Johnny Allen (EastEnders)
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|Portrayed by||Billy Murray|
4 January 2005
20 October 2006
|Created by||Kathleen Hutchison|
Kathleen Hutchinson (2005)|
Kate Harwood (2006)
Johnny Allen is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Billy Murray. Johnny appears on the show from 4 January 2005 until 20 October 2006, when he suffers a fatal heart attack while serving his prison sentence. Johnny is one of the show's biggest villains, terrorising several other characters and going to extreme lengths to gain the upper hand over his rivals. An old East End gangster, Johnny is responsible for the deaths of Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs) and Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman) and is also central to the Get Johnny Week storyline that concludes in his eventual departure from the show.
Johnny Allen was born into poverty in Walford during World War II. He was educated and grew up where he became familiar with the locals such as the Beale family and Den Watts (Leslie Grantham). Johnny went on to become a boxer from an early age, and got involved in the criminal underworld. In the late 1950s, when he started as an up-and-coming gangster and he employed a well-known teenage prostitute Pat Harris (Pam St. Clement), and had several flings with her, before she married Pete Beale (Peter Dean) in 1961. Some years later, he also employed local boxer Eric Mitchell. Johnny used to bully Eric because Eric was a better boxer than he was and the two developed a strong feud. Johnny also knew Eric's wife, Peggy (Barbara Windsor), who used to try and seduce him out of desperation but he turned her down. Eric Mitchell eventually died in 1985.
Allen was a well-known man of the underworld and became notorious in the East End of London because he tortured and killed people including those who worked for him. Johnny left Walford when he grew older, presumably in the early 1970s, in order to expand his flourishing business empire named J.A. Enterprises but he still worked as a gangster and lived in his mansion in Essex. He married a woman named Stephanie, and they had two daughters: Scarlett and Ruby (Louisa Lytton). In 1994, he began an affair with Tina Stewart (Charlotte Avery), a barmaid many years his junior who worked for him, who would become his partner. His wife, Stephanie, and his 18-year-old daughter, Scarlett, were killed in an arson attack by one of his criminal rivals in March 2004. Johnny and his youngest daughter, Ruby, survived the fire.
Johnny makes his first appearance to support Jake Moon (Joel Beckett) and Danny Moon (Jake Maskall) from the devious crime boss Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs), who they have a feud with. Johnny soon begins appearing more often to sort out the Moon brothers' problems. After a while, he buys the nightclub "Angie's Den" (renaming it "Scarlet", after his deceased daughter) and the Ferreira family's flat, and moves in with his remaining daughter, Ruby. The rivalry between Johnny and Andy Hunter escalates, which leads to Johnny killing Andy by throwing him off a motorway bridge in February 2005, coincidentally on the same night of Den's murder. Andy's death is recorded as suicide. After Jake and Danny buy stolen alcohol to use in Scarlet, Johnny fires them. After Johnny steals Danny's idea for a Salsa night at the club, Danny goes to Johnny's house in a drunken state, and sets it on fire. Johnny hunts down Jake and Danny, drives them to the woods and prepares to shoot Danny. Jake pleads for mercy, and Johnny then lets both of them go and orders them to leave Albert Square and never return. Jake, however, does return on his own in September, and tells Johnny he is there for personal reasons, so Johnny lets him stay.
Johnny's former mistress, Tina, follows him to Walford, and the two recommence their relationship. When Ruby finds out she is upset, but eventually accepts Tina and they live for a time as a family. But Johnny soon tires of Tina, and cheats on her with Amy (Nina Fry), one of the barmaids working at Scarlet. When Ruby discovers this she tells Tina, who leaves Johnny and the Square. After putting in an offer for The Queen Victoria public house, he sparks a war between him and Peggy, whose offer he outbids. It is soon revealed that there is history between the two; her deceased husband Eric had worked for Johnny, many years earlier, and they shared an earlier connection with boxing. Generally, Johnny had mistreated Eric, and Peggy blames this for the reason Eric took it out on her. Peggy also has knowledge of Johnny's past crimes, such as cutting the fingers off the hand of a prostitute, and beating up a man for the slight of a birthday cake misspelling. She also reveals that he has extorted people, and even suspects him of being a murderer - which is later proven to be correct. Ruby walks into the pub as the story unravels. It is here that Ruby began to learn of her father's true past, including that he may be to blame for the death of her mother and sister.
Johnny's feud with the Mitchell family continues. In November 2005, Johnny notices that the CCTV system at Scarlet has recorded Chrissie Watts (Tracy-Ann Oberman) confiding in Jake that she had been the one who had murdered her husband Den, a crime for which Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) is being held by the police. In order to provoke the Mitchells, Johnny deliberately lets them know about the tape, leading to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) being involved in a stand-off with an armed Johnny. It is only diffused by Ruby, and the Mitchells leave with the tape. After some time Phil then pays Juley Smith (Joseph Kpobie) to have a relationship with Ruby and then dump her, much to Johnny's annoyance. After Johnny argues with Juley at a party, Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman) throws Johnny out. Johnny threatens Sharon with violence and urges her to leave Walford with Dennis by midnight of New Year's Eve, Johnny threatens to have Dennis killed if they refuse to leave, leading to Dennis brutally beating him up. A badly beaten Johnny calls an associate and orders him to kill Dennis. As Dennis walks across Albert Square, he is fatally stabbed by a hooded passer-by, later revealed to be Danny Moon. Johnny leaves Walford with Ruby soon after this on 19 January 2006.
On 28 March, as part of a week-long storyline entitled "Get Johnny Week", Phil and Grant head for the Essex countryside and end up at Johnny's mansion, where Phil is determined to gain revenge on Johnny for the murder of Dennis Rickman. However Johnny eventually captures the Mitchell brothers, and orders Danny to kill them. However, Danny's brother Jake arrives and shoots Danny, killing him instantly. Ruby discovers the true extent of Johnny's crimes, and contacts the police, urging her father to confess to his crimes. Johnny then hands himself in, and confesses everything about his life of crime.
In October, Johnny appears in prison when Jake contacts him telling him he is concerned about Ruby's new relationship with Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky). Johnny arranges for Sean to visit him, where Sean taunts him, and gives out hints that he is only dating Ruby for her money. After the visit, a furious Johnny attempts to phone Jake to order him to kill Sean, but suddenly suffers a heart attack before he can dial. Believing that Jake is on the phone, Johnny manages to whisper "Jake... kill him for me" before falling unconscious. Johnny's cellmate hears his last words and mistakingly believes that Jake is the one he wants be killed, leading to Jake being confronted by a stranger and presumedly killed while leaving Walford. Johnny is rushed to hospital where he dies.