovery.

In 2000, Josie is deported back to Jamaica for forgetting to renew her visa and Kim remains living in Walford with her brother. Kim appears infrequently after this, occasionally showing up to visit Sonia and she also gets a part-time job washing cars for Roy Evans (Tony Caunter). Kim is also very upset when Sonia decides to give up her newborn daughter, Chloe, for adoption, as Kim herself had been an adoptee. When Mick is offered a job touring with a band in 2002, he initially rejects it because of his responsibility towards Kim. However, she is adamant that he should take the job and so he leaves Walford, leaving Kim in the care of their aunt Winnie, who lives away from the square. (This was in contrast to press reports at the time, which stated Kim would move in with the Jackson family.) Kim disappears after this and her current whereabouts have never been revealed. Her last appearance is in January 2002.

Fred Fonseca[edit]

Main article: Fred Fonseca

Fred Fonseca, played by Jimi Mistry, is an "an attractive young doctor", who becomes the local GP in 1998,[23] after the retirement of Dr. Legg (Leonard Fenton).[24] Fred befriends Mick McFarlane (Sylvester Williams), and comes out as a homosexual, and as a result is subjected to homophobia from several of the local residents, including teenager Martin Fowler (James Alexandrou).

Melanie Owen[edit]

Main article: Melanie Owen

Melanie Owen, played by Tamzin Outhwaite, who arrives in Albert Square to reunite with her brother, Alex Healy (Richard Driscoll). Author Kate Lock has described Mel as free-spirited, exuberant, a beauty, wild-at-heart, and "a restless soul with a troubled past".[2] Mel marries Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) on New Year's Eve 1999, and later has a problematic marriage to Steve Owen (Martin Kemp). In 2001, she is kidnapped by her former lover, Dan Sullivan (Craig Fairbrass).

Billy Mitchell[edit]

Billy Mitchell, played by Perry Fenwick, is a distant relative of Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). He is first seen as Jamie Mitchell (Jack Ryder)'s abusive guardian, and Jamie is eventually taken away from Billy by Phil. Billy has been described as a "runt of a man who's a catalyst for trouble".[25] He has failed marriages with Little Mo Morgan and Honey Edwards (Kacey Ainsworth and Emma Barton), and sees the birth of his children, Janet (who has Down's syndrome) and William. In 2011, he makes contact with his granddaughter, Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) for the first time.

Lilly Mattock[edit]

Main article: Lilly Mattock

Lilly Mattock, played by Barbara Keogh, is first seen in Albert Square in 1998 when she moves into a flat with fellow senior-citizen Dot Cotton (June Brown), after both of their respective homes have burnt down. Lilly likes to forget her age and concentrates on having fun. This is in stark contrast to Dot, and the two often tease each other with their obvious personality differences. Lilly has a rude awakening when she is mugged in 1999, and she is never quite the same again.

Lisa Fowler[edit]

Main article: Lisa Fowler

Lisa Fowler, played by Lucy Benjamin, is first seen as new assistant market inspector to Michael Rose (Russell Floyd). Described as, "feisty, independent and ambitious",[26] Lisa becomes romantically involved with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). The relationship is problematic, and Lisa suffers a miscarriage, emotional and mental abuse from Phil, and infidelity when Phil has sex with her best friend, Melanie Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite). All of this leads to Lisa taking extreme measures to get back at Phil. In time, she goes on to marry her longtime friend, Mark Fowler (Todd Carty).

Jamie Mitchell[edit]

Main article: Jamie Mitchell

Jamie Mitchell, played by Jack Ryder, is the nephew of Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick), who is also Jamie's legal guardian. Billy physically abuses Jamie, so he is taken in by his godfather, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). "Cockney totty"[27] Jamie has brief flings with Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) and Zoe Slater (Michelle Ryan), but it is Sonia Jackson (Natalie Cassidy) who proves to be Jamie's first and only true love.

Cindy Williams[edit]

Not to be confused with Cindy Beale.
Cindy Williams
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Ella Wortley (1998–99)
Cydney Parker (1998–99)
Eva Sayer (2007)
Mimi Keene (2013–)
Duration 1998–99, 2007, 2013–
First appearance 9 November 1998
Introduced by Matthew Robinson (1998)
Diederick Santer (2007)
Lorraine Newman (2013)
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Student
waitress

Cindy Williams is the daughter of Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) and Nick Holland (Dominic Taylor). She is the half-sister of Steven, Peter and Lucy Beale. As a baby, she was played by Ella Wortley and Cydney Parker, and on 14 September 2007 she was played by child actress Eva Sayer.[28] On 18 June 2013, it was announced that Cindy would be returning to EastEnders on 20 August, with Mimi Keene taking over the role.[29] In May 2014, Keene took a three-month break from the show, and will return in the episode broadcast on 28 August 2014.

