Carter family (EastEnders)

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Carter family
Carter family (EastEnders) 2014.jpg
EastEnders family
Introduced by Kate Harwood
Dominic Treadwell-Collins
Duration 2006–
First appearance 2 January 2006

The Carter family is a fictional family in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. The family is headed by Stan Carter (Timothy West), but the first member of the family introduced was Stan's grandson, Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) (then known as Deano), brought in by Kate Harwood on 2 January 2006. He arrived in the show's setting of Walford to stay with his great-aunt Pat Evans. He was soon joined by his sister, Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley) and their adoptive father Kevin Wicks (Phil Daniels) the nephew of Brian Wicks. Carly's husband Nico Pappas (Gerard Monaco) appeared for a short stint. Shirley Carter (Linda Henry), daughter of Stan, ex-wife of Kevin and mother of Deano and Carly, appeared in December 2006. Carly made a return on 6 September 2012 for two episodes.

In January 2010, Zsa Zsa Carter (Emer Kenny), the niece of Shirley was introduced as a character in the spin-off EastEnders: E20. Her stepfather, Andy, was also seen in E20.

An expansion of the Carter family by new producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins introduced Shirley's sister and Zsa Zsa's mother, Tina Carter (Luisa Bradshaw-White), and Shirley's eldest son, Mick Carter (Danny Dyer), though he was believed to be her brother. Mick's partner Linda (Kellie Bright), and their children, Lee (Danny-Boy Hatchard), Nancy (Maddy Hill) and Johnny (Sam Strike) also arrived, followed by Stan, Stan's sister-in-law, Babe Smith (Annette Badland) and her sister and mother to Shirley and Tina, Sylvie (Linda Marlowe).

The Carter family have appeared heavily in the show from 2014, in high profile storylines including the revelation of Johnny's homosexuality, Stan's arrival, the revelation that Shirley is in fact Mick's mother, Linda's rape at the hands of Dean, Stan's prostate cancer, the domestic violence Tina receives from her partner Fiona "Tosh" Mackintosh (Rebecca Scroggs), Nancy's epilepsy, Sylvie's Alzheimer's disease and the revelation that Dean has a daughter, Jade Green with cystic fibrosis, born after a one-night stand with Shabnam Masood (Rakhee Thakrar).

Storylines[edit]

Backstory[edit]

Stan Carter worked as a fishmongster at the Billingsgate Fish Market. He married Sylvie Smith in 1962 and they had two daughters: Shirley and Tina. Stan neglected his family, whereas Sylvie abused Shirley when she was young. Shirley fell pregnant by a boy named Andy (later known as Buster), but Sylvie found out after Andy abandoned her. Sylvie pushed Shirley down the stairs to try to kill the unborn baby, however she was unsuccessful. She took Shirley to a caravan site with her sister, Babe Smith, where Shirley gave birth to Mick Carter. However, to prevent a scandal, Sylvie pretended that Mick was Stan's son and he was raised as Shirley and Tina's brother. After Sylvie left, Shirley struggled with bringing up her son and her younger sister alone, so she tried to drown Mick in the bathroom. Stan saved him, but after they took Mick to the hospital, social services took Mick and Tina into care. Shirley grew distant from her father and married Kevin Wicks. They had one child, Jimbo, while Shirley had two further children, Carly and Dean. Carly was the result of a one-night stand named Daniel but she and Andy reconnected and he also fathered Dean. Kevin raised both children as his own. Shirley disowned Stan after an argument and did not speak to him for 25 years. Shirley walked out on her children when she divorced Kevin. She did not attend Jimbo's funeral, who died of cystic fibrosis at the age of 21.

Tina gave birth to Zsa Zsa at the age of 19 with a man named Mark Reynolds, who was six years her senior, but could not cope with bringing up a child at a young age. She often indulged in alcohol and drugs, leaving Zsa Zsa to bring herself up. Zsa Zsa's father later died. Tina also married a man named Andy, but left him for a man named Miguel and went to Spain. She later began a lesbian relationship with firefighter Fiona "Tosh" Mackintosh. They shared a volatile relationship; Tosh was violent towards Tina.

Tina remained close to her brother Mick (without knowing that he is really her nephew). Mick met a local girl called Linda Peacock when he was six years old and they went to school together. In their teens, Linda fell pregnant by Mick, three months after the death of her father, and gave birth to their son Lee. Two years later, they had a daughter, Nancy, followed by the difficult birth of their youngest son, Johnny. When a customer flirted with Linda and tried to kiss her, Mick attacked him severely and he ended up in hospital seriously injured. Shirley burnt down their first pub which led to Mick being estranged from Shirley and they lived with Linda's mother, Elaine.

2006–12[edit]

Shirley is the first Carter to be introduced, in 2006, as the ex-wife of pre-established character Kevin Wicks and mother of his two children, Carly and Deano. Shirley fails to reunite with her family due to her abandonment of them and Jimbo especially. She clashes with many Walford residents, including Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and Pat Butcher (Pam St. Clement), but has support in her best friend Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison). She continues to try to win over Carly and Deano, but both leave Walford on bad terms with their mother. Shirley eventually begins a relationship with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), over their mutual tendency to drink too much.

The second Carter introduced is Shirley's niece Zsa Zsa, Tina's daughter. Zsa Zsa flees her mother and step-father to Walford, and moves in with Shirley and Phil. After Phil becomes addicted to cocaine when his relationship with Shirley ends, Zsa Zsa supports her, but later moves to France, remaining on good terms with her aunt. Shirley continues to try to help Phil escape his addiction, and they reunite when he manages to do so. She provides a false alibi for him when his uncle and step-father, Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb) is murdered, strengthening their relationship. Shirley shows her maternal skills for the first time since she abandoned Deano and Carly in mothering Phil's son Ben (Joshua Pascoe), as he is neglected by Phil due to being gay. She is devastated when Heather is murdered, and, just as she begins to recover, the discovery that it was Ben that killed her and Phil hid this drives Shirley back to being a mess. She ends things with Phil, and sees Ben sent to prison for what he has done. To help her mother recover from Phil's betrayal, Carly returns to Walford and reunites with her. She introduces Shirley to her grandson, Jimmy, named for Jimbo, and Shirley departs Walford with her.

2013—[edit]

She returns to discover that Phil is trying to take custody of Ben and Lola Pearce's (Danielle Harold) baby Lexi, and warns Lola not to trust Phil. She later challenges Carl White (Daniel Coonan) when she realises that he is manipulating Phil and taking control of the Mitchell empire following a car accident that has put Phil in hospital. When she discovers that Carl caused the car crash, she disappears, and several months later Carl takes Phil to see Shirley, revealing she has been staying with Tina at her flat in another part of London. Tina has recently broken up with Fiona 'Tosh' Mackintosh (Rebecca Scroggs) as she had been abusing her. Phil convinces them to return to Walford and they move in with him for a short while, before he kicks them out.

Hard up, Tina convinces Shirley to come with her to visit their estranged brother, Mick, at his pub in Watford. Mick is out on their visit, and they clash with Mick's wife Linda, who blames Shirley for burning down their pub fifteen years ago. When Linda refuses to help, Tina steals from their pub, but when Shirley finds out what she has done, she returns to them, and reunites with Mick. Phil decides to sell the Queen Victoria, and when the new owners move in, they are revealed to be Mick and Linda, along with their son Johnny and dog Lady Di. Shirley and Tina move in with them as well, to Linda's chagrin.

Johnny hides an invitation to his sister Nancy's wedding to Wayne Ladlow (Malachi Kirby), but when Mick and Linda find it they decide to go along. However, unable to see Nancy marry a man he hates, Mick kidnaps her from the ceremony and brings her back to the Vic. In a family argument, Nancy reveals that Johnny is gay, and he confirms this to Mick after trying to hide it. Linda struggles to accept his sexuality.

The Vic is revealed to have huge damp problems, costing the Carters money they don't have. Mick and Tina decide to try to get the money from their father, Stan, but Shirley is unhappy with the idea, blaming Stan for giving them up as children. Mick and Tina visit him alone, but he tells them that he will only give them the money if Shirley asks herself. She eventually does, and he gives them the money. Shirley, Mick and Tina's maternal aunt, Babe, also visits regularly, at one point suggesting that the Carters get involved with her drug dealing business to soothe their financial issues. Tina reunites with Tosh when she returns to Walford, to Shirley's fury, and eventually moves out of the Vic to live in an apartment with Tosh, market inspector Aleks Shirovs (Kristian Kiehling), and Jake Stone (Jamie Lomas).

On hearing that Stan is ill, Mick visits him, only to be attacked by an intruder. He later discloses to Max Branning (Jake Wood) that he thinks the intruder was his eldest son, Lee, who is serving in Afghanistan. Stan is revealed to have broken his ankle, meaning he has to come and stay at The Vic, to everyone's displeasure. One night, he sets the curtains on fire with a cigarette, but is saved by a mysterious hero, who is revealed to be Lee. Lee reveals that he has fled from the army after his best friend was killed, but Mick convinces him to return. Before he goes, he has casual flings with Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty); on the day before he is due to leave, Lucy is murdered by an unknown assailant ("Who Killed Lucy Beale?"). Lee makes a statement before returning to the army.

Shirley learns that Deano, now known as Dean, is back in England after living in Australia, and Stan, who is in contact with him, brings him to the Vic to try to reunite him with his mother. He is reluctant, still very angry at Shirley, and clashes with Mick over his bad relationship with his mother. Seeing he is unhappy with his job at another salon, Stan pays for him to open up his own salon in Walford, unaware that he is planning to scam him by taking all the expensive products in the salon and sell them before leaving again. Stan catches wind of the plan and stops him, convincing Dean to stick around for good. Dean begins to develop feelings for Linda when she counsels him over his issues with Shirley, and Lee returns from the army permanently in time for Linda's birthday. That night Dean overhears a conversation between Mick and Linda, revealing they're not really married.

Distraught over Dean refusing to reconcile with her and an argument with Mick, Shirley confesses to Phil that she still harbours intense guilt about her bad relationship with her son. Phil tries to talk Dean around, only to realise that Shirley means Mick; she is secretly Mick's mother. She discloses to him how her mother, Sylvie, hid her pregnancy and then posed the baby as her own. Phil agrees to keep her secret, but later uses it to blackmail Shirley for money.

Tina and Tosh decide to use IVF to have a baby, but worry about how to gather together enough money to do so. Desperate for cash after her boss Ian refuses to give her a raise, Tina turns to Babe and starts dealing drugs from the café where she works. Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) discovers what she is doing, and when her grandson Liam Butcher (James Forde) takes some of Tina's hash brownies to school by accident, she reveals Tina's drug dealing to Tosh and the rest of the Carter family. Tosh ends things with a devastated Tina, while the Carters angrily demand that Babe disposes of her cannabis now she has got them involved. To make it look like she is going through with their demands, Babe enlist Dean's help with storing it at the salon, but Shirley catches wind of their plan, and, trying to keep Dean out of prison, she steals the drugs and burns them. As revenge, Babe threatens to reveal Shirley as Mick's mother, but decides not to after Shirley pleads with her. Despite telling her family at a family dinner that she hasn't seen Sylvie for years, she returns home and begins speaking to someone off camera, hinting that Sylvie may be living with her.

Mick is accused of kerb crawling and pleads guilty to cover for his friend Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), who is hiding that he saw the prostitute, Rainie Cross (Tanya Franks), on the night of Lucy's death. He reveals the truth to Linda, who pleads with him to reveal the truth when Rainie's mother, Stan's girlfriend Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell), exploits his actions to the whole pub. Mick convinces her to keep quiet and lies to Stan that he did really see a prostitute, although Stan works out that Cora knows the prostitute involved when he questions her granddaughter, Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa).

Dean makes another move on Linda, but she firmly rejects him, leading him to go out with Lauren on the rebound. Mick and Linda briefly separate when Ian's partner Denise Fox (Diane Parish) discovers the truth. When an explosion occurs at the Slater household, Johnny dashes into the burning building with Peter Beale (Ben Hardy) to try to save a trapped Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace), but the pair escape with minor injuries and do not manage to save Kat. In October, Dean's obsession with Linda comes to a terrifying conclusion when he rapes her on the kitchen table. Linda keeps her rape a secret from Mick. She discovers she is pregnant and intends having an abortion. Babe discovers Stan has terminal prostate cancer. She reveals this at Lee's 22nd birthday. As a result of this revelation, Mick and Dean head off to find Shirley and alert her of the news. They find Shirley hiding in their caravan. In spite of their telling her that her father has terminal cancer, she refuses to return home. Early the following morning, Mick and Dean tow the caravan to Walford, to find Buster Briggs inside. Shirley arrives on Buster's motorbike, revealing her long-standing relationship with Buster. Dean realises that Buster is his father and the two begin to bond. Buster is on day release from prison but intends going away with Shirley and Dean. Mick alerts the authorities and police arrive at the pub. Buster is arrested for not reporting back after his day release. Buster then realizes that he is the father of Mick as well.

Shirley is angry when Babe returns to The Vic with a battered Tina and that Tosh is responsible. When Tosh arrives at the pub the following morning, Shirley attacks her and orders Tosh to leave Tina forever. Shirley and Mick then discover that it was Babe who had shown Tosh Sonia Fowler's (Natalie Cassidy) watch, thus prompting her to beat Tina, believing that they were having an affair. They drive to Babe's house to confront her where they find Sylvie Carter (Linda Marlowe) and it is later revealed that she is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Family members[edit]

The Carter family tree includes all characters who are descended from Stan Carter. His grandfather, Reginald William Carter, has also been mentioned.

Sylvie's sister Babe Smith is also considered to be a part of the family unit, though not related by blood to Stan.

Reception[edit]

The Carters were named Best Family at the 2014 Inside Soap Awards.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cregan, Michael (1 October 2014). "The winners of the Inside Soap Awards 2014, sponsored by Iceland!". Inside Soap. Retrieved 1 October 2014.