Bianca Jackson is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders played by Patsy Palmer. The character was introduced by executive producer Leonard Lewis and appeared from 1993 to 1999, when Palmer opted to leave. In 2002 executive producer John Yorke brought the character back for a special spin-off show, she returned to EastEnders as a full-time character in April 2008, reintroduced by executive producer Diederick Santer. Palmer took maternity leave in 2010, Bianca left the series on 21 January 2011; the character returned for a four-month guest stint on 15 December 2011 and left again from April 2012 to November 2012. Palmer quit EastEnders in 2014, Bianca departed on 12 September 2014. During her first run on the show during the 1990s, she was known for her bizarre sense of style, her sharp tongue, fiery temper and for screaming "Rickaaaaaaay!" at her husband. Bianca has been featured in storylines including affairs, bereavements, family problems, spina bifida and abortion, two problematic marriages to Ricky Butcher, her troubled and dysfunctional reconciliation with her estranged biological father David Wicks, the revelation of her 15-year-old ward Whitney Dean being sexually abused by her fiancé Tony King and his subsequent arrest for paedophilia, her friendship with Tiffany Mitchell and relationship with Terry Spraggan.
Bianca arrives with her family, mother Carol Jackson, Carol's partner Alan Jackson, her half-siblings Robbie Jackson, Sonia Jackson and Billie Jackson. She works at her uncle Ian Beale's fish'n' chip shop before becoming the market assistant of Sanjay Kapoor, she runs her own clothing stall on Bridge Street market. Bianca has a short relationship with an older man, Richard Cole, but he swiftly dumps her when he grows bored and Bianca gets revenge by harassing him with pranks and stealing his credit card. David Wicks enjoys mutual flirtation with Bianca until Carol informs David that Bianca is his daughter. Horrified, David promptly keeps his distance, Bianca remains unaware of their biological relationship. Bianca enters into a relationship with Ricky Butcher and they move into a bedsit together. Bianca spends much time clubbing with her childhood friend Tiffany Raymond and Ricky starts an affair with Bianca's other childhood friend Natalie Price; when Bianca discovers the affair, she drives Natalie from Walford.
One night an intoxicated Bianca is nearly assaulted. She is rescued by David and when she tries to kiss him, he confesses that he is her father. Bianca is left humiliated, she feels hostile and resentful over David's absence for the majority of her life. Bianca has a change of heart and comes to accept David as her father, becoming keen to bond with him; the relationship is further complicated, when during July 1995 David confides in the Samaritans charity that he still feels sexually attracted to Bianca despite the knowledge that he is her biological father. A case of GSA, this was one of EastEnders' most controversial and daring storylines at this point in the show's history. There is further tension when Bianca makes David uncomfortable by reconciling with and dating his stepbrother Ricky again. Bianca is confused by David's unexplained strange and hostile behaviour. David never admits to Bianca the truth behind his initial feelings towards her, but she and David bond as a father and daughter.
Ricky and Bianca reunite and get engaged but she has sex with Lenny Wallace, but soon regrets it when she fears she is pregnant by him. It's a false alarm, she becomes pregnant. Distraught, Bianca has an abortion. Ricky learns of her infidelity with Lenny after a STD scare. Ricky considers ending their marriage, but Bianca convinces him to give her another chance and she becomes pregnant again, she gives birth to baby Liam on Christmas Day in The Queen Vic, helped by her enemy Grant Mitchell --her best friend Tiffany's volatile husband. Bianca's mother Carol returns to Albert Square with her new fiancé Dan Sullivan, unaware that Bianca had a past relationship with him when she was underage. Bianca and Dan rekindle their affair behind their partners' backs until Carol discovers she is pregnant by Dan. Bianca and Ricky plan to move to Manchester. After finding an old photo of Bianca and Dan together, Carol demands to know their history. Dan tells Carol they had a romance years ago and swears on his unborn child's life that it's all over, but Bianca confesses when questioned and is disowned by Carol.