Storylines[edit]

Cindy Sr gives birth to Cindy while in prison for arranging the attempted murder of Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), her ex-husband and the father of Lucy and Peter. Cindy has never known either of her parents; Nick cuts all contact with Cindy Sr after finding out she tried to have Ian killed, and Cindy Sr dies after the birth due to an embolism. After her mother's death, Cindy is taken to Devon to live with her maternal grandmother Bev Williams (Diane Langton) and aunt Gina (Nicola Cowper). Ian and Steven meet Cindy when they go to Devon for Cindy Sr's funeral. Ian suggests naming her after her late mother as a mark of respect. Bev initially thinks she is too old to look after Cindy and suggests that she live with Ian and her half-siblings. Reluctant at first, Ian agrees, but Gina wants Cindy to stay with her and Bev has second thoughts about giving her up. Ian and Gina briefly quarrel over Cindy before Ian decides that she will be best off living with Gina and Bev. In 2007, Ian thinks that Gina is sending messages to Lucy pretending to be Cindy, so he goes to visit her. When he arrives, Gina reintroduces Cindy to Ian.

In 2013, after Peter returns to Walford from living in Devon for a while, he refuses to speak to Cindy on the phone. She then turns up unexpectedly, breaking into Ian's house. Peter wants Cindy to go back to Devon because she knows something that happened there that he does not want anyone else to find out, however Ian allows her to stay. When Peter goes on holiday with his friends, Cindy hides in the boot of the car. It is there that Peter tells Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) what Cindy knows - that his friend died after Peter encouraged him to swim far out in the sea. Later on the holiday Cindy steals £10,000 that Dexter Hartman (Khali Best) had collected for the sale of a car. Back in Walford Cindy's presence is not welcomed by either Peter or Lucy, but she bonds with Ian's girlfriend, Denise Fox (Diane Parish), and becomes friends with Liam Butcher (James Forde). In January 2014, it is revealed that Cindy is pregnant, after a positive pregnancy test is found at Liam's house and that his friend TJ Spraggan (George Sargeant) is the father. Cindy then decides to have a termination, although TJ is against the idea. Tina Carter (Luisa Bradshaw-White) overhears their conversation and offers advice to Cindy. Tina then offers to take Cindy to the abortion clinic, where Cindy decides to keep the baby. The next day she tells TJ she didn't have the abortion. When he tells her about how his dad will react she tells him that at least he has someone and that Peter and Lucy don't care about her and Ian only lets her stay because he feels guilty about her mother. TJ then shows up and tells her that will stay by her and their baby. Ian tells Cindy her nan is moving to Portugal and wants to take Cindy with her. TJ comes forward and reveals himself as the true father. When Ian's ex-wife Jane Beale (Laurie Brett) returns to Walford, she takes Cindy for a scan.

In April 2014, Cindy reveals to Ian that Lucy was arrested for shoplifting in Devon, and is hiding something in her jewellery box. Ian and Jane are stunned to find a bag of cocaine. Cindy is later devastated when she learns that Lucy has died in suspicious circumstances. She reveals to detective DCI Irving (Colin McFarlane) that Lucy was a cocaine user, which infuriates Ian. When Ian tells Irving that he was at the family restaurant on the night that Lucy died, Cindy is puzzled, after visiting the restaurant that night, and finding it empty. When Ian catches Cindy holding Lucy's coat, he sees red and physically throws her out of the house. He then calls Cindy's aunt Gina to come to Walford and collect her. However, when Gina and Cindy are driving away, Ian runs to the car and begs Cindy to stay. She refuses, saying that Ian was right about what he said about her leaving. Cindy returns for Lucy's funeral, but refuses to talk to Ian, because of his behaviour. Cindy tells Ian that she knows he lied about his whereabouts on Good Friday, but she promises not to reveal this to anyone if she is allowed to keep wearing what she is wearing. Unbeknownst to both of them, Phil overhears this conversation. Cindy returns to live with Gina after the funeral.

A heavily pregnant Cindy returns, saying she has come for a visit, but Ian tries to get her to leave. However, she has already starting having contractions, so Ian has to deliver Cindy's daughter. He then asks her to stay.

Development[edit]

In early 2014, a positive pregnancy test is found in the Butchers' house, revealed to belong to Cindy, following a one-night stand with TJ Spraggan (George Sargeant). This is the character's first major storyline.[citation needed] Cindy leaves Walford on 25 April 2014, with her aunt, Gina, before returning for one episode on 20 May 2014, for Lucy's funeral. Keene took a three-month break from the show, returning to screens on 28 August 2014.[30]

Gina Williams[edit]

Gina Williams
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Nicola Cowper
Duration 1998–99, 2007, 2014
First appearance 10 November 1998
Last appearance 25 April 2014
Introduced by Matthew Robinson (1998)
Diederick Santer (2007)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
Classification Former; recurring

Gina Williams, played by Nicola Cowper, is the sister of Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) and first appears for Cindy's funeral in 1998. She refuses to let Cindy's ex-husband Ian (Adam Woodyatt) have custody of Cindy's newborn daughter, Cindy Jr., whose father is Nick Holland (Dominic Taylor). Gina and Ian later reminisce about Cindy and kiss. She then reveals that she cannot have children, and Ian decides to let her care for Cindy Jr. Ian later visits Gina to see the eclipse in 1999, and she nearly kisses him again, but is interrupted by Melanie Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite), who later proposes to Ian.

