List of EastEnders characters (2012)

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The following are characters who first appeared, or returned, in the BBC soap opera EastEnders during 2012 listed by order of first appearance. New characters were introduced by Bryan Kirkwood, executive producer. He stepped down from the role in April. His last episode was on 13 July 2012.[1] From 16 July, characters were introduced by his successor, Lorraine Newman.[2]

The first character to be introduced was the undertaker, Les Coker. The next main character to be announced was Ray Dixon, the father of Morgan Butcher, followed by Alice Branning, the daughter of Derek Branning and, Alice's brother, Joey. June 2012 also saw the first birth of the year: Janine Butcher and Michael Moon's daughter, Scarlett. July saw the arrival of Masood Ahmed's brother, AJ. July also saw the second birth of the year: Lola Pearce's daughter Lexi, Newman's first introduction. After the announcement that Sharon Rickman was returning, her son Dennis Rickman, was introduced, along with guest character, Sharon's fiancé John Hewland. Danny Pennant arrived in September, as part of a love triangle storyline involving Syed Masood and Christian Clarke. Ava Hartman, the long-lost daughter of Cora Cross was introduced in November and Kirsty Branning, Max's wife, made her first appearance on Christmas Day. December also saw the arrival of Zainab Masood's family friend, Ayesha Rana.

Les Coker[edit]

Les Coker
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Roger Sloman
Duration 2012, 2014-
First appearance 9 January 2012
Introduced by Bryan Kirkwood (2012)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Funeral director

Leslie "Les" Coker, played by Roger Sloman, is a funeral director who visits Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) and David Wicks (Michael French) on 9 January to arrange Pat Evans' (Pam St. Clement) funeral. He tells them he used to know Pat when he was an apprentice, implying he was her client when she was a prostitute, and offers a discount on the funeral. He says that he arranged funerals for many of the other local residents, including David's father Pete Beale (Peter Dean), Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin) and Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb).[3] He returns for a single episode on 20 June 2012, to meet Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) to finalise arrangements for the funeral of her daughter Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner). Jean is distressed to hear that Stacey is dead, but Mo Harris (Laila Morse) reveals she has just spoken to Stacey on the phone, meaning Stacey is alive. Les apologises profoundly before leaving.[4] On 5 July, he is seen by Sasha Dixon (Rebecca Sanneh) doing business with Anthony Moon (Matt Lapinskas) and it turns out that when someone dies, Les offers to empty their house and sells the goods to Anthony for his business. Sasha and her employer, Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell), then ask Les to offer every other house to them for the charity shop.[5] On 10 July, he attends a wake for a former Walford resident at The Queen Victoria public house, where Kim Fox (Tameka Empson) pretends to know the deceased, and talks to Les, successfully gaining Sasha a work experience placement with Les's firm.[6] On 17 July 2012, he attends the wake of a man previously known by Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) and is annoyed when Cora turns up, as he has agreements with her and Anthony.[7] On 31 July, he appears when Sasha starts her first day of work experience.[8]

Les appears again on 25 March 2014 to arrange Nick Cotton's (John Altman) funeral.[9] Les Coker was made a permanent character in April 2014, and opens a funeral parlour with his wife, Pam (Lin Blakely).[10][11] When walking home one night, Arthur Chubb (Ricky Norwood), known as Fatboy, notices Les being handed money by Dot Branning's (June Brown) grandson Charlie Cotton (Declan Bennett). Fatboy tries to tell Dot what Les and Charlie are up to, but is unsuccessful. In July, Les hires Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) at the undertakers, however he is disappointed when Billy doesn't turn up for work on his first day.

TV columnist for The Sun, Ally Ross, called Sloman's initial cameo appearance in the show "TV gold".[12] Of Pat and Les, Kate White of Inside Soap said "Pat had, erm, 'relations' with Mr Coker the undertaker. What a forward-thinking way to get a discount on your funeral."[13] The Daily Mirror's Jane Simon commented on Les's scenes, saying "You don't often get laughs out of an undertaker, but the chap who turns up to arrange Pat's funeral has Carol Jackson spluttering into her tea."[14]

Ray Dixon[edit]

Main article: Ray Dixon

Ray Dixon, played by Chucky Venn, is an ex-partner of Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer) and the father of her son Morgan Butcher (Devon Higgs). He made his first on screen appearance on 10 January 2012.[15] Venn was cast in the role after hearing that producers were interested in him for the part.[16] The character and casting were then announced on 15 November 2011.[17] Ray is a former army soldier with "discipline and [the ability] to handle himself in certain situations."[18] He is also described as "noble"[16] and "a man of principles".[18] He also has a daughter, Sasha Dixon (Rebecca Sanneh).[19] His storylines include meeting Morgan for the first time[20] and having a relationship with Kim Fox (Tameka Empson).[21] Ray departed the soap on 28 May 2013.[22]

Gethin Williams[edit]

Gethin Williams,[23] played by Bradley Freegard,[24] appears on 17 and 27 January.[24][25] He is Jane Beale's (Laurie Brett) former haute cuisine tutor, who attends a fundraising event organised by Jane after hearing about it on the radio. Impressed with her catering for the function, he asks her to interview for a job at his new restaurant. Jane does not want to take the job but, when Gethin rings the next day, her friend Tanya Jessop (Jo Joyner) arranges for them to meet up. Jane passes the interview, but reveals to Tanya that the restaurant is in Cardiff. Gethin returns to Walford to attend Jane's leaving party. Jane has doubts about leaving Walford but later assures Gethin she wants to take the job, with him revealing his plans to set up a restaurant in Paris, with Jane as sous chef.

Freegard auditioned for the part of Gethin but thought his audition did not go well because he found it "difficult without any sense of context to get the full grasp of what your character's all about."[26] He filmed his scenes over two days in November 2011.[26] Gethin is the first Welsh character in EastEnders since Huw Edwards, played by Richard Elis from 1996 to 1999.[26]

Sasha Dixon[edit]

Sasha Dixon
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Rebecca Sanneh
First appearance 26 January 2012
Last appearance 14 August 2012
Introduced by Bryan Kirkwood
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Student
Charity shop worker

Sasha Dixon, played by Rebecca Sanneh, is the daughter of Ray Dixon (Chucky Venn)[27] and half-sister to Morgan Butcher (Devon Higgs). She appears on 26 January 2012, and more regularly from 14 May 2012 onwards. The EastEnders website says that Sasha's father Ray sees Sasha as "being the best thing in his life, but he wishes her mother didn't exist."[19] Ray is very loyal to Sasha, and Chucky Venn, who plays him, said that when Kim and Sasha fall out, he can create harmony between them.[28]

Sasha first arrives in The Queen Victoria public house in search of her father. She reveals she has an interest in forensic pathology and is questioned by Kim Fox (Tameka Empson) about Ray's past relationships. Ray introduces her to Morgan, angering Morgan's mother, Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer).[29] In May Sasha returns to stay with Ray, and his girlfriend Kim.[30] Kim struggles to accept Sasha and worries that Sasha will make her look stupid.[31] Kim then looks after Sasha,[32] and after Sasha tells Kim about her interest in forensic science, Kim takes her to a murder scene. Kim exaggerates the details of the murder, which scares Sasha.[33] Kim then hears from Ray that Sasha is a good dancer, but it emerges that she has no rhythm.[34] Sasha then attends Kim's fitness class but does not enjoy it.[35] When Kim opens her bed and breakfast, Sasha offers to help book theatre tickets for a customer. She is caught using Kim's credit card at school and gets a detention for it. However, she reveals she tried to get a detention on purpose, just to avoid working for Kim.[36] When playing basketball with Kim and Morgan, the charity shop window is broken and Sasha takes the blame. Sasha then starts working at the shop to make up for it,[37] and falls out with Kim. Kim treats her to dinner and sees that Sasha fancies Fatboy. Kim then helps Sasha to find a work experience placement in a hospital,[38] but is forced to reveal that she lied about knowing someone in forensics. However, she successfully gets Sasha a placement with Les Coker's firm of funeral directors,[6] and Sasha enjoys her first day there.[8]

Nico Papadopoulos[edit]

Nico Papadopoulos
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Aykut Hilmi
First appearance 24 April 2012
Last appearance 21 August 2012
Introduced by Bryan Kirkwood
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Fast-food restaurant manager

Nico Papadopoulos, played by Aykut Hilmi,[39] is a worker at McKlunky's fast food restaurant, who Fatboy (Ricky Norwood) irritates after a night out. When Fatboy gets a job at McKlunky's the next day, Nico gives him his uniform, revealing himself to be the manager. Nico later arrives in The Queen Victoria public house, revealing that he is a friend of Fatboy's friend Dot Branning (June Brown) and the nephew of her boss, Andonis Papadopolous.[40] Later, while Fatboy is working a day shift, Nico tells him he has to work the late shift, meaning he will miss his DJ gig.[41] During the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Fatboy lies to Nico to get off work, only for Nico to see Fatboy enjoying the festivities on television.[39] Later, Nico calls the police when Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) becomes aggressive with him, after he discovers that Fatboy has given her free food.[2] Nico is later present at the birth of Lola's baby Lexi Pearce, which happens in the restaurant.[42] Nico and Fatboy decide to use this to gain publicity for the restaurant, having Lola, Lexi and Lola's grandfather, Olympic Torch bearer Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick), appear with them in a photo for the local newspaper.[43] On 7 August, Nico asks Fatboy for Lauren Branning's (Jacqueline Jossa) number, to which Fatboy agrees, even though Lauren calls Nico a fascist.[44] On 9 August, McKlunky's enters the local cook-off, competing against other local food establishments. Nico makes Fatboy dress as a chicken, and is annoyed when they do not win.[45] On 21 August, Nico sacks Fatboy when he stands up to him about being mistreated at work.[46]

In Inside Soap magazine, Kate White said of Nico: "He may give Fat Boy a headache, but we have a crush on McKlunky's manager. He's not had the fanfare of Tyler (Tony Discipline) or Joey (David Witts), but he's the fittest fella on the Square right now!"[47]

Alice Branning[edit]

Main article: Alice Branning

Alice Branning, played by Jasmyn Banks, is the daughter of Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman).[48] The character and casting were announced on 14 April 2012.[48] Alice made her first appearance on 10 May 2012.[49] On 22 September 2013, it was announced that Banks would be written out of the show and will leave following the conclusion of Michael Moon's (Steve John Shepherd) exit storyline.[50] Her last episode was on 24 December 2013.

Joey Branning[edit]

Joey Branning
EastEnders character
Portrayed by David Witts
Duration 2012–13
First appearance 22 June 2012
Last appearance 26 December 2013
Introduced by Bryan Kirkwood
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Barman
Car salesman

Joseph "Joey" Branning, played by David Witts, is the estranged son and eldest child of Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman),[51] and the brother of Alice Branning (Jasmyn Banks).[52] He made his first appearance in the episode broadcast on 22 June.[53] Witts quit his role in 2013 and departed on 26 December 2013.[54][55]

When Joey arrives, he punches Derek, then reveals he is his son. He makes it clear he wants nothing to do with Derek. Later, he meets his cousin Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) and takes a liking to her friend Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater).[56] He tricks Derek into giving him money, which he gives to Lucy, as Derek has been stealing money from her.[57] He tries to bring Alice home but she insists she is staying, and Joey accepts work from Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) as Derek does not like Michael.[38] He then decides to show Alice what Derek is really like, so invites several friends to a family dinner, leading to Derek trying to punch Joey. However, Alice is just angry at Joey for ruining her day.[58] He later helps Lucy when she is being pestered by someone, and they end up kissing.[5] Joey manages to con Derek out of more money for Lucy, and she invites him to stay with her.[59] When Derek gains ownership of the emporium, he gives it to Joey.[60] He later kisses Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), angering her.[61] Lauren notices that Whitney is unhappy around Joey, and Whitney tells her Joey kissed her.[62] Lauren confronts Joey but he insists he does not need to tell Lucy.[63] Lucy, Whitney and Lauren decide Joey needs to be taught a lesson so they get Lucy to call Joey to the park and then handcuff him to a gate and leave him, Lauren later returns and frees him but Joey says to her that she's jealous that he kissed Whitney and not her so Lauren slaps him and leaves. Joey later ends his relationship with Lucy, no longer having feelings for her. He later moves in with his uncle Max (Jake Wood) much to Derek's dismay, he then begins a sexual relationship with Lauren, and they quickly fall in love, Derek finds them kissing and informs Joey, worried he will tell Max they attempt to run away, stealing Derek's car, Lauren had been drinking and crashes the car, Derek saves them, however Joey still has no feelings for him, Joey also takes the blame for the crash, but calls off his relationship with his cousin as Derek threatens to tell the police that Lauren was the real driver. Lauren's mother Tanya Cross (Jo Joyner) discovers the relationship and Derek blackmails her to force Joey to break up with Lauren.