Bianca leaves for Manchester after confessing to Ricky. In the two-part special episode, "Ricky & Bianca", Ricky visits Bianca in Manchester in 2002, to discuss Liam. Bianca is working in a nightclub. Struggling to support Liam, Bianca gets caught up in a plan to steal £50,000 from her drug-dealing boss, Vince. Ricky persuades her to return the money but Vince catches them and forces them to become his drug couriers, he sets them up, the dealers turn violent, Bianca and Ricky narrowly escape when armed police raid the establishment. Fleeing and Bianca spend the night together in a hotel room and decide to reunite. Ricky breaks the
A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers. BBC Radio's The Archers, first broadcast in 1950, is the world's longest-running radio soap opera; the first serial considered to be a "soap opera" was Painted Dreams, which debuted on October 20, 1930 on Chicago radio station WGN. Early radio series such as Painted Dreams were broadcast in weekday daytime slots five days a week. Most of the listeners would be housewives. Thus, the shows were consumed by a predominantly female audience; the first nationally broadcast radio soap opera was Clara, Lu, Em, which aired on the NBC Blue Network at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time on January 27, 1931. A crucial element that defines the soap opera is the open-ended serial nature of the narrative, with stories spanning several episodes. One of the defining features that makes a television program a soap opera, according to Albert Moran, is "that form of television that works with a continuous open narrative.
Each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode". In 2012, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Lloyd wrote of daily dramas, "Although melodramatically eventful, soap operas such as this have a luxury of space that makes them seem more naturalistic. You spend more time with the minor characters. An individual episode of a soap opera will switch between several different concurrent narrative threads that may at times interconnect and affect one another or may run independent to each other; each episode may feature some of the show's current storylines, but not always all of them. In daytime serials and those that are broadcast each weekday, there is some rotation of both storyline and actors so any given storyline or actor will appear in some but not all of a week's worth of episodes. Soap operas bring all the current storylines to a conclusion at the same time; when one storyline ends, there are several other story threads at differing stages of development.
Soap opera episodes end on some sort of cliffhanger, the season finale ends in the same way, only to be resolved when the show returns for the start of a new yearly broadcast. Evening soap operas and those that air at a rate of one episode per week are more to feature the entire cast in each episode, to represent all current storylines in each episode. Evening soap operas and serials that run for only part of the year tend to bring things to a dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger. In 1976, Time magazine described American daytime television as "TV's richest market," noting the loyalty of the soap opera fan base and the expansion of several half-hour series into hour-long broadcasts in order to maximize ad revenues; the article explained that at that time, many prime time series lost money, while daytime serials earned profits several times more than their production costs. The issue's cover notably featured its first daytime soap stars, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes of Days of Our Lives, a married couple whose onscreen and real-life romance was covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press at large.
The main characteristics that define soap operas are "an emphasis on family life, personal relationships, sexual dramas and moral conflicts. Fitting in with these characteristics, most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place, or focus on a large extended family; the storylines follow personal relationships of these characters. "Soap narratives, like those of film melodramas, are marked by what Steve Neale has described as'chance happenings, missed meetings, sudden conversions, last-minute rescues and revelations, deus ex machina endings.'" These elements may be found from EastEnders to Dallas. Due to the prominence of English-language television, most soap-operas are English. However, several South African soap operas started incorporating a multi-language format, the most prominent being 7de Laan, which incorporates Afrikaans, English and several other Bantu languages which make up the 11 Official Languages of South Africa. In many soap operas, in particular daytime serials in the US, the characters are attractive, seductive and wealthy.
Soap operas from the United Kingdom and Australia tend to focus on more everyday characters and situations, are set in working class environments. Many of the soaps produced in those two countries explore social realist storylines such as family discord, marriage breakdown or financial problems. Both UK and Australian soap operas feature comedic elements affectionate comic stereotypes such as the gossip or the grumpy old man, presented as a comic foil to the emotional turmoil that surrounds them; this diverges from US soap operas. UK soap operas make a claim to presenting "reality
Martin John Kemp is an English actor, director and occasional television presenter, best known as the bassist in the new wave band Spandau Ballet and for his role as Steve Owen in EastEnders. He is the younger brother of Gary Kemp, a member of Spandau Ballet and an actor. Martin Kemp finished third in the summer series of Celebrity Big Brother 2012. In 2017, Kemp appeared as a judge on the BBC show. Kemp was born to parents Frank and Eileen Kemp at their house in Islington, north London, attended Rotherfield Junior School. At the age of 7 he began to attend the Anna Scher Children's Theatre drama club with his brother Gary, appeared in many TV shows, including Jackanory, The Tomorrow People and Dixon of Dock Green. In his last year with Anna Scher, he won a role in The Glittering Prizes, appearing alongside Tom Conti and Nigel Havers. Kemp attended Dame Alice Owen's Secondary school, Islington. Along with other famous ex-pupils, a large photo of him adorns a wall of fame at the school. After leaving school at 16, he began an apprenticeship in a print factory, but soon became disenchanted.