Gina is seen again in September 2007. Ian visits her as he suspects that she has been harassing him by pretending to be his deceased wife Cindy and sending malicious emails and packages. He enters her house without permission and is shocked to see that Gina has made a shrine to Cindy on her living-room wall. Gina greets Ian from behind a shotgun, but she then assures him that both she and her dead sister have put the past behind them. Ian is concerned when Gina says she regularly "converses with" her dead sister, who had even told her to expect Ian's visit. Ian accuses Gina of stalking him and isn't convinced when she denies responsibility. He advises her to seek professional help. He is later kidnapped by the real stalker: Cindy's son Steven Beale (Aaron Sidwell). Ian's wife Jane (Laurie Brett) becomes frantic, and when Gina arrives in Walford to give Ian a photo of Cindy Jr., Jane accuses Gina of terrorising Ian and they nearly come to blows.

Gina returned to the show on 25 April 2014, after Ian calls her to come to Walford and collect Cindy Jr.

Liam Butcher[edit]

Main article: Liam Butcher

Liam Butcher, played by Sonny Bottomley from 1998 to 1999, Jack and Tom Godolphin from 1999 to 2000, Gavin and Mitchell Vaughan in 2000, Nathaniel Gleed from 2002 to 2004 and James Forde from 2008 onwards, is the son of Ricky and Bianca Butcher (Sid Owen and Patsy Palmer). He is born prematurely on Christmas Day 1998, on the floor of The Queen Victoria public house. In September 1999, Liam's parents separate and Bianca takes him to Manchester. In May 2002, Bianca gives Liam to Ricky. Shortly afterwards, Ricky and Liam return to Walford, but depart again in 2004. Off-screen, Liam is returned to Bianca in 2006, but he returns to Walford with his mother and siblings in April 2008.

Steve Owen[edit]

Steve Owen, played by Martin Kemp, arrives in Walford and buys the Market Cellar club, which he renovates and names E20. His ex-girlfriend Saskia Duncan (Deborah Sheridan-Taylor) arrives and tries to come between Steve and his new girlfriend Melanie Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite). This leads to Steve and Saskia fighting one night, where Steve hits Saskia over the head with an ashtray, killing her instantly. This is witnessed by Steve's assistant Matthew Rose (Joe Absolom), who helps Steve dispose of the body. However, when the police find the body, Steve frames Matthew, who is consequently found guilty of manslaughter.

Saskia Duncan[edit]

Saskia Duncan
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Deborah Sheridan-Taylor
Duration 1998–99
First appearance 31 December 1998
Last appearance 15 February 1999
Classification Former; regular

Saskia Duncan, played by Deborah Sheridan-Taylor, arrives in Walford in December 1998 as the obsessive ex-girlfriend of new e20 club owner Steve Owen (Martin Kemp). Steve isn't happy to see her and he tells her he doesn't want her any more, but she continues to stalk him regardless. When Steve gets involved with Melanie Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite), Saskia tries to break them up. She succeeds in seducing him; afterwards, she won't listen when Steve insists it was a mistake.

On e20's launch night, Saskia breaks into Steve's office and kisses him. As Mel storms out of the room, Saskia reveals that she is pregnant with Steve's baby, but when he says he doesn't want it, she has an abortion and blames him for "killing the baby". When she breaks into his office again, Steve tells her to get out, but she attacks him and attempts to strangle Steve with his tie. Matthew Rose (Joe Absolom), who works in the club as a DJ, arrives and tries to get her off him but she pushes him away. Steve reaches for the nearest object, an ashtray, and gives Saskia a brutal blow to the head, killing her instantly. Steve and Matthew then bury her body in Epping Forest.

Saskia's disappearance is investigated by police, and her sister Claudia Fielding (Rolma Walker) arrives and suspects that Steve is involved with her disappearance. Matthew panics that she'll find out about Saskia's death and Steve tries to calm him down. The body is later discovered and both Steve and Matthew are arrested. Steve blames Matthew, who is found guilty of manslaughter. When Matthew is released in December 1999, he gets revenge on Steve by tying him to a chair and threatening to burn him alive, but he later reveals that he'd just wanted to turn Steve into an emotional wreck. Matthew then leaves the Square.

Carrie Swann[edit]

Carrie Swann
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Holly Atkins
Duration 1998–99
Last appearance 13 April 1999
Classification Former; regular

Carrie Swann, played by Holly Atkins, is an artist and friend of Teresa di Marco (Leila Birch). She holds an exhibition in the night café in 1998, and returns in 1999 and starts dating Huw Edwards (Richard Elis). She moves to the West country, and Huw decides to leave Walford and live with her.

Richard Crowe[edit]

Richard Crowe
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Simon Thomsen
Duration 1998, 1999
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Police officer

Police Constable Richard Crowe, played by Simon Thomsen, is a police officer who first appears as the community liaison officer at a community meeting organised by Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt). He later appears in 1999 to present Dot Cotton (June Brown) with an award, after she foils an attempted burglary at the surgery. He notices that Dot has (inadvertently) been making tea from cannabis, and arrests her.

References[edit]

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