Derek dies of a heart attack, and Joey does not help him. Joey breaks down at the funeral, telling Alice it is his fault. Dot Branning (June Brown) finds Joey and Lauren making out on her sofa, and when Joey is introduced to her as Derek's son, she is horrified and reveals the relationship to the rest of the family. However, they continue their relationship with the approval of Lauren's parents In a fit of jealousy, Lucy spikes Lauren's drink and Joey breaks up with Lauren leaving her distraught. Lauren later leaves Walford with her mother and brother to go to a clinic to get over her alcoholism. When Lauren returns she finds out that Joey had sex with Whitney. Joey and Lauren decide to still be friends, though Joey is jealous when he finds out that Lauren is seeing another man.

Joey becomes increasingly concerned about his sister Alice, and they way she is involved in a bitter custody feud between Michael and his wife Janine (Charlie Brooks). After Alice is imprisoned for the murder of Michael, she tells Joey that she only killed Michael to stop him killing Janine. Joey tries to get Janine to change her statement to confirm this, but Janine refuses, claiming Alice is a murderer. Later Joey tells Janine that he believes her, and when Joey comforts Janine over her loss this leads to them having sex. Janine ends the relationship when she realises Joey is just trying to get her to admit she killed Michael and Alice did not. Alice pleads guilty to the murder, but Janine is arrested. Joey speaks to Alice's solicitor, who confirms she will not be released because of her plea. Having nothing to stay for, Joey leaves to live with his mother. He asks Lauren to come with him, admitting that he still loves her, but Lauren decides to stay.

The character was revealed at the same time as his sister, but the fact the character would appear on screen, and Witts' casting was not announced until 9 May 2012.[48][51] Of joining the soap, Witts said, "I am delighted to be joining EastEnders after being a fan for so many years. Joining the Branning family couldn't have come at a better time, especially after the recent British Soap Awards wins."[51] Joey arrives in Walford after being sent by his mother to tempt Alice back home. When he sees that his sister wants to stay, he then decides to show her what their father is really like.[51] Joey has been described as "charming", and he "prides himself on telling it how it is, but is in fact a compulsive liar."[51] Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy also reported that Joey finds it easy to attract girls.[51] EastEnders '​ executive producer Lorraine Newman stated that Joey is "a fantastic addition to the Brannings" and that after his explosive entrance, he will break a few hearts as he tries to bring Derek down.[51]

Gay Times said of the character: "[David Witts] plays Joey Branning. A quick Google on that shows the script writers are already making him take his clothes off. Bravo EastEnders script writers!"[64] Heat called Witts one of their "TV hunks", saying, "The more evil Joey Branning gets, the more we swoon."[65] Inside Soap called Joey "the very definition of a soap bad boy" due to his good looks and charisma, the fact he has been damaged by his past and his success with women.[66]

Scarlett Moon[edit]

Scarlett Moon
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Amelie[67]
Duration 2012, 2013
First appearance 22 June 2012
Last appearance 26 December 2013
Classification Former; recurring

Scarlett Patricia Butcher (formerly Moon) is the daughter of Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) and Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd). She is born in the episode broadcast on 22 June 2012. She is 11 weeks premature via Caesarean section on her parents' wedding day and has no heartbeat, so is placed on a ventilator.[56] Scarlett's condition stabilises and she is baptised, with Janine deciding to change her name to Patricia.[57] However, she starts to regret using the name Patricia, and Michael registers the name Scarlett.[68] Concerned with Scarlett's deteriorating health, her parents organise a christening for her at the hospital with her uncle and step-cousin, Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), as godparents. Janine and Michael bring Scarlett home on 7 August, and Janine worries as there are no nurses to help.[44] On 14 September, Janine leaves Walford without Scarlett, leaving her in the sole care of Michael.[69] Michael struggles and asks Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) to look after his daughter and later hires Alice Branning (Jasmyn Banks) as her nanny. Janine returns several months later for Scarlett, and manipulates Michael into giving her custody, denying him access to Scarlett. Janine then re-hires Alice. When Janine tells Michael she plans to change Scarlett's surname from Moon to Butcher, Michael strangles her, so Janine takes out an injunction, stopping Michael from seeing Scarlett. Michael then plans to murder Janine, telling Alice that they can take Scarlett and flee the country. However, Alice tells Janine and when she confronts him, Michael attacks her. First Alice, then Janine stab Michael and he dies, leaving Scarlett with only her mother. When Janine is arrested for Michael's murder, Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) takes care of Scarlett, but says that she will live with her aunt Diane Butcher (Sophie Lawrence). In March 2014, when Janine is found not-guilty of all charges, she joins Scarlett and Diane in France.

It was reported in May 2012 that the character of Janine would go into labour on her wedding day to Michael, three months early.[70] It was then reported in June 2012 that the baby would be named Scarlett Patricia Moon, after Janine initially decides to call her Patricia, after her former stepmother Pat Evans (Pam St. Clement), who died earlier that year on January 1. However, when she has second thoughts about the name, Michael registers the new name without telling her. A source from EastEnders said, "With a mother like Janine, this little girl is sure to be a fighter."[71] Scarlett was portrayed by a prosthetic baby until the episode broadcast on 7 August 2012, when she was played by a real baby.

AJ Ahmed[edit]

Main article: AJ Ahmed

AJ Ahmed, played by Phaldut Sharma, is the younger brother of established character Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra).[72] AJ made his first on-screen appearance on 9 July 2012.[73] He left on 10 January 2014 to start a new job in Birmingham.[74]

Lexi Pearce[edit]

Lexi Pearce
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Dotti-Beau Cotterill
Duration 2012–
First appearance 23 July 2012
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Present; recurring
Profile
Aliases Lexi Mitchell

Lexi Billie Pearce (also Mitchell) is the daughter of Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) and Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe), who is born in the live segment of the 23 July episode. Lexi is currently portrayed by Dotti-Beau Cotterill.[75] She was previously played by two babies.[76]

Lexi was conceived during a one-night-stand and Lola discovers she is pregnant in November 2011. Lola denies Ben being the father and Abi Branning breaks up with Jay Mitchell when she believes that he is the father of Lola's baby. In April 2012, Lola discovers her baby will be a girl. Lola is put onto a curfew upon vandalizing Max Branning's car with chip fat from the chippy. On one occasion, Lol and Jay sneak into The Queen Vic during a football match and when they become trapped, Lola nearly breaks her rules of curfew, but she makes it home in time.

In July 2012, Lola is grounded and she is left in the care of Shirley Carter with whom she then becomes locked in her room. Billy arrives home and lets Lola and Shirley out of the bedroom, using the broken door knob which caused them to be locked in. The following month, during the live episode of 23 July 2012, Lola goes into labour whilst her grandfather, Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) is carrying the Olympic Flame through Walford. Aided by Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell), Jay Mitchell (Jamie Borthwick), Ben, Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) and Fatboy (Ricky Norwood), Lola gives birth to her daughter, with Billy making it just in time to witness the birth of his great-granddaughter.[42] Lola brings the baby home and names her Lexi, after a girl she knew (which later transpired to be Alexa Smith), with the middle name Billie, in honour of her grandfather.[18][59] Lexi then wins a local "beautiful baby" competition.[45] Lola soon gets a new social worker, Trish Barnes (Tessa Churchard), who visits regularly, one time seeing paint on Lexi's feet and becoming concerned that Lexi could have an allergic reaction,[77] and later worrying when Lexi develops a cough,[78] so Trish decides to visit daily. When Lola is arrested for assault, Trish takes Lexi into her care. In a desperate plea to save Lexi, Lola tells relative Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) that Lexi's father is his son Ben following their one-night stand a year previously.[79] Phil agrees to help get Lexi back, on the condition that Lexi lives with him. Lola eventually agrees[62] and Lexi starts visiting her from time to time. Lola is angered when Phil decides to tell Ben he is a father.[80] Phil later wins custody of Lexi and is allowed to be her foster carer and Lola is only allowed to visit her three times a week, leaving her devastated. Phil organises for Lexi to be christened on 1 January 2013, but Lola is angry to discover that he plans on naming her 'Mitchell' instead of 'Pearce', however after a talk with Phil - Lola later agrees that they are all part of the Mitchell family, and agrees to change Lexi's last name to Mitchell. Lexi is baptised with Jay Brown as her godfather and Cora Cross as her godmother.

Phil becomes controlling of Lola's relationship with Lexi and is determined to not let Lola be reunited with her daughter. At a court hearing to determine Lexi's future, his solicitor tells the court that Lola is an unfit mother, so her access is unchanged. Lola overhears Phil saying she will never get custody of Lexi, so she snatches Lexi from Phil's house. They are eventually found, and the next day when Trish visits, Phil says he intends to help reunite Lexi with Lola, and Lola is then given increased access to Lexi. Phil later takes Lola and Lexi to prison to see Ben, so Lexi can meet her father, although Ben tells Lola to keep Lexi away from Phil. Lexi is later taken to the hospital after Lola suspects to have meningitis, although she is relieved to discover that Lexi is fine. At the final court hearing, Phil says that Lola deserves her daughter. Lexi is returned to Lola. In March 2014, Lexi is kidnapped by Adam White, but her grandfather, Phil and Ronnie Mitchell return Lexi safely back to Lola, who is currently unaware that her daughter was the subject of a confrontation between Adam and Ronnie about the whereabouts of Carl White, who was killed in the New Year by Ronnie. Lola worries that Ben might want involvement in Lexi's upbringing when she discovers that Ben will be returning to Walford for his dad's wedding to Sharon Rickman. Ben informs Lola that she does not need to worry as he comments that she is a good mother to Lexi, who is in the right place to be brought up. Ben begins a relationship with Abi.

John Hewland[edit]

John Hewland,[81] played by Jesse Birdsall, is the fiancé of Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean). He first appears on 13 August 2012,[81] cast as part of a storyline to bring Sharon back to the series. A show insider called the storyline "dramatic" and said: "The scriptwriters have come up with a dramatic storyline that sees Sharon contact Phil (Steve McFadden) after she realises she doesn't want to marry her fiancé."[82]

John first appears when Sharon returns to her wedding to collect her son Dennis after walking out on John, but forgetting to collect Dennis. Dennis is with John and is fine, until John demands to know why Sharon is leaving him. She says she and Dennis are not happy, and he says she will regret going. Sharon realises Dennis is missing, and sees John driving off with him.[81] She and Phil follow in their car, but lose them. They go to John's house where they force his sister Nina (Juliet Cowan) to reveal where she is meeting John with their passports. They get there but Nina warns him and he drives away. Another car chase ends when they get stuck in traffic and Dennis escapes from the car. John calls Sharon and Dennis scum, so Phil punches John.[83]

Dennis Rickman Jr.[edit]

Dennis Rickman
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Harry Hickles
Duration 2012–
First appearance 13 August 2012
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Present; recurring
Profile
Occupation Student

Dennis "Denny" Rickman played by Harry Hickles,[81] is the son of Dennis (Nigel Harman) and Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean),[82] after being born off-screen in 2006. He made his first appearance on 13 August 2012.[81]

Having believed that she was infertile, Sharon discovers that she is pregnant on Christmas Day, 2005. Dennis is stabbed and killed in the early hours of New Year's Day 2006, and Sharon moves to Florida, where she gives birth to Dennis Jr. Dennis appears on the day of Sharon's wedding, to her partner, John Hewland. Sharon discovers that he is missing, and eventually realises that John has kidnapped him. Sharon asks her friend, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), to help rescue Dennis,[81] and he takes the pair back to Walford.[83] Dennis starts Walford Primary School, and starts to think of Phil as a father-figure. Dennis is upset when Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) reveals the truth about his father's murder, as he believed that he was a helicopter pilot, who died saving others. Sharon admits to Dennis that she lied to protect him, and Dennis is angry, although he forgives her. After losing their home at the local bed and breakfast, they move in with Sharon's new boyfriend, Jack Branning (Scott Maslen). Jack teaches Dennis to box, leading to him starting a fight at school. Dennis misbehaves in school, and around Sharon's friends when she is not there. Sharon refuses to believe that Dennis is lying about his behavior, and blames those that he has upset.

Kate White of Inside Soap said that she thinks Dennis's nickname "Denny" is, "the single most annoying thing in soap. If we hear Sharon shout it once more, we'll go mad!"[84]

Pete[edit]

Pete, played by Jason Riddington, appears on 4 September. He is first seen in the local nightclub R&R, where he flirts with Tanya Cross (Jo Joyner), Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) and Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean). Shirley calls him desperate, and he tells her he has just been released from prison. Shirley then gets drunk with him, but when he grabs club manager Sharon's buttock, she tells him to leave. Pete then meets Shirley's ex-partner Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), and leaves with Shirley. He buys chips for her but when she says goodbye, he grabs her, so she kicks him. He grabs her by the face, so Phil punches him.[85] Inside Soap called Pete "a dodgy guy".[86] All About Soap called him "a creepy man", a "slimy stranger" and a "sleazy stalker".[87] The Sun also called him "a sleazy guy", adding that he is "a rat".[88]

Jimmy[edit]

Jimmy please do not assume his last name is Wicks, we need a reliable source. It should be the father's surname, legally
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Ryan
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; guest

Jimmy is the son of Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley), born off screen in July 2012. He is portrayed by a baby named Ryan.[89] Jimmy is named after Carly's dead brother James "Jimbo" Wicks (Lloyd Richards). He appears in the episode broadcast on 7 September when his mother introduces him to his grandmother Shirley Carter (Linda Henry). Shirley is instantly smitten with Jimmy and cries as she holds him for the first time. Carly and Jimmy leave Walford, taking Shirley to stay with them.

Kellie Shirley said that she was worried about dropping the baby while filming, but said it was "a really nice experience, especially as he was a really good baby."[89] She confirmed that Ryan's mother was on set during filming so that he did not become frightened or confused, and the scenes were filmed quickly "because you can only film with a baby for a certain amount of time."[89]

Trish Barnes[edit]

Trish Barnes
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Tessa Churchard
Duration 2012–13
First appearance 18 September 2012
Last appearance 23 August 2013
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Social worker

Trish Barnes, played by Tessa Churchard,[60] is Lola Pearce's (Danielle Harold) new social worker.[90] When she arrives at Lola's house, Lola is out buying nappies for her daughter Lexi, and her grandfather Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) has the baby. Billy lies to Trish that he still has a job, even though he has recently lost it. Billy is also concerned when Lola returns with her friend Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick), as he is on police bail for perverting the course of justice in relation to a murder.[60] Trish comes back the next day with a list of concerns, and tells Lola she will be visiting more due to her bad attitude.[91] Trish visits Lola again on several occasions, and sees paint on Lexi's feet, so tells Lola off as it could cause an allergic reaction,[77] though it does not.[92] Trish later worries when Lexi develops a cough.[78] Trish finds out that Billy has lied about being employed,[93] and then decides to visit daily as she feels he and Lola are not coping as she has used a tea towel as a nappy and the flat has not been cleaned. When Lola is arrested for assaulting Alexa Smith (Saffron Coomber), she is angry to see Trish arrive with the police. She bites Trish to stop her taking Lexi, but fails to stop her and is devastated when Trish takes Lexi from her.[79] Lola decides to fight for Lexi and visits Trish at her office, apologising for biting her and asking when she can take Lexi home. Trish says she will have to attend parenting classes and have three access visits a week. Lola gets angry, so Trish says that her behaviour could cause her to lose Lexi for good.[94] Trish brings Lexi to Lola again, but after Lexi leaves, Lola is devastated again,[95] so Billy asks Lexi's grandfather Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) for help, and Phil decides to apply for a residency order for Lexi to live with him.[96] Trish later arrives at Lola's, but without Lexi as she is ill.[62] Trish is present when Phil decides to take Lexi to see his son, Lexi's father Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe), who is in prison for murder, and Trish and Lola both refuse to let him.[80] Phil asks Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean) to pretend to be his fiancée to have a better chance of getting Lexi, and during a meeting between Trish, Phil and Lola, where Trish is assessing Phil, Sharon interrupts and introduces herself to Trish.[97] When Alexa drops the assault charge, Lola thinks she will get Lexi back, but Trish informs her that the neglect case is still pending.[98] Trish attends court where Phil is granted custody of Lexi, being her foster father, and Lola is allowed three access visits per week.[99] When Lola learns that Phil wants to take Lexi on holiday for two weeks, Lola asks Trish's advice. Trish says that Lola is entitled to her access visits and can seek legal advice, however Lola agrees to let Phil go.[100] When Phil returns, Trish informs him that she is pleased with Lola and she may get full custody of Lexi soon, leaving Phil unhappy.[101] Trish attends a court hearing, stating Lola's positive progress and recommending that Lola has increased access to Lexi, but Phil has his solicitor tell the court that Lola turns up late and has a bad temper,[102] so Lola's access does not change. Lola is angry and devastated, and Trish lends her support to Lola.[103] After Phil and Lola sort their differences, Trish visits Phil and informs him that social services are preparing to increase Lola's visits to Lexi, with a view to returning Lexi to Lola in a couple of months.[104] Checking on Lola's progress, Trish arrives unexpectedly[105] and is invited to and attends a family dinner with Lola, Phil and Sharon. At the dinner, Sharon tells Trish that she and Phil are back together.[106] At the court hearing, Trish is present when Lola is re-awarded custody of Lexi.[107] She also visits Lola at home to see how she is coping.[108] On another visit in August, Trish tells Lola she will cut back her visits to once a month as Lola is doing so well, and says soon she may not need to visit at all.[109]

Development[edit]

Churchard's official credits list her as having filmed a 10-episode recurring role in EastEnders,[110] the first episode being on 18 September 2012.[60] Speaking of the storyline involving Trish, Harold told Inside Soap that when Trish arrives at Lola's house, "everything goes wrong at once", and explained that "Trish isn't given a good impression of Lola as a mother, and Lola isn't impressed when she sees her taking pages of notes". Lola is not happy about Trish getting involved in her life with daughter Lexi.[111] All About Soap described Trish as the "bossy new social worker".[112]

Reception[edit]

The scenes where Trish takes Lexi from Lola were criticised by the charity The Who Cares? Trust on Twitter, who called the storyline an "unhelpful portrayal" and said it had already received calls from members of the public who were "distressed about the EastEnders scene where a social worker snatches a baby from its mother's arms".[113] The scenes were also condemned by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), calling the BBC "too lazy and arrogant" to get correctly portray the child protection process, and saying that the baby was taken "without sufficient grounds to do so". Bridget Robb, acting chief of the BASW, said the storyline provoked "real anger among a profession well used to a less than accurate public and media perception of their jobs". She stated:

It is disgraceful to see a publicly funded broadcaster deliberately spreading misinformation about the child protection process because it is too lazy and arrogant to get it right. We regularly give advice to programmes about social work storylines; we would like to know who advised EastEnders so badly. Social workers have a difficult enough job as it is. Unlike the writers and actors on EastEnders, they have to step through those front doors that no one else wants to step through, and they do it on a daily basis, to protect children, not to target families. EastEnders '​ shabby portrayal of an entire profession has made a tough job even tougher.[114]

Another social worker said "Accurate procedures were not followed [when a character's baby was taken away]. Was it police protection, section 20? Where was the immediate risk to the baby? As a social worker, I was in tears, as was a colleague of mine, watching how our profession was portrayed on television."[113] The BBC responded to BASW by saying:

 • We understand you're unhappy with the current storyline concerning Lexi and Lola as you feel it portrays social workers inaccurately. We consulted with the programme's production team in writing our response and we'd like to assure you our intention is not to portray social workers in a negative light.
 • Whilst the audience has seen how much Lola loves Lexi and how responsible she can be with her baby, we were careful to ensure that when the social worker was visiting, she generally saw only more worrying behaviour. Lola was often abrasive when speaking to the social worker and casual—sometimes even flippant in her responses to the social worker's suggestions.
 • Given that Lola is a young mother, who has been, until this episode, wearing an electronic tag (for criminal damage to the car lot), with a history of getting into trouble with the police, and is known to have had a difficult childhood herself (indeed, three generations of the family have been through the care system), it was clearly important for social services to be involved with the family in order to ensure that Lola could cope with having a baby. In the last few weeks the social worker witnessed a series of unfortunate incidents, including Lexi wearing a tea-towel as a makeshift nappy, reports of Lola not taking Lexi to the mother and baby group, a messy and unclean flat, and the discovery that Billy had lied to her about having a job.
 • Under the circumstances, we believe the audience will have understood why she had to act to remove Lexi quickly when the allegation of assault is made against Lola by Alexa. There was no suggestion that the social worker's actions were anything other than a genuine desire to protect Lexi, or that her concerns about Lola were unreasonable, given the picture she and the previous social worker had formed over a substantial period of time. There was certainly no inference that her actions were anything personal against Lola or her family.[114][115]

A social worker who received the BBC's statement commented:

I don't think I need to spell out the ridiculousness of this response from the BBC and whether the grounds they claim, such as wearing a tea towel as a nappy, would constitute grounds for emergency removal in real life. I work in a long-term care team and take great offence at the suggestion that because Lola was in care there is an assumption that social services should be involved in her care of her child. Not that I am suggesting she doesn't need some support, but where is her aftercare worker? I am always disappointed at how social workers are portrayed in EastEnders, but this was the last resort. I do not agree that the public will think that this was reasonable and it just makes our job harder.[114][115]

In November 2012, Irish politician Robert Troy expressed concerns that the storyline could influence the result of an upcoming referendum on children's rights. Troy said, "Quite a few times I have been asked about a storyline on EastEnders where a young mother has had her child taken into care and has faced a very difficult battle to get access to the child. People have been emotionally affected by the story and have a real concern about the sort of heavy-handed state intervention that's portrayed."[116]

Danny Pennant[edit]

Danny Pennant
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Gary Lucy
Duration 2012, 2013 -2014
First appearance 27 September 2012
Last appearance 14 February 2014
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Bank manager
Estate agent
Personal trainer
Home Marbella

Daniel "Danny" Pennant, played by Gary Lucy, made his first screen appearance on 27 September 2012,[117][118] appearing until 2 November.[119] On 6 March 2013, it was announced that Lucy was returning to the cast. Danny appeared on 7 June 2013 before becoming a regular character in July.[120][121] On 19 January 2014, it was announced that Lucy would be leaving EastEnders. He departed on 14 February 2014.[122]

Danny arrives at the local Indian restaurant for a meal with two colleagues. He returns later after the restaurant is closed to see if he left something behind, and meets Syed Masood (Marc Elliott) and sees that Syed is having money problems. He urges Syed to be honest with his family about them, though he is not.[118] They continue to meet up in secret when Syed invests money he borrowed from his mother Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia) with Danny,[94] and then borrows £500 back the next day.[61] They become close and kissed twice, the second time witnessed by Syed's father, Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra).[96] Danny meets Syed's fiancé Christian Clarke (John Partridge), and when Syed leaves his stag party, Danny follows and tries to kiss Syed. Syed insists he loves Christian and asks for his money back, but Danny says the investment has fallen through. Masood arrives and tells Danny to back off, and Syed punches Danny when he says Syed wanted to be caught.[123] Christian and Syed marry, and Danny continues to message Syed, demanding his £500 back. Christian sees the messages so arranges to me meet Danny, pretending to be Syed. Danny tells Christian that he and Syed in fact have had sex, so Christian punches him. Syed finds Christian badly beaten, implying he and Danny had a violent fight.[124] Danny tells police that Christian assaulted him, and Christian is arrested. Danny tells Syed he will withdraw his statement if Syed returns his £500. However, Masood threatens to report Danny for fraud in regard to the failed investment, and Christian is released without charge.[119]

In June 2013, Danny returns, attending the opening of Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) restaurant. Ian expects Danny, a friend of Mr Lister (Nick Wilton) to invest, but Danny reveals that he only helps people to invest, and refuses to help find people for Ian as Ian's waitress, Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa), spills a drink on him. Danny then starts working for Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks). Later on, it is revealed that he is also attracted to women and kisses Janine.[125] They have sex, but Janine tells him that it is a one-off and she sees him just like any other employee. Danny develops a rivalry with his co-worker, Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater), and they both compete and use dirty tactics against each other to gain commission on their pay. However Lucy discovers that Danny is squatting in one of Janine's vacant flats as he is homeless. Danny pleads with Lucy not to tell, which she agrees to, but warns him that she now has power over him. When Janine decides to buy the Queen Vic, she fires both Danny and Lucy to free up some cash. But after Janine's arrest and imprisonment, they convince Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) to give them their jobs back. Danny kisses Lucy and they become a couple, but he flirts with and kisses Johnny Carter (Sam Strike).

Johnny later discovers that Danny is stalking him over an internet dating site for gay people, calling himself the "Walford Wonder". He initially decides not to tell Lucy, so she won't be hurt. Lucy also discovers that Danny has been stealing from Janine, whilst she is in prison, and he invites her to join him. Danny and Lucy both lose their jobs when Janine sells her business and they decide to set up their own estate agents. They also plan to buy a flat together and move in. Eventually Johnny decides to inform Lucy of Danny's internet stalking and he shows her Danny's profile on his mobile phone. Lucy is heartbroken by this revelation and the following day she confronts Danny with the information and asks him if he is only with her because she has Janine's money. Danny denies this and claims that he loves her but Lucy does not believe him and throws the money out of her bedroom window into the street, where Johnny and other locals help themselves to it. Danny rushes outside and collects as much of the money as he can and Lucy tells him to leave, threatening to call the police and report him for the embezzlement of Janine if he doesn't. Danny's last appearance sees him walking away with a handful of money. In April 2014, after Lucy is found dead, Danny is ruled out as a suspect in her murder investigation, as he had, according to the police, left for Marbella weeks ago.

Development[edit]

The character and Lucy's casting was announced on 3 August 2012.[117] The actor has an initial contract of three months.[126] Danny is a 28-year-old city banker, who has been described as being "mischievous", a "charmer" and someone who "oozes sex appeal".[117] An EastEnders statement read "With his irresistible charm and luring persona, Danny is desired and envied by both men and women—girls want to be seen with him and boys want to be him. He will inevitably create controversial encounters and his provocative and lustful nature is bound to land him in trouble".[117] On 22 August, it was announced that Lucy would be playing a gay character, set to become involved in a love triangle with Christian Clarke (John Partridge) and Syed Masood (Marc Elliot).[126] A source said, "All the girls think he's a real ladies' man. But they're soon disappointed when it turns out he's not interested in women. He'll ruffle a few feathers and Christian and Syed's relationship will be tested".[126] A EastEnders spokesperson refused to confirm this saying, "It's fair to say that Danny is going to cause a few problems for the residents of Walford but viewers will have to tune in and see for themselves as we don't want to spoil the surprise!".[126] When it was announced that Lucy was returning to the cast in 2013, executive producer Lorraine Newman said, "We are absolutely delighted to reveal that Gary Lucy will be returning to EastEnders. Gary clearly felt at home on the show and his wonderful portrayal of Danny Pennant left us with an intriguing character to explore. It really was only a matter of time before he returned. Danny's stories will see him crossing paths with some of our best-loved characters and I am sure the audience will relish the fact that the complex nature of this character means that nothing is ever simple."[120]

Alexa Smith[edit]

Alexa Smith
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Saffron Coomber
Duration 2012–13
First appearance 1 October 2012
Last appearance 7 March 2013
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; recurring

Alexa Smith,[79] played by Saffron Coomber,[78] is a former friend of Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold). She appears in four episodes from 1 to 5 October 2012,[78][79] two episodes on 13 and 15 November 2012[127][128] and one on 7 March 2013.[129]

Alexa first appears when Lola sees her with a group of friends and recognises her from their time together in a care home.[78] The next day, Lola meets Alexa and her friends, and Lola tries to impress them, keeping a look out while they shoplift. Later, they go to the local café where Alexa starts throwing things at people, including Lola's friend Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald). Lola defends Abi, and Alexa says that she can only be friends with one of them, so Lola sides with Abi.[130] Alexa is later shocked to discover Lola has a baby, and that Lola named her Lexi, after her.[93] The next day, Lola sees Alexa and her gang, and Alexa insults Lexi, saying she should have had an abortion. When Abi arrives, Alexa mocks her for wearing makeup, wiping it from her face, and she and her friends start pushing and slapping Abi, filming everything on a mobile phone. They take Abi's phone, so Lola snatches it from Alexa. Alexa's friends grab Lola and when Alexa says that Lexi is dead, Lola breaks free and punches Alexa in the face, leaving her with a nosebleed. Alexa and her friends then show the police the part of their mobile phone video showing Lola attacking Alexa, and Lola is arrested, with Lexi being taken away by social services.[79]

About six weeks later, Alexa and her gang return and attempt to bully Alice Branning (Jasmyn Banks) until her friend Ray Dixon (Chucky Venn) chases the gang away.[127] The next day, Alexa and her friends see Lola and her friend Jay Mitchell (Jamie Borthwick) and taunt them about Lexi being in care. Lola tries to attack Alexa, but she is stopped by Jay and her grandfather Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick). Later, Billy sees Alexa alone and tells her he knows what it is like to be in care, as she does, and asks Alexa to give Lexi a chance to come home. Alexa is affected by Billy's words but when Lola arrives, she accuses Billy of witness tampering.[128] However, Lexi's grandfather Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) learns from his lawyer that Alexa has dropped the assault charges against Lola.[131] Three months later, Phil has custody of Lexi, but Lola snatches her after hearing Phil say she will never get Lexi back. Lola calls Alexa, having nobody else to turn to. Phil, Billy and Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean) find Lola's phone and call Alexa, offering her money for information. They meet Alexa, who says Lola is in Tottenham, as she could not help Lola. Phil searches the squat that Alexa is staying in, but does not find Lola, though she is hiding in the house. She and Alexa talk, and Alexa says she ran away from her foster home. Alexa says Lola can stay the night while she parties with her friends, but Lola leaves when the police arrive.[129]

Harold explained to Katy White from Inside Soap that Lola and Alexa were best friends when they were in a care home together, but when Alexa was fostered, Lola felt abandoned. She said that "in [a care home] environment, friends mean more than family", and is now happy to see Alexa.[132] White said that Alexa and her friends are "very wild", meaning that "getting caught up with them is the last thing Lola needs."[132] She explained that Lola's affection for her friend and her desire to fit in see her hanging out with them and putting up with their bad behaviour.[132] Harold told All About Soap that while Lola has changed since they were in care, Alexa has not, and called the Alexa and her gang "scary", saying "They don't care about anyone but themselves [...]. It's nasty."[133] White described Alexa as "vicious" and "a very nasty piece of work."[132] Digital Spy's Daniel Kilkelly called her "a boisterous girl".[134]

Lisa[edit]

Lisa, played by Marianne Benedict, appears on 1 October.[78] Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) sets his brother Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) up on a date with her. She is much taller than Derek, which makes everybody else laugh.[78] Inside Soap found the scenes funny, saying "Sometimes the simplest jokes are the best. We loved pint-sized Derek's supersize date! Tee-hee!"[135] Heat called it the "Awkward date of the week", commenting that "[it] looks like Derek needs to take a leaf out of Tom Cruise's book and get himself some man-heels, what with his date towering over him like that. He looks pretty smug, she looks pretty miserable. Should have stuck with the other brother, love."[136]

Jackie Bosch[edit]

Jackie Bosch
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Frances Lima
Appears on 13 November 2012
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; guest

Jackie Bosch, played by Frances Lima, is a former girlfriend of Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman).[137] She appeared on 13 November 2012, when Derek's brother Max Branning (Jake Wood) decides to take Derek to visit the love of his life to cheer him up. Derek knew Jackie when she was 16 and is the only woman he has ever loved but she broke his heart. However, Jackie remembers Derek as a bully who beat up David Wicks (Michael French), and says their few dates were not a big love affair as Derek calls it. Derek leaves after Jackie says she was not surprised when she heard Derek had been in prison.[127]

News of Jackie's appearance was first reported in October 2012, when photographs emerged from on-location filming, featuring actors Foreman and Jake Wood, who plays Derek's brother Max Branning, and two women, one of whom was Lima. At the time, no details of the characters were known. All About Soap and Inside Soap both speculated that they may have something to do with a secret Max is keeping from his fiancée Tanya Cross (Jo Joyner),[138][139] but All About Soap noted that the house where filming took place was different from one seen in a previous episode where Max dropped off an envelope of cash,[138] while Inside Soap said it was the same one.[139] They also said that the women did not appear to be Max's usual type, but said Jackie (the older of the two women) did not seem happy to see them.[138] When it emerged that Jackie was Derek's ex-girlfriend, and that Derek would be angry about the meeting and threaten to reveal Max's secret, Soaplife stated: "So [East]Enders specially casts Jackie, spends a packet on a location shoot so that Derek can get angry and mention the Max secret again? Hope the secret's better than this plot..."[140]

Ava Hartman[edit]

Ava Hartman
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Clare Perkins
Duration 2012–13
First appearance 20 November 2012
Last appearance 17 December 2013
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Deputy headmistress
Teacher

Ava Hartman,[141] played by Clare Perkins, is the daughter of Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell) and half-sister of Tanya Branning (Jo Joyner) and Rainie Cross (Tanya Franks).[142] Ava first appears on 20 November 2012.[143] It was announced in September 2013 that Ava would be leaving the series at the end of her storylines with Sam James (Cornell S John), as was originally planned.[144] She departed on 17 December 2013.[145]

In July 2012, Cora tells Tanya that her daughter, Ava Anderton, was born in 1964 but was taken away by the medical staff while Cora was sleeping and they told her that Ava had died.[146] In fact Cora was forced to put Ava up for adoption.[147] In November, Cora tells her partner Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) that Ava is alive,[148] and Patrick tells Tanya.[128] Tanya tracks Ava down, and discovers she in the deputy headmistress of a school just 18 minutes away.[98] Tanya and Patrick visit the school, where Tanya is shocked to see Ava is mixed-race, and tells her she is moving to the area. Ava gives them a tour of the school but Tanya runs out, leaving her purse behind. Tanya agrees to say nothing to Cora and not see Ava again, and she and Patrick drive away before Ava can return the purse.[143] Ava returns the purse the next day and Cora invites Ava in. Cora is shocked when Ava reveals her name.[149] Ava learns the truth, and has a long talk with Cora, telling her she had thought about finding her before but decided the past was best left in the past, and nothing has changed, so leaves.[150] A few weeks later, Cora visits Ava and gives her a bracelet that was given to Cora by Ava's father, along with a Christmas card.[151] Ava later brings Cora a card in return, and wears the bracelet.[152] Later, Tanya's daughter Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) befriends Dexter Hartman (Khali Best),[153] and invites him to dinner with her family. Ava gatecrashes and berates Tanya for meddling. Tanya is clueless, and it is then revealed that Dexter is Ava's son.[154] Ava is angry with Dexter for not speaking to her about what he was doing.[155] Ava then gets a job at a school in Walford.[100]

Ava helps out when Bianca Butcher's (Patsy Palmer) son Liam (James Forde) is involved with a gang that Dexter used to be a member of.[156][157] They gang trash Ava and Dexter's home,[158] and they move to Albert Square.[159] Ava does not want to have anything to do with Cora, but Dexter urges her to, and she starts a friendship with Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick), who has a romantic interest in her. Their date is interrupted by Ava's ex-husband and Dexter's father, Sam James (Cornell S John). Ava resents him because he claimed to have gone out to buy milk but did not return for 20 years, and both Ava and Dexter want Sam to leave. However, Ava slowly realises she still has romantic feelings for Sam and they have sex. The pair reunite and Dexter slowly warms to his father. It emerges that Sam requires a kidney transplant. Ava hopes to donate one of hers but is not a match. Dexter decides to take a test to see if he is a match, but Ava refuses to let him. He does so anyway, and he is a match, and Dexter and Sam go through the transplant operation. Ava fusses over both of them while they are recovering, and while Dexter is used to Ava's overprotective nature, Sam feels smothered. On Dexter's birthday, Ava discovers that Sam only came to Walford to get Dexter's kidney, leaving her furious. She throws him out, but keeps the reason for his departure secret from a devastated Dexter. Blaming her for Sam's sudden disappearance, Dexter moves in with Cora. Ava is offered a job in Newcastle, and Cora urges her to take it, but she turns it down. Dexter then discovers the truth about why Sam left.[160] He emails the company offering the job, pretending to be Ava, and accepts the job on her behalf. She then agrees to go, but decides Dexter should stay in Walford because he has his own life now. Ava then thanks Cora, calling her "mum", and leaves.[161]

Development[edit]

Since viewers discovered that Cora had a baby in the 1960s who she claimed was dead, speculation started about the fact that Ava could still be alive. Initial rumours suggested that Ava was actually Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean), who had recently returned to the series, though this turned out to be untrue.[162] Perkins' casting as Ava was officially confirmed on 4 September 2012, when it was announced that viewers would discover that Ava was still alive.[142] Perkins said of her casting, "I am delighted to be joining the show but to be working alongside Ann Mitchell makes it a dream come true. I have admired Ann's work for many years, and both she and Jo (Joyner) have been a real pleasure to work with. I'm now looking forward to see what the writers have in store for Ava".[163] An insider from EastEnders told Inside Soap that finding out that Ava is alive would "be the most explosive moment of Cora's whole life", adding that it would be both "the most wonderful and yet the most terrible thing that could happen" because although Cora has her daughter back, she has not been able to get to know her until now. The insider said that Cora and Ava must both come to terms with this fact, and speculated that Ava may have been taken away from Cora by the nurses because her father was black and "racial prejudice [was] prevalent in the 1960s", calling it "an unimaginable cruelty to inflict on them both."[162] Mitchell revealed the reasons for Ava being taken away: "The baby's father was black and he left Cora before he knew she was pregnant. She was 18 and unmarried, and at that time, having a baby in her situation was a social stigma. She was made to feel enormous shame by her parents, who forced her to give the baby up for adoption."[147] She said Cora did not tell anyone, "partly through an enormous sense of guilt, and to keep things as safe and uncomplicated as they could be."[147] Of Ava's arrival, Mitchell said "It's going to be mayhem. The implications will be huge. The family will want answers, and I'm sure we won't be seeing the back of Ava."[147] Perkins' official credits list her as currently (September 2012) filming a regular role in EastEnders.[164]

Tansy Meadow[edit]

Tansy Meadow
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Daisy Wood-Davis
Appears on 22 November 2012
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Spin-off
appearances
"All I Want for Christmas" (2012)[165]
Classification Former; guest (returning) (maybe)

Tansy Meadow, played by Daisy Wood-Davis, is the sister of Poppy Meadow (Rachel Bright). She appeared on 22 November 2012.[166] Poppy receives a phone call from Tansy to say she is visiting the next day, and Poppy is unhappy about it.[143] Poppy tells her friends that Tansy is successful and has a fiancé, and Poppy has lied to Tansy about her life. Poppy's friends Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) refuse to pretend to be her employees at the salon, calling Poppy their boss, when in fact Poppy is employed there. Poppy calls Tansy to try to put her off, but Tansy arrives while Poppy is on the phone to her. Tansy shows off her engagement ring, so Fatboy (Ricky Norwood) pretends to be Poppy's successful banker boyfriend until Mo Harris (Laila Morse) reveals that Fatboy is a barman. Poppy apologises to Tansy for lying, and then Lucy and Whitney turn up pretending to be Poppy's employees, with an emergency at the salon. Later, Tansy cries as Poppy has everything perfect, and reveals she split from her fiancé three weeks ago because he cheated on her, and although she has worked out that Poppy does not own the salon, she thinks Poppy and Fatboy are good together. Poppy says they are just friends, but Tansy says that he clearly likes her a lot.[149]

Tansy's arrival for a single episode was announced when it was revealed that Poppy was to become a regular character. Wood-Davis filmed her scenes in late August and early September.[167] Inside Soap said of Tansy: "Super-successful Tansy is always bragging about her wonderful life and fiancé, so Poppy feels a bit of a failure in comparison."[168] Tansy also appears in a 15-minute spin-off episode, called "All I Want for Christmas".[165]

Ayesha Rana[edit]

Ayesha Rana
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Shivani Ghai
Duration 2012–13
First appearance 17 December 2012
Last appearance 1 March 2013
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; recurring

Ayesha Rana, played by Shivani Ghai, is a family friend of Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia).[169] She makes her first appearance in the episode broadcast on 17 December 2012.[170][171]

Ayesha is first seen in the café, where Zainab does not recognise her, and accuses her of pushing in the queue ahead of her. Later, Ayesha arrives at Zainab's home while Zainab is wearing a face mask. Zainab is annoyed that she was not ready for Ayesha's visit as she is three weeks early. Ayesha then overhears Zainab telling her son Tamwar Masood (Himesh Patel) that he would be better for her than her suitor,[170] Rashid Kayani (Gurpreet Singh).[172] Zainab tries to get Ayesha and Tamwar together, and she thinks it has worked at her New Year's Eve party, but Tamwar is just looking after Ayesha because she is sick after AJ Ahmed (Phaldut Sharma) spiked the punch.[173] Ayesha then meets Rashid, and thinks he is "alright".[155] However, she soon develops a crush on Masood, which he discovers and does not tell Zainab.[174] He urges her to try with Rashid and she does meet him again.[175] She thinks Rashid is not right for her and it is clear she still wants Masood.[176] She lies to Zainab that she is still seeing Rashid, while telling Masood she loves him.[177] He rejects her advances,[178] and she later confesses her love of Masood to Zainab, saying he feels the same, and then leaves Walford.[179] After Masood and Zainab break up and Zainab moves to Pakistan, Ayesha returns for Masood.[180] She ruins his date with Carol and the next day they kiss. Masood attempts to move away with Ayesha but in the end he rejects her and she leaves alone. Tamwar sees she is back and thinks she is the reason Zainab left.[181]

Development[edit]

Ayesha's arrival was teased by executive producer Lorraine Newman in an interview with Digital Spy when she said, "The Masoods are rightfully incredibly popular and we've got big plans for them. [...] We also have a new female character joining the household in December. Let's just say that she's bound to cause a bit of mischief!"[182] The character and casting were announced on 16 November, when Ayesha was described as "Sweet and studious, but rather shy", having lived a sheltered life.[171] She is also described as a "naïve introvert".[183] A BBC statement said of her storyline: "Since the tragic death of her beloved father, she has been left alone with a distant mother and uncaring brothers. Ayesha has agreed to fulfil her father's dying wish, going through with an arranged marriage. Can the Masoods help her? And will her time on [Albert] Square encourage this naive young woman to find her voice?"[171] It was said that Ayesha would find living in Walford "a shock to the system, as she is used to grander surroundings."[183] Shivani said of her casting: "I've been watching EastEnders for years and am excited to be joining such an iconic show."[171] Details of Ayesha's arrival emerged on the day of her first episode, when it was revealed that Ayesha would be moving to Walford to get to know her suitor who lives in London, and that Ayesha would have a "shaky start" with Zainab, as she initially does not realise who Ayesha is.[184]

Adam White[edit]

Adam White
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Ben Wigzell
Duration 2012–13, 2014
First appearance 17 December 2012
Last appearance 17 March 2014
Introduced by Lorraine Newman (2012)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
Classification Former; recurring

Adam White, played by Ben Wigzell[170][185] is Kirsty Branning's (Kierston Wareing) ex-boyfriend Carl White's (Daniel Coonan) brother.[186]

Adam first appears when he is in a group of men who give Carl's former prison cellmate Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) a beating after running his car off the road and chasing him.[170] In February 2013, Kirsty's husband Max Branning (Jake Wood) goes to Adam's house to find Kirsty. Kirsty has a bruise on her neck, and realising Adam caused the injury, Max punches him. Adam and another man then beat Max after locking him inside the house.[185] In May, Adam starts calling Kirsty, as Carl is due to be released from prison. Kirsty worries that they will track her down[107] so Max returns with his brother Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) to confront Adam again. Adam punches Max so Jack throws him to the ground and the brothers order him to stop contacting Kirsty.[187] In August 2013, Adam attacks Kirsty, asking her for money. Carl stops Adam, who did not know Carl would be there. Carl blames Adam for Kirsty marrying Max and their mother Nora White (Lynn Farleigh) being in a care home, and Adam explains he owes money to somebody. Carl and Adam go to nightclub R&R, where Carl plans to sell drugs but they are confronted by Max and club owner Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). Carl then disowns Adam and he leaves.[188]

Adam returns in March 2014, in search for Carl, who has since been murdered by Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack), alongside his mother, Nora (Lynn Farleigh). Ronnie lies to both of them about her identity, claiming to be her sister Roxy (Rita Simons), who had been Carl's girlfriend, and says she does not know where he went. However Adam knows she is lying as Carl had sent Adam a photo of himself and Roxy together. Adam later kidnaps Lexi Pearce, which displeases his mother. Phil and Ronnie track them down, demanding Lexi back. The Whites demand to know what happened to Carl in return for the baby. When the Mitchells are hesitant to provide an explanation, Adam loses his patience but Phil warns him off harming Lexi and takes Lexi off Adam. Nora begs them for answers and Ronnie breaks down and admits that she killed Carl, leaving a distraught Nora and Adam shocked.

Ronnie and Phil return with Lexi, and give her back to her mother Lola (Danielle Harold) who is unaware of what has happened. Phil tells Ronnie she has to deal with Adam and Nora or he will. Ronnie then gets Market Inspector Aleks Shirov (Kristian Kiehling) to attack Adam and beat him up. Ronnie takes Phil to visit Adam in hospital after Aleks's assault on him whilst Nora sits beside his bedside. Ronnie warns both Nora and Adam off hassling the Mitchells further, threatening them with more violence. Ronnie and a disturbed Phil then leave. Adam and Nora have not been seen since.

In Adam's first appearance, he is credited as "Thug",[170] but his name was revealed in his second appearance.[185] In August 2013, Heat said of Adam: "As if having bad boy Carl on the Square wasn't bad enough, now his brother Adam has popped up as well. And he's even more of a villain than Carl."[189] Adam returned on the 10 March 2014 and departed on 17 March 2014.[190]

Kirsty Branning[edit]

Kirsty Branning
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Kierston Wareing
Duration 2012–14
First appearance 25 December 2012
Last appearance 9 January 2014
Introduced by Lorraine Newman
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Barmaid
Market assistant

Kirsty Branning, played by Kierston Wareing, is the third wife of Max Branning (Jake Wood) and the secret that Max has withheld from his former wife and current fiancée Tanya Cross (Jo Joyner) for several months. Kirsty's storylines include faking a pregnancy to stop Max leaving her, suffering a panic attack when Max nearly discovers her deceit, and her ex-fiancé Carl White (Daniel Coonan) trying to end her relationship with Max. In September 2013, it was announced that the character has been axed, and Kirsty departed on 9 January 2014.[74]

Storylines[edit]

Kirsty unexpectedly arrives at Max's home on Christmas Day after his brother Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) informs her of where he lives. Tanya answers the door and Kirsty introduces herself as Max's wife, moments before Max and Tanya are going to remarry. It is revealed that Max met Kirsty in 2011 after his split from Tanya, when he was living with Derek. Kirsty was working as an erotic dancer and was introduced to Max through Derek. They were both at a low ebb and Kirsty fell in love with Max, and they married. They planned to move to Manchester together but Max returned to Walford after hearing there was trouble there. Max learnt of Tanya's cancer and stood by her, and left Kirsty behind. Unknown to Max, Kirsty was pregnant with his child. Derek stayed in contact with Kirsty, and Max sent money so she could divorce him. Derek did not give Kirsty the last payment, but lied to Max that Kirsty had signed divorce papers. Derek told Kirsty that Max did not want the child and she terminated the pregnancy. After this is revealed, a huge argument ensues after which Derek suffers a massive heart attack and dies.[191] Kirsty stays in Walford and gets a job at the local pub, The Queen Victoria.[192] On the day of Derek's funeral, Max and Derek's sister Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) tells Kirsty that if she cannot find proof that Max loves her, then she must leave. When Kirsty meets Max, they argue but end up kissing passionately.[193] Kirsty then attends the funeral, upsetting Tanya as Max has told her that Kirsty has left Walford.[194] Tanya pays Kirsty to leave, but she does not go,[195] so Tanya allows Kirsty to come to a family dinner to see what Max has with her. Kirsty revels in the fact that there are family problems.[154] When Max's daughter Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) is upset, Kirsty takes the opportunity to bond with her, upsetting Tanya. Kirsty gives Lauren the keys to her room at the B&B. Max finds the keys and pockets them.[196] Tanya finds them and assumes Max is still involved with Kirsty, so she goes to Kirsty's room and starts packing her belongings.[176] Kirsty catches her, so Tanya tells Kirsty to leave, giving her the divorce papers to sign but Kirsty writes "never" on them. Lauren visits Kirsty and tells her to leave as Max will always want Tanya. Later, Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) urges Kirsty to move on from Max, and as she realises how much she is hurting Max by staying, she signs the divorce papers.[197] She tells Max she is leaving Walford. Tanya realises that Max still has feelings for Kirsty and ejects him from their home as Kirsty leaves Walford.[198] Kirsty returns her wedding ring through the post.[178] Max finds her staying with her ex-boyfriend Carl White's (Daniel Coonan) brother, Adam White (Ben Wigzell), who is abusive towards her. After Adam beats Max up, Kirsty and Max reconcile with a passionate kiss in Max's car.[185] She returns to Walford and lives with Max in the B&B.

Kirsty is angry when Max continues to say he has a special connection with Tanya because they have children. Kirsty tells Max she is pregnant,[159] and Max says he is not ready to have a child with her.[199] They agree that she will have an abortion,[200] but she confides in Kat that she is not really pregnant, and Max then asks Kirsty to not abort the pregnancy.[201] Kirsty then hopes she will get pregnant, and announces to her neighbours in the pub that she is pregnant.[202] Max then finds himself and Kirsty their own home.[203] Kirsty worries when people ask questions about her pregnancy, and Kat urges her to tell Max the truth.[204] Adam starts calling Kirsty, as Carl is due to be released from prison. She also starts worrying when they will track her down.[107] Kirsty cancels an ultrasound scan appointment but lies to Max that the hospital cancelled it. Max takes her anyway and Kirsty suffers a panic attack, so she does not have a scan.[205] Kirsty is stunned to see that Carl has arrived in Walford. She tells him she is married and pregnant, and that he should leave.[206] However, Carl insists he will win Kirsty back.[207] Eventually Kirsty thinks she may be pregnant,[208] so takes a pregnancy test but bins it when Max arrives. They argue about Carl and the bin is knocked over, so Max finds the test.[209] She admits that she was never pregnant, so Max returns to Tanya, as he was only with Kirsty because of the pregnancy. Tanya, however, refuses to take him back, and leaves Walford.[210] Max moves into his old house. While Max is away from Walford, Kirsty and Carl visit Carl's mother, Nora White (Lynn Farleigh), because she does not know they have split up.[211] On Max's return, Carl lets Max think he is now with Kirsty. Max tells Kirsty he could not stop thinking about her while he was away, so she suggests that they meet later, and if Max does not arrive then their relationship is over fod good. Carl discovers this, so makes sure Max is busy at work and visits Kirsty at the time Max was meant to be there.[188] The next day, Carl implies to Max that he and Kirsty had sex. Max tells people about this. She is angered by what both Max and Carl have done and rejects them both. When she confronts Max again, they passionately kiss, but are interrupted by Lauren, who has been in a rehabilitation clinic.[212] Kirsty then puts the relationship on hold for Lauren's sake.[213] However, Lauren convinces them to reunite, as Max is lovesick.[214] Carl continues to interfere in Kirsty and Max's marriage,[188][215] and when Max is arrested for cutting the brakes of Carl's car, he ends his relationship with Kirsty and says he is guilty. Kirsty does not believe him, and suspects Carl forced Max into this position. In desperation for money, Kirsty has sex with Carl, and then steals £1000 from him. Max is then acquitted of the crime and reunites with Kirsty. However, Carl then tells Max that he had sex with Kirsty while he was in prison, and this leads to Max ending his relationship with her.

In early 2014, Kirsty becomes concerned when Carl is nowhere to be seen, unaware that he has actually been murdered by Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack). She asks Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) and Terry Spraggan (Terry Alderton) about Carl's whereabouts, but nobody knows where he is. When Jane Beale (Laurie Brett) reveals to Max that Tanya is in a new relationship, he takes Kirsty back. The reunion is short, however, when Kirsty makes the mistake of cooking the tea with wine, knowing that Max's daughter Lauren is an alcoholic. Max throws the meal at the wall and Kirsty is thrown out of the house. The next day, Kirsty is homeless and Max gives her £20 to live on, so she seeks advise from Shirley. At Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) engagement party, Kirsty acts drunk and tries to hug Max, stealing his car keys. Max, Lauren and many other locals step outside to find Kirsty in Max's car. She insults Max before departing from Walford.

Development[edit]

Wareing knew about the part of Kirsty in April 2012, and discovered she had the part in August at a meeting with executive producer Lorraine Newman and series consultant Simon Ashdown, who offered her the role. She started filming at the end of October, knowing her first episode would be on Christmas Day. She described her first scene as "really weird", "surreal" and "bizarre" because she had grown up watching EastEnders. The character was kept a secret, with no announcement being made, and the only people Wareing told she had the part were her father and brother. She found it more difficult over time to keep the secret, as for her, it was "exciting and nerve-wracking" and she wanted to share her news. She had to tell people who saw her arriving at BBC Elstree Studios that she was temping in the office or playing a background role.[216]

Wareing said in an interview released after her first episode was broadcast, that she loves playing Kirsty, saying "there are a lot of places she can go, I feel."[216] She said that Kirsty has "a lot of sides to her", meaning there are a lot of directions in which the character could be taken. She said that as not much is known about the character, "there is potential for a lot to come out about her." At first she thought Kirsty was "a bitch", but felt that eventually people may need another side to her and sympathise with her. She added that Kirsty is "far from boring".[216] An official statement said "Kirsty is set to cause trouble for Max and Tanya. Will Max and Tanya's relationship survive, and will Kirsty want to give up her husband? One thing's for sure, Kirsty is fiery, flirty and does what she wants."[216]

Others[edit]

Character Date(s) Actor Circumstances
Aaron 3–5 January
(2 episodes)
Robert Curtis[217] Two brothers who meet Christian Clarke and his sister Jane Beale on a night out. Aaron remembers Christian from New Year's Eve, and when the four sit down to talk, Christian and Jane are bored as Aaron and Warren only talk about their business in doors and windows. Christian considers leaving but when his ex-boyfriend Syed Masood enters, Christian flirts with Aaron, and they end up spending the night together.[217][218]
Warren 3 January Sean Browne[217]
Miranda Powell 3 January Victoria Pritchard[217] A marriage counsellor who Alfie Moon visits to talk about his relationship with his wife Kat Moon, who does not come to the session.[217]
Gerry 5 January Paul Reynolds[218] A friend of Alfie Moon's, who he pays to pretend to be a marriage counsellor for him and his wife Kat Moon. Alfie tells Gerry to say he thinks there are no problems in their marriage, but when Gerry and Kat are left alone, Kat tells him that she believes Alfie no longer loves her and wants to end their marriage. Gerry wants to tell Alfie this but he thinks that Gerry had helped their marriage get back on track.[218]
Sgt. Davis 12–13 January
(2 episodes)
Brendan Fleming[219] A police officer who visits Derek Branning with a search warrant following a tip off that Derek has stolen goods in the house, however, the police find nothing.[219][220]
Dr Hugh 16 January Jessica Tomchak[221] A GP who Max Branning and Tanya Jessop visit regarding their daughter Lauren Branning's drinking problems. Hugh uncovers that the source of Lauren's drinking may be recent stress at home.[221]
Tristram Knight 6 February Spencer Burrows[222] Mandy Salter's wedding dress fitter, who is horrified when Lucy Beale purposefully throws coffee on the dress and claims she saw a mouse.[222]
Sinclair 7 February Colin Michael Carmichael[223] A man who goes on a date with Kim Fox.[224] Sinclair tells Kim he is curious about her because she is black, and continues to make inappropriate comments regarding this, leading to Kim slapping him.[223]
Rachel 9 February Sarah Malin[225] Jack Branning's lawyer in his custody battle against Roxy Mitchell for his daughter, Amy Mitchell. She is unimpressed when Roxy's brief, Jimmie Broome, brings up unsavoury events from Jack's past during the hearing.[225]
DC Short 14 February Matthew Burgess[226] A police officer, who, with his colleague, searches The Queen Victoria, suspecting that there is stolen cable hidden there. However, they find nothing.[226]
Ali 20 February–
8 March

(2 episodes)
Miren Patel[227] A man hired as a waiter by Afia Masood, but her husband Tamwar Masood accuses her of finding Ali attractive, so tells him the job has already gone to someone else.[227] Several weeks later, Tamwar is unhappy when Afia reveals she has hired him to help out at the restaurant. During his cover, Kim Fox flirts with him and asks if he is married, causing him to threaten her with a wooden spoon and not allowing anybody to leave until she apologises. Eventually, Tamwar and Afia calm the situation down, and he explains that his wife as threatened to leave him. Afia speaks to her wife, who says it was just an argument and she will not leave him, and Tamwar apologises to Afia as he did not realise that Ali was married.[228]
Andy 21–23 February
(2 episodes)
Chris Reilly[229] An old friend of Derek Branning's, who is given money by Derek to scare Roxy Mitchell into giving Jack Branning custody over their daughter.[229] He tells Derek that Roy stole some alcohol he was expecting to be delivered, and Derek then pays him to sent Roxy a message (implied to be that he wants her dead) to make sure Amy stays with the Brannings. However, when Andy visits Roxy, he hands over the money Derek gave him and says he does not want anything to do with the Mitchell family.[230]
"Chrissy" 21 February Uncredited[229] A girl who Derek Branning claims is his daughter, and takes his brother Jack Branning to see her coming out of her school, to convince him to fight for his own child, Amy Mitchell.[229] However, his brother Max Branning later tells Jack that Derek does not have a daughter and Derek admits he does not know the girl.[231]
Jacqui Aspinall 5 March Francine Morgan[232] Tanya Jessop's nurse, who visits her to discuss her impending MRI scan. Tanya admits her insecurities about the effects her cancer is having on her physical relationship, but is embarrassed when her mother, Cora Cross interrupts the pair.[232]
Matt 5 March Daniel Kendrick[232] A man who a drunken Lauren Branning knocks drink on during a night out. Later, he sees her passed out on the ground outside and comments that she could not handle her drink.[232]
Annie 13 March Uncredited[233] A woman who works at the local beauty salon, Booty, and rejects Roxy Mitchell for a haircut as she has nits.[233]
Alex Foster 16–19 March
(2 episodes)
Michael Vivian[234] Mandy Salter's ex-boyfriend.[235] He arrives in Walford looking for her and spots her going into a club.[234] He later finds her in the local pub and tells her he will not leave without her. She says she will call the police and accuse him of groping her.[236] Mandy later phones Alex as they witnessed Billy Mitchell on the night he is accused of murdering Heather Trott and she knows that he could not have done it. Alex refuses to talk to the police, so Mandy does, and the police say they will contact Alex to confirm the information.[237]
Gerry 20–21 March
(2 episodes)
Michael Elliott[238] A tramp who Andrew Cotton helps when he spots him sleeping in a toilet. Gerry later steals money given to Andrew by Dot Branning and when Andrew realises, Gerry runs away.[239]
PC Shaw 21–26 March
(2 episodes)
Daniel Millar[240] A police constable investigating the murder of Heather Trott. He is one of the first officers at the scene and calls for DS Crisp to investigate as there are signs of a burglary.[239] After Andrew Cotton suggests that Dot Branning might know about his and Heather's plan to elope, Shaw visits Dot but she refuses to talk about it.[241]
DC Swinton 21–22 March
(2 episodes)
Laura Dalgleish[239] A police detective at the scene of Heather Trott's murder, who confirms that Heather is dead.[239]
DS Luke Crisp 21 March–
20 August

(12 episodes)
Rufus Wright[239] A police detective and a member of the homicide assessment team, investigating the murder of Heather Trott. He questions Phil Mitchell, Jay Mitchell, Billy Mitchell, Ben Mitchell and Shirley Carter about the incident and later concludes that the supposed burglary in her flat was faked. Later, he questions Andrew Cotton and makes it clear that he knows about Andrew's past conviction for GBH. He then arrests Andrew on suspicion of murder[239][240] and interviews him along with his colleague PC Shaw.[241] Upon the discovery that a partly burnt hooded top was found, Crisp obtains one from the market stall that six of them were bought from, and then asks to see Jay's. Jay's has been burnt, but Phil replaces it with the one owned by Billy.[242] Jay later visits Crisp at the police station and tells him he saw Andrew on the night of the murder and knows he is innocent.[243] In April, he visits the crime scene when Shirley realises that a photo frame is missing and was probably the murder weapon. When Crisp is in the local pub, he sees Billy paying with a £50 note, which makes Crisp suspicious of Billy.[244] After Heather's funeral, Crisp arrests Billy on suspicion of the murder,[245] and then interviews him.[237] When Shirley offers a reward for information about Heather's death, Crisp confronts her, telling her she is hindering his investigation by creating false leads.[246] Crisp reappears in August when Ben Mitchell confesses to Heather's murder. Crisp arrests Ben for the murder and interviews him. Ben is then charged and remanded into custody. Crisp informs Ben that Jay Brown has been charged with perverting the course of justice and has been released on bail before telling Ben that he is on his own now.[247][248] He then interviews Roxy Mitchell and Shirley Carter about the day of Heather's murder.[249]
DC Lythe 22 March Tim Chipping[240] A police detective investigating the murder of Heather Trott.[240]
Gemma Hopkins 26 March Lynette Creane[241] A journalist who questions various Walford residents about the murder of Heather Trott, and overhears Billy Mitchell saying he is a key witness.[241] Billy's story appears in the local newspaper the next day.[242]
PC Lomax 27 March–
2 November
(3 episodes)
Ayden Callaghan[242] A police officer who conducts a search of Andrew Cotton's home to find a hooded top he was wearing on the night Heather Trott was murdered. He also catches Dot Branning, Rose Cotton and Cora Cross breaking into the local nightclub where Andrew worked to find the hoodie.[242] Lomax brings the ladies back to Walford and says if they do it again they will be in trouble, while Rose is pleased that the evidence was handed in.[243] In November, Lomax arrests Christian Clarke for assault on Danny Pennant.[119]
Dave 2 April Laurence Hobbs[250] A builder who is working for Jack Branning on his boxing gym. Denise Fox sees him and asks him to work on her bed and breakfast, which needs rebuilding. Dave leaves Jack's job for Denise's, causing a rift between them.
Trevor 5 April Mick Bartlett[251] A man involved in an alcohol-stealing scam with Derek Branning, Alfie Moon and Billy Mitchell. Trevor turns up late to meet Derek and Alfie, and tells them he was robbed at gunpoint. He later meets Alfie and Billy and it is revealed that they were double-crossing Derek.[251]
Dr Curtis 10 April Michael Elwyn[244] A psychiatrist working for the Crown Prosecution Service, who interviews Ben Mitchell about lying to the police about his father Phil Mitchell's involvement in the death of Stella Crawford.[244]
DC Damien McKenzie 13 April Uncredited A police officer who interviews Billy Mitchell following his arrest for murder, along with his colleague DS Crisp.[237]
Miss Woods 17 April Mercy Ojelade[252][253] Tiffany Butcher's form tutor at school, who talks to her mother Bianca Butcher about how Tiffany is not doing well in her lessons.[253]
James Real 26 April John White[254] A man who comes to read Bianca Butcher's electricity meter. Bianca's mother Carol Jackson lets him in, and he finds that Bianca is using an illegal meter key. Bianca says it was given to her by one of the electricity company's employees, but James says he will have to charge her £50, and replace the meter.[254]
David Pitt 26–27 April
(2 episodes)
Thomas Coombes[254] A man who visits Bianca Butcher. She says she is Bianca's babysitter, and David says he will return the next day.[254] He does return, and demands the full payment of a loan that day.[255]
Mike 27 April Paul Pariser[255] A man whose bag containing cash is stolen by Bianca Butcher. He catches her, while the police are called.[255]
Dan 7–8 May
(2 episodes)
William Rodell[41] A man who meets Lauren Branning on a night out. She is drunk and kisses him as soon as she sees him. They then get into his car with several of his friends. Lauren's friend Lucy Beale eventually gets Lauren out of the car, but her handbag is left behind.[41] Dan arrives in Walford the next day to return Lauren's handbag and, after falling out with her parents, Lauren gets in his car again. They drink vodka together but when Dan repeatedly tries to kiss her, Lauren becomes worried and runs away.[256]
DS Bourne 14–15 May
(2 episodes)
Mark Leadbetter[30] A detective who confronts Derek Branning with a search warrant to look for stolen alcohol.[30] After searching Derek's home, nothing is found.[31]
Frank Hawkins 17 May Mark Straker[32] A man from Walford Borough Council, who tells Kim Fox that the name of her bed and breakfast, "Kim's Olympic Palace", is a copyright infringement.[32]
Beryl Barr 18 May Maxine Evans[33] A woman who gives Janine Butcher a 4D baby scan.[33]
Trevor Brains 31 May Daniel Coll[257] A journalist who attends the reopening of Kim Fox's bed and breakfast, where he tries to persuade Andrew Cotton to do an interview about his perspective of Heather Trott's murder. Andrew refuses and Trevor leaves.[257]
Joseph Hardcastle 12 June Michael Quartey[258] Derek Branning's probation officer, who visits Derek following reports that his house was searched for stolen goods. Derek convinces Joseph that he has given up crime since getting back in touch with his daughter, Alice, but Joseph realises he is lying after speaking to Derek's brother Max Branning.[258]
Dr Antonia Moyles 19 June Pandora Clifford[259] A doctor who sees to a pregnant Janine Butcher after she collapses in pain. Dr Moyles diagnoses a urinary tract infection, but advises Janine to postpone her wedding as it is causing stress.[259]
Nurse Annabel 25 June 2012–
June 2013[260]
(5 episodes to date)
Lisa Greenwood[208] A nurse who cares for Scarlett Moon after she is born 11 weeks premature.[37][57][208] She later leads a first aid course, attended by Michael and Janine,[7] and asks Janine to leave when another baby becomes ill.[261]
Terry Willis 29 June Tristram Wymark[57] The regional manager of the Minute Mart shop who visits the Walford branch where Denise Fox and Zainab Khan work.[57]
Sara Ellis
Sakeena Ahmed
DC Nick Crane
Charlie Bearman
29 June All uncredited Colleagues of Lola Pearce's social worker, Helen Roberts, who attend a meeting along with Lola and her grandfather Billy Mitchell. They are social worker Sara Ellis, Sakeena Ahmed from Walford General Midwifery Team, DC Nick Crane, a special case worker from Walford police, and Charlie Bearman, who chairs the meeting.[57]
Vivienne Martinez 4 July Kim Tiddy[262] The manager of The Queen Victoria's rival football team, the Old Lions.[263] Vivienne's team win, and they return to The Queen Victoria, where Kat Moon is landlady and manager of their team. Vivienne tries to steal chef Ray Dixon for her pub, and then badmouths Kat, so Derek Branning escorts her out of the building.[262] Ray keeps in contact with Vivienne, and attempts to play for both her team and The Queen Victoria's.[81]
Frankie 5 July Frank Keogh[5] A young man who pesters Lucy Beale and ends up being punched by Joey Branning.[5]
Jed Quinn 5 July Harry Macqueen[5] A manager for the Minute Mart chain of local shops, who visits Denise Fox and Zainab Khan after their shop wins best in East and South London.[5]
Doug 10 July Ged Forrest[6] A man who buys Ben Mitchell and Jay Mitchell's stock car after seeing it race.[6]
Hannah 12–19 July
(4 episodes)
Leila Crerar[264] A couple whose child, Jake, is in the same hospital as Janine Butcher and Michael Moon's baby Scarlett Moon, who is on a respirator.[2][7][264] Jake appears to be improving, but then becomes ill and is taken off the ward.[261]
Rob Thomas Snowdon[264]
Joy 17–23 July
(2 episodes)
Carolyn Jones[7] The widow of an old friend of Patrick Trueman. Patrick attends his wake along with Cora Cross and Rose Cotton, and Anthony and Tyler Moon also attend, with funeral director Les Coker, as Cora wants the deceased's belongings for her charity shop and the Moon brothers want them for their business. Joy dislikes Patrick, so Cora pretends to be his wife so Joy changes her mind about him. However, Rose reveals they are not really married. Eventually, Cora and Anthony decide to split the items between them.[7] Joy later visits Anthony and Tyler, who reveal that Cora does not live with Patrick, so Joy accuses Cora of being a "grave robber". However, Cora kisses Patrick to prove they are in a relationship, and Cora says that Joy has been listening to lies.[265]
Stuart 23 July Justin Brett[42] A man who is looking for Ian Beale. Ian's daughter Lucy Beale assumes he is from social services, but when Tanya Jessop comes to help Lucy, it emerges that he is a debt collector, and says he will be back in a few days for money.[42]
Sarah Brown[77] 30 July–
21 September

(2 episodes)
Amanda Daniels[146] When Lola Pearce is sentenced to community service, Sarah leads a group, which includes Shaiyana. They set about picking litter from the streets of Walford. Sarah refuses to allow Lola to see her newborn daughter Lexi, and takes away her mobile phone. Lola's grandfather Billy Mitchell later brings Lexi out, but Sarah refuses to let Lola see her.[146] In September, Sarah is present while Lola works at the local charity shop on her last day of community service. Sarah does not believe Lola should have brought her daughter Lexi, and tells her off for messing around and arguing with Abi Branning.[77]
Shaiyana 30 July Dani Moseley[146] A member of a group taking part in community service, lead by Sarah Brown, which includes Lola Pearce. They set about picking litter from the streets of Walford. Shaiyana thinks it is unfair when Sarah refuses to allow Lola to see her newborn daughter Lexi, and takes away her mobile phone, so Shaiyana lends her phone to Lola.[146]
Fran 31 July Imogen Slaughter[8] A woman in charge of a homeless drop in at the local community centre, where Lauren Branning and Whitney Dean volunteer in exchange for concert tickets.[8]
Betty 2 August Kirstie Brough[266] A homeless girl. When Max Branning, Tanya Jessop and Alfie Moon go looking for Ian Beale at a homeless shelter where Lauren Branning saw him, Betty tells them she recognises Ian from a photo. Max pays her £30 to take them to a place he may be. Another person there says they have seen him, so Max pays Betty a further £20 to take them. When they get there, Betty tries to run away but Max stops her and accuses her of lying. However, Tanya then finds Ian.[266]
Nina Hewland 13–14 August
(2 episodes)
Juliet Cowan[81] Sharon Rickman's bridesmaid, and sister of her fiancé John Hewland.[82][267] After Sharon jilts John, she leaves her son Dennis behind, and returns with old friend Phil Mitchell to collect him. After Sharon and John talk, John and Nina drive away with Dennis as revenge.[81] Sharon and Phil chase after John and Nina to get him. They lose them but go to John's home, where they find Nina, and get her to talk to John on the phone, revealing where they are meeting them. They turn up but Nina shouts to John to go, and another car chase ensues. Eventually, they get stuck in traffic and Dennis escapes and is reunited with Sharon.[83]
Mike Sommers 17 August David Warwick[247] A duty solicitor who advises Ben Mitchell after he confesses to murdering Heather Trott. Ben is not believed by DCI Jill Marsden but is arrested by DS Luke Crisp. Ben then gets his friend Jay Mitchell to back up his story by getting Mike to pass a note to Jay's solicitor.[247]
Mary Smith 17 August Uncredited The appropriate adult when Ben Mitchell confesses to and is arrested for murdering Heather Trott.[247][248] (Not to be confused with original character Mary Smith).
Lester Rodney 17 August Richard Betts[248] Lucy Beale's solicitor when she gets her father Ian Beale to sign all of his businesses and properties over to her.[248]
Andy 21 August Reece Beaumont[46] A colleague of Fatboy at the local fast-food restaurant, who works for Nico Papadopoulos. Fatboy gets Andy to back him up when he confronts Nico about being mistreated at work. This leads to Fatboy losing his job.[46]
Aliyah Ahmed 31 August Ann Wenn[268] AJ Ahmed's wife. She arrives at AJ's brother Masood Ahmed's house after Masood's wife Zainab Khan calls her so she and AJ can sort out their marriage. However, Aliyah only wants to drop off AJ's belongings, and reveals that she did not have an affair as AJ had previously said, but AJ and Aliyah split because she wants children and he does not.[268]
Bethan Hickey 3 September Uncredited A woman from a fine café blog, who meets Lucy Beale, owner of the local café "Cindy's". Lucy is forced to close the café in order to meet Bethan, but when they arrive back at the café, Lucy is surprised and relieved to discover that Cora Cross and Patrick Trueman are running it, as Lucy left her keys in the door.[269]
Graham Avens 10–17 September
(2 episodes)
Ian Conningham[270] A social worker who visits Lola Pearce and her baby Lexi without warning. Jay Mitchell, who is on bail for perverting the course of justice, hides in the room so Graham cannot see him.[270] Graham later visits again to let Lola know that there will be a new caseworking coming the next day.[271]
PC Arnold 11 September 2012–
26 March 2013
(2 episodes)
Grant Burgin[272] A police officer who stops Ray Dixon and asks to search him as he suspects him of a mugging. Ray is angry and claims that Arnold is racist.[272] In March 2013, Bianca Butcher reports her son Liam Butcher missing to Arnold, who says Liam has gone of his own free will, but when Bianca says there are criminal matters involved, Arnold passes to case to his colleague DC Booth.[157]
Dave 17–21 September
(2 episodes)
John Burton[271] A man who Syed Masood owes money to for the sale of some cleaning goods. Syed has been unable to sell them on, and Dave asks him to pay by the end of the week.[271] Syed later calls Dave, leaving him a message to say that he cannot pay. Dave then visits Syed at his brother Tamwar Masood's restaurant, and Syed pays the debt, forging a cheque with Tamwar's signature.[77]
Matthew 17 September William Findley[271] A man who delivers a notice to Billy Mitchell from Janine Butcher, for her husband Michael Moon, to say that she is closing her property management business, Butcher's Joints.[271]
Jenny Gunn 25–28 September
(2 episodes)
Marnie Baxter[273] A private investigator hired by Michael Moon to try to trace his wife Janine Butcher.[273] She later informs Michael that Janine has left the country.[274]
Caroline 25 September 2012 – 8 January 2013
(2 episodes)
Charlotte Allam[273] A health worker at the community centre who tells Michael Moon he needs to buy bigger nappies for his daughter Scarlett Moon.[273] In January 2013, she is present when Michael and Phil Mitchell bring Scarlett and Lexi Pearce to the community centre.[195]
Samina Anwar 25 September Sheena Bhattessa[273] Lola Pearce's new youth offender officer.[273]
Parvez 25 September Uncredited[273] The new chef at the Argee Bhajee restaurant.[273]
Adam Beecroft 27 September Kevin McGowan[118] A debt collector who visits Tamwar Masood as he has missed three payments on his mortgage for his restaurant. Tamwar's brother Syed Masood pretends to be Tamwar, and tells Tamwar that Adam is there to talk about advertising. When Adam returns later, he gives Syed ten days to pay £9000.[118][275]
Coach Roberts 28 September Grant Davis[274] A boxing coach who Jack Branning wants to work at his gym.[274]
Chantelle 1–5 October
(4 episodes)
Kelsey Hardwick[78] A girl who approaches Lola Pearce, Abi Branning and Jay Brown to say that her friend fancies Jay. Lola tells her that Jay has higher standards than Chantelle's friend. Lola later sees that her old friend Alexa Smith is one of Chantelle's friends.[78] The next day Alexa introduces Lola to Chantelle and her other friends and they shoplift. They go to the local café, where Chantelle asks Lola about her electronic tag and offers her alcohol. Lola declines and when she tries to leave, Chantelle, Alexa and their friends try to convince Lola to stay.[130] The gang pick on Lola's friend Abi Branning, so Lola takes Abi's side. They then threaten Lola and Lexi. Later, the gang attack Abi and film it, which leads to Lola attacking Alexa and being arrested.[79][93] When Alexa and her friends return to Walford around six weeks later, Chantelle is not seen with them.[127]
Keith 1 October Charles Armstrong[78] A man who Ray Dixon has a meeting with to secure funding for a project he is planning to help children who are discriminated against.[78]
Gillian 2 October Sharon Cherry Ballard[130] A woman who runs a mother and baby class, which Lola Pearce attends without her baby Lexi. Gillian says she will have to inform social services.[130]
Emily 4 October Amy Loughton[93] A woman who Michael Moon wants to hire as an au pair for his daughter Scarlett. Emily decides not to take up the job.[93]
Michelle 5 October Kim Barry[79] The woman who removes Lola Pearce's ankle tag when her curfew ends.[79]
Marcus 15 October Jonathan Taylor[123] A man who gives unwanted attention to Denise Fox during a party in The Queen Victoria. Fatboy intervenes so Marcus punches him and throws a drink over him before leaving.[123]
Olivia 25 October Samantha Best[80] Rainie Cross' addiction sponsor. Olivia meets Rainie's mother Cora Cross when Cora has arranged to meet Rainie, and gives Cora a letter from Rainie. Cora refuses to finish reading the letter and Olivia tells her that she triggers Rainie's bad behaviour, and does not want further contact with her.[80]
Preeti, Dani, Sophie and Dani 5 November Uncredited Four friends of AJ Ahmed who he gets to dance at his fireworks display.[276]
Rick Gekowski 6 November Laurence Saunders[277] A Fostering Assessment Social Worker who visits Phil Mitchell and Sharon Rickman as they plan to foster Phil's granddaughter Lexi Pearce. They are pretending to be in a relationship, and convince Rick that they are a happy couple after he questions them about their families. Later, Sharon's real boyfriend Jack Branning sees Rick in the pub and knows him from his previous work in the police. He asks Jack about Sharon and Phil and is annoyed when Rick says they seem well suited.[277]
Matthew Grindlay 8 November James Bradshaw[278] An Environmental Health Officer who visits Kim Fox's bed and breakfast after a customer complains that there were mouse droppings on their plate. Kim tells Matthew she got the breakfasts from the café, but after he finds no problems there, he says the B&B must be the problem. He asks Kim about her food standards and then shuts down the kitchen when a mouse is caught in a trap.[278]
Mr Parr 13 November Dominic Kemp[127] Cora Cross' area supervisor at the charity shop. Cora is accused by Mr Lister of stealing a bag that he donated. Mr Parr finds the bag in a back room with a bottle of rum in it, so sacks Cora.[127]
Sylvia 19 November Uncredited A girl who works at the local chemist, who Fatboy likes. Fatboy's friend Poppy Meadow gives him advice for asking her on a date, and when he sees her at The Queen Victoria, he does so, and they drink together.[98] They exchange telephone numbers, but the next day, Sylvia rejects Fatboy.[143]
Jayden 20 November Cedric Essumang[143] A student at the school where Ava Hartman works. Ava reprimands him for being out of the classroom.[143]
John Edwards 22 November Uncredited A man from Walford Council who meets Ray Dixon at the launch of his youth mentoring scheme.[149]
Dave 6 December Luke Hamill[279] A Fostering Assessment Social Worker who is covering for Rick Gekowski. He visits Phil Mitchell and Sharon Rickman, who are trying to foster Lexi Pearce. Phil tells Dave that his and Sharon's relationship is over, though it was a fake relationship anyway. Dave says they will have to be reassessed.[279]
Jenni Stewart 10 December Claire Carrie[280] Lola Pearce's new social worker, who visits her and her and her daughter Lexi Pearce's grandfather Phil Mitchell. Lola says she will prove she is the best mother for Lexi.[280]
Judge Mavis Pritchard 13 December Veronica Roberts[99] The judge deciding if Phil Mitchell should be the foster carer of Lola Pearce's daughter and his granddaughter Lexi Pearce. Pritchard decides that Phil should foster Lexi and that Lola should have three access visits per week.[99]
Stella 18 December Danielle Meehan[281] A stripper hired to perform at Max Branning's stag party.[281]
Fred 25 December Michael O'Connor[191] The registrar who arrives to marry Max Branning and Tanya Cross. However, the wedding does not go ahead.[191]
Mr Passmore 27 December Leigh Jones[192] A man whose car is being repaired at the local garage, telling mechanic AJ Ahmed to fix it promptly. When he arrives to collect the car, Zainab Khan is there with AJ, and the car is not ready. Zainab finds a pair of woman's knickers in the car, threatens to call Mr Passmore's wife about them, tells him the car will be ready the next day and says he will not be rude next time.[192]

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  156. ^ Director: Gwennan Sage; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Sharon Marshall (21 March 2013). "Episode dated 21/03/2013". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rftk0.
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  163. ^ "Clare Perkins joins EastEnders". EastEnders. BBC Online. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
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  169. ^ "Bride future in Walford". The Sun (News Group Newspapers). 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
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  172. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (18 December 2012). "Sharon receives two marriage proposals". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
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  174. ^ Director: Ian White; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Matthew Barry (14 January 2013). "Episode dated 14/01/2013". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q15xm.
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  183. ^ a b Eames, Tom (16 November 2012). "'EastEnders': Shivani Ghai joins cast as Masood family friend". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
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  202. ^ Director: Ian Barber; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Colin Wyatt (22 April 2013). "Episode dated 22/04/2013". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s2zd3.
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