Kemp's life changed when Steve Dagger, the manager of his brother Gary's band the Gentry, suggested he should replace the band's bass player. Kemp learned to play bass in three months and performed for the first time with the Gentry at a college party; the band was renamed “Spandau Ballet" and Kemp left his printing job to concentrate on the band full-time. Spandau Ballet went on to have a great deal of success in the New Romantic Era, with four of their albums reaching the UK album chart top ten. True gave the band their first UK number one album and single with the album's title track. Kemp performed with the band on the popular 1984 famine relief project song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Because of a dispute over royalties, the band split up in the early 1990s. Spandau Ballet announced they had reformed at a press conference on HMS Belfast on 25 March 2009; the band announced a world tour, beginning with dates in the UK and Ireland in October 2009. Kemp and his brother Gary returned to acting in 1990, both of them appearing in the British film The Krays, in which they played the notorious gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray.
Their performances received a great deal of critical acclaim. After The Krays, Martin Kemp moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and made appearances in television series such as The Outer Limits and Highlander: The Series, he appeared in several Hollywood films such as Waxwork II: Lost in Time and Embrace of the Vampire. In 1995 Kemp moved back to the United Kingdom and took a break from acting for a short while, recovering from removal of two benign brain tumours, he resumed his acting career in 1998 when he made guest appearance in the ITV police drama series The Bill. He went on to become popular for his role as villain Steve Owen in the BBC's top soap opera, EastEnders from December 1998, his character was involved in some of the soap's highest rated storylines such as the Saskia Duncan murder and "Who Shot Phil?". By the time he left the series in 2002, he was one of the best-known faces on British television. Kemp won three TV Quick Awards for Best Soap Actor, a National Television Award for Most Popular Actor and five British Soap Awards for his work on EastEnders.
Kemp signed a contract with ITV in 2002. These included The Brides in the Bath, in which he played real-life murderer, George Smith, Can't Buy Me Love opposite fellow EastEnders star Michelle Collins, based on a true story about a man who conned his wife and friends into believing he had won the lottery, he starred in the short-lived crime drama series Family in 2003. From 2004–07, he was the face of furniture chain ScS, he starred in a low-budget British film titled Back in Business which had a limited release in few theatres in February 2007 and one month was released on DVD. He founded his own production company and in March 2008 directed a low-budget 20-minute short film entitled Karma Magnet, which starred his brother Gary, featured Martin's wife and son and Roman; this was released only online. Kemp appeared on a celebrity special of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire in January 2008 with his brother Gary, to raise awareness of and funds for the Encephalitis Society. Along with his son, Kemp featured in one edition of a factual television series for Five, Dangerous Adventures For Boys, based on the best-selling book written by Conn and Hal Iggulden, The Dangerous Book for Boys.
In 2008, he appeared on the Discovery Channel television programme Chop Shop where the cast built him a gangster car. He hosted TV's 50 Hardest Men for Sky1 in July 2008 and guest starred as Mr. Burley in BBC drama series, Waterloo Road; the year 2011 saw him starring as "Dr. Lawrence" in Jack Falls. In November 2011, Kemp appeared as a contestant on the second series of ITV's 71 Degrees North, but quit after three days. Kemp's first feature film as director, was released in 2011. Kemp was announced as the thirteenth celebrity to participate in the summer series of Celebrity Big Brother 2012. Kemp appeared in the final, placed third on 7 September 2012. From February to April 2016, Kemp appeared as The Childcatcher in the UK and Ireland tour of the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, alongside Jason Manford, Phil Jupitus and Michelle Collins. Kemp hosted the first series of "Martin Kemp's Murder Files" on the UK TV channel Quest, first aired in November 2016; the show provided detailed accounts of crimes and a step-by-step forensic a
Andy Hunter (EastEnders)
Andy Hunter is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Michael Higgs. He first appeared in the episode broadcast in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2003; the character was axed in November 2004 and killed off in the episode shown on 18 February 2005. Andy is an employee of'The Firm', of which he takes control after the murder of Jack Dalton by Dennis Rickman, he had been married and divorced to a woman named Bev. He is attracted to Kat Slater, asks her out on a date in The Queen Victoria pub, but she harshly turns him down; however he keeps trying and she accepts his advances. He proposes to her while they are in New York and she accepts. On their wedding day, Alfie Moon runs into the church and says he loves her and Kat leaves Andy for Alfie, thus making Andy and Alfie enemies; however Andy gets his revenge. Andy blackmails Kat to have sex with him behind Alfie's back, in order to pay off the money and if she refuses, he says he will have Alfie killed. Alfie manages to provide the money, but only after Kat has slept with Andy.
When they are in bed together, Andy secretly films everything with a hidden video camera he sets up, gives the tape to Alfie. Alfie watches the tape out of curiosity and is heartbroken at what he sees, confronts Kat about it, nearly ending their relationship. Andy hopes for them to split but he doesn't succeed as Alfie and Kat are still going strong, Alfie gets his revenge by giving Andy a tape thinking that it is the same tape that Andy sent him. However, as Andy starts to watch it, he is taken aback as he discovers it is a different tape of Alfie and Kat's wedding. After that, Andy still bullies Alfie. Andy starts having a relationship with Sam Mitchell, he marries her. However, when Den Watts and Marcus Christie trick Sam into selling the pub to Den, signing her house over to Andy, Andy leaves her, taking Sam for every penny she has and leaving her homeless. In 2004, Paul Trueman reports Andy to the police for his criminal activities. Andy takes his revenge on Paul by hiring a hitman from The Firm to kill him.
Paul is killed in December 2004. Paul's father, Patrick Trueman begins searching for him and identifies his body when it is recovered. Patrick soon discovers. Andy tells his employee Pat Evans that he had hired a hitman to kill Paul and threatens to kill her if she says anything. Patrick tells the police that Andy is involved but there is no evidence against him. Patrick swears revenge against him. Andy's luck runs out when he tries to con Johnny Allen out of £750,000. Johnny pushes him off a motorway footbridge; the police decide that it was a suicide. He dies on the same night. Sam is asked to attend Andy's will reading, expecting to get all of his money and assets. However, Andy leaves the house to Pat Evans and the bookmakers to Dennis, leaving Sam with just his wedding ring, "so she can sell it, get her roots done and still be the dumbest blonde I knew." 13 months after his death, Johnny confesses to Andy's murder to the police in March 2006, along with ordering the murder of Dennis. Higgs auditioned for the role in April 2003 and won the part of EastEnders' new "bad guy", who made his first appearance in July that year as a member of the gangster organisation known as The Firm.
Higgs stated that he was happy to play a villain: "They say that the devil has the best tunes, but the main thing is that the character's fully-rounded. With the so-called good guys and bad guys, they're not just bad. There's a dynamic, that's always the interesting thing to find - where's the weakness? You flesh it out and make them an interesting person."In the hierarchy of the Firm, Andy's character was a subordinate to Jack Dalton, but was appointed leader of the organisation for a brief time following Dalton's murder. Higgs described the differences between Andy and Dalton's leadership styles: "He's new blood, but he has a different sensibility about how the gang operates. Jack Dalton was quite old school. If you upset him you'd get killed. I think Andy plays more of a psychological game - information is power for him."Discussing Andy's relationship with Kat Slater, Higgs said, "I think you do see a soft side of him with Kat. He's in love with her, which makes him vulnerable. He's been married before.
You get the sense that there's some hurt there, some pain that's stopped him becoming involved with other women he likes the spirit of her. She's no-nonsense, in-your-face and larger than life. Andy likes. Kat reminds Andy of his mum, with feistiness, he likes the fact that she's a family girl - that's what he wants." On 18 November 2004 it was announced that actor Michael Higgs had been axed from his role as Andy Hunter and that his last scenes would be screened in Easter 2005. Higgs' axing from the role came following the decisions to axe fellow cast members Jill Halfpenny and Leslie Grantham. A BBC spokesperson stated "We thank Michael for all his hard work." It was speculated that the decision to have Higgs written out of the show was to make way for the introduction of Billy Murray as Johnny Allen, whom critics stated made Andy "look like small fry". In an interview on Today with Des and M
Ben Mitchell (EastEnders)
Ben Mitchell is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by six different actors since his on-screen birth on 21 March 1996. Matthew Silver appeared as an infant Ben between 1996 and 1998, Morgan Whittle played him as a toddler between 1999 and 2001. After a five-year absence from the series, Charlie Jones assumed the role of Ben in 2006; the character was recast in 2010 to Joshua Pascoe. Ben's return was announced in May 2014 with actor Harry Reid in the role. Reid was written out of the series in 2017 and Ben departed on 12 January 2018; the character was reintroduced in 2019 with the role recast to Max Bowden. Ben's storylines include a feud between the show's Beale families for his custody; as played by Jones, Ben received poor reviews from critics. Grace Dent of The Guardian wrote several negative opinion pieces on the character, contacted the BBC with a list of suggestions for humorous storylines in which he could be killed off. However, the storyline where Ben was abused by Stella won "Best Storyline" at the 2007 Inside Soap Awards, was nominated for the "Best Soap Storyline" accolade at the TV Quick and TV Choice Awards.
In 2012, Pascoe lost out to Andrew Lancel. Lisa O'Connell writing for The Guardian, was complimentary of Ben's protracted coming out storyline, which she called "a perfect foundation for years of dramatic conflict". Ben is born to Kathy Mitchell and Phil Mitchell in March 1996. Ben becomes ill and is rushed to hospital, where he is diagnosed with meningitis and he is left deaf in one ear; as Kathy gives Ben all her affection, Phil turns to alcohol and has an affair with Lorna Cartwright, resulting in the breakdown of their marriage. In 1998, Kathy takes Ben with her, he accompanies her on two return visits in 1999 before returning with her to South Africa in early 2000. In 2001, Kathy marries a man named Gavin Sullivan; the same year, Ben returns to stay with Phil who takes him back to South Africa. In 2006, the residents hear that Kathy and Gavin have been killed in a car accident, so Ben returns to England to live with his half-brother, Ian Beale, he moves in with Phil, after Phil wins a long custody battle.
Ben dislikes Phil's new girlfriend Stella Crawford, who in turn feels that Ben is intruding on their relationship. She abuses Ben physically and psychologically, from burning him with a hot spoon attempting to spoil his friendship with Abi Branning when she discovers this, to threatening to kill Phil if Ben tells anyone about her actions. Phil and Stella become engaged. On their wedding day in July 2007, Ben admits. Phil, a recovering alcoholic, begins drinking again in the aftermath, but resumes a life of sobriety for Ben's sake. Unbeknown to Phil, Ben develops an interest in dancing, he secretly takes classes, passing a dance exam, is able to gain Phil's approval. In March 2010, Phil's daughter Louise Mitchell comes to stay with the Mitchell family, she fakes an entry which suggests he is gay. In retaliation, Ben burns Louise's hand the same way Stella burnt his, he locks Louise in a summerhouse for a day in May 2010 pretends to find her to earn approval from his father. Louise blames Jordan Johnson, an acquaintance of Ben's, but when Phil sees burn marks on Louise's arm, she reveals that Ben is to blame.
Phil worries Ben is copying Stella, punches him when he catches Ben about to burn Louise again. Questioned as to why he hurt Louise, Ben claims. Phil advises Ben to fight back. Phil warns him against admitting to the attack. After hearing from Crown Court Ben could spend time in juvenile detention, Phil plans to send him to live with his brother Grant Mitchell abroad, but Ben refuses thanks to his grandmother, Peggy Mitchell, making him change his mind, after Phil's girlfriend Shirley Carter overhears Phil discussing the plans to Ben and receives an eight-month sentence as a result. In July 2010, Phil indeed blames Peggy for Ben's sentencing. Ben tells Peggy and Phil he is coping despite being bullied by Cal Childs, when the Mitchell family discovers this Ben asks them not to visit him. Ben, is released, arrives home to discover Jay Brown, the foster child of Phil's relative Billy, has usurped his place in Phil's affections. Ben is jