|Portrayed by||Tiana Benjamin|
5 May 2006
5 August 2010
|Introduced by||Kate Harwood|
Chelsea Fox is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Tiana Benjamin. She first appeared on 5 May 2006 and was joined by her mother Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and her half-sister, Libby Fox (Belinda Owusu). Benjamin announced her departure from the show in April 2010. Her final episode was broadcast on 5 August 2010.
Chelsea's storylines include relationships with Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp), Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky), Theo Kelly (Rolan Bell), Al Jenkins (Adam Croasdell) and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen), feuds with her stepsister Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley), Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner), Clare Bates (Gemma Bissix) and Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons), drug addiction and framing Sean for attacking her surrogate grandfather, Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker), which eventually leads to her imprisonment.
Upon Chelsea's arrival, she is seduced by Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp), unaware he is dating her to make Jane Collins (Laurie Brett) jealous. However, when Denise uncovers the truth, Grant ends the relationship. Chelsea finds employment at Tanya Branning's (Jo Joyner) salon, Booty and falls for Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky). Although, Sean is promiscuous and pursues other women, including Tanya and Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley), while Chelsea wants a serious relationship. Attempting to keep Sean away from Carly, Chelsea sets her up on a date with Warren Stamp (Will Mellor), who tries to assault Carly. Sean rescues her and animosity between the girls escalates, particularly when Sean dumps Chelsea for Carly. Carly's brother, Deano (Matt Di Angelo), is attracted to Chelsea and, using this to her advantage, she and Deano sabotage Carly and Sean's relationship. When Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) is attacked, Chelsea and Deano frame Sean, stealing CCTV evidence that clears Sean but Carly finds it and gives it to the police. Sean is released and the police charge Chelsea and Deano with perverting the course of justice. Sean gets revenge by cutting Chelsea's hair while she sleeps and having Deano beaten by a gang of thugs. She and Deano are sentenced to six months imprisonment and released after three.
Helped by her sister, Libby, Chelsea traces her father, Lucas Johnson (Don Gilet), who left her and Denise 20 years ago. She confronts him, revealing that she is his daughter but leaves before he responds. Two months later, Lucas appears. Chelsea is reluctant to see him but eventually agrees to go out for a birthday meal. However, she leaves on discovering that she has a half-brother, Jordan (Michael-Joel David Stuart).
She buys drugs from Sean and steals money from work to buy more but gets beaten up by a group of girls. Tanya fires her and Patrick catches her taking cocaine. He locks her in her room and calls Lucas to help. When he arrives, Chelsea has escaped through the bedroom window. Lucas finds her in R&R nightclub, high on cocaine, and takes her home. Chelsea gets her job back at Booty. She falls in love with Theo Kelly (Rolan Bell), but upon dating, Chelsea feels excluded from Theo and his university friends. She later cheats on him with a footballer named Ellis Prince (Michael Obiora), who offers her drugs. A guilt-ridden Chelsea confesses her infidelity to Theo and despite his forgiving her, insists she cannot be with him and ends the relationship. She resumes her relationship with Ellis but Lucas finds the drugs Ellis gave her and confronts Chelsea. She runs away with Ellis, leaving a note for her family but returns on Libby's birthday, demanding to know why Libby's grandmother, Liz Turner (Kate Williams) is in Albert Square, forcing her to admit she has been visiting her father, Owen Turner (Lee Ross), in prison and is glad that he is going to be released. Chelsea is cautious of her family's safety when Owen returns to the Square, and pleads with him not to bring up the suspicious death of Lucas's ex-wife, Trina Johnson (Sharon Duncan Brewster), again as Denise was a suspect and could get in trouble.
Chelsea and Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) both pursue Dr. Al Jenkins (Adam Croasdell), becoming rivals as the doctor is dating them both secretly. Chelsea assists Jordan in his protest to get a tree planted in Trina's memory and manages to win Al. However, just before Chelsea and Al get together, Roxy turns up at his office dressed as a nurse, so Chelsea leaves, embarrassed. Despite this, when Roxy inherits The Queen Victoria public house, she employs Chelsea as a barmaid. Denise sets Chelsea up on a blind date with an associate of Lucas's called Matthew, but Chelsea does not enjoy the date and tells Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) she wants to leave. While she is in the toilet, Jack tells Matthew that Chelsea has a boyfriend so he leaves. Chelsea and Jack start dating and she returns to work at the salon, now named Roxy's. When Jack is shot and hospitalised, Chelsea declares her love for him and stays with him in hospital but Jack ends it as he is still in love with Ronnie. Later, Chelsea and her colleague Amira Masood (Preeya Kalidas) worry that they are pregnant and take pregnancy tests. Amira's is negative but Chelsea's is positive. She decides to keep the baby but decides not to tell Jack as it would not change anything but she does not want to be a single mother. After Denise sees Chelsea crying and spending time with Zainab Masood's (Nina Wadia) baby, Kamil (Arian Chikhlia), she tells Libby that she thinks Chelsea is pregnant. Chelsea admits it when Denise asks her and they have a heart-to-heart, which Lucas joins in. She takes the test again and realises she is not pregnant but tells her parents that she'll make her own decisions. She tells Amira that it was her test that was positive and promises to keep her secret when she leaves Walford after learning that her husband Syed (Marc Elliott) is gay.
Chelsea goes on to celebrate her birthday and discovers Denise has put a picture of Chelsea in the newspaper wearing a cowboy suit. Much to Chelsea's embarrassment, so she decides to buy all the newspapers so people will not mock her. When Roxy discovers it is Chelsea's birthday she decides to throw her a western themed birthday. Chelsea starts to fall for the DJ but Roxy is caught kissing him.
When Owen's body is discovered buried under the Square, Denise is taken for questioning. Chelsea thinks that Denise may have killed Trina and Owen as Lucas had told her that Denise was hiding Trina's bracelet in her bag. Chelsea tells Libby about the bracelet, and after Denise is released without charge, they see her leaving the Square alone and receive a text message from her saying "I'm sorry", unaware that Lucas killed Owen and confessed to Denise, took her to a canal and strangled her, sending the text message before he threw the phone in the canal. The police tell the family that Denise's car has been found by the canal and a body is pulled from the water along with Denise's mobile phone. Chelsea wonders who her mother really is and says it makes her some kind of monster. She offers to go with Lucas to identify the body but she is unable to go in so he goes in alone and identifies it as Denise, leaving Chelsea devastated. Chelsea believes that her mother killed Owen and then herself. After Denise's funeral, Chelsea and Libby agree to start packing up Denise's belongings. While celebrating Libby's birthday, Denise walks in, revealing that she is not dead but that Lucas has been keeping her prisoner, and that he killed Trina and Owen. Chelsea tells her to stay away from her, calling her a murderer. Lucas enters and confirms that Denise is telling the truth but Chelsea says he is covering up for her and she faked her own death. However, Lucas takes the family hostage, but when Jordan arrives, they escape and Lucas is arrested.
Chelsea says she no longer has a normal family, and argues with Libby over their parents. After speaking to Liz, Chelsea decides she wants to move to Spain with her, as people in Walford will only ever think of her as the daughter of a murderer. Denise initially argues with Chelsea about this, but eventually agrees, encouraging Libby to go too for a holiday before returning to university. After leaving drinks in The Queen Victoria pub, Chelsea, Libby and Liz leave Walford in the back of a taxi.
In November 2011, Amira states that Chelsea is living in Málaga, Spain. In May 2014, Denise goes to Spain with Libby to celebrate Chelsea's birthday. In August 2015, when Libby returns to Walford for her birthday, Chelsea calls her, urging her to tell Denise something, but Libby cannot go through with it. In December 2015, Libby reveals to Denise that Jordan briefly lived with her and Chelsea in Spain, however he caused an endless amount of trouble for them, so Chelsea kicked him out.
Creation and development
On 12 January 2006, an official BBC press report announced the introduction of a new character to EastEnders, Chelsea Fox. Chelsea was due to be part of a new, all female family joining the show, with Chelsea's mother Denise and her sister Libby (played by Diane Parish and Belinda Owusu respectively) completing the clan. The role was cast to Tiana Benjamin, who was 21 at the time. Benjamin has revealed that she was the second Fox to be cast, and on her final audition, she had a workshop and met Diane Parish there. Owusu was cast at a later date. Of her casting, Benjamin said "I've been a big fan of EastEnders since I was little and I'm very excited to join the show. I've always really admired Diane [Parish] and I can't wait to work with her - it really hasn't sunk in yet! [...] It's one of those jobs that's unlike any other. There's a lot that changes when you take on something as big as EastEnders. I [am] really happy and genuinely excited to be a part of the show." She added that the three actors who play the Fox family have a bond, commenting "We all respect and understand each other, and manage to have a good time while we're filming too. I felt that we clicked from our first few scenes together." Benjamin quit her role as Angelina Johnson in the successful Harry Potter film series, in order to take the part. Chelsea made her first screen appearance in May 2006 and was the first of the Fox family to be seen by viewers.
On 2 April 2010 it was announced that Benjamin had chosen to leave the show to pursue other projects. Of her decision, she said "I have had an amazing time at EastEnders and this has been a very difficult decision for me to make but now seems like the right time to move on and leave Chelsea behind even through she's been such a fantastic character to play." Her final episode was broadcast on 5 August 2010.
- "Tiana Benjamin Interview". BBC. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- "Harry Potter star to join EastEnders". BBC Press Office. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- Green, Kris (2 April 2010). "Tiana Benjamin quits 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Green, Kris; Kilkelly, Daniel (July 2010). "Peggy takes Louise to see Lisa". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 July 2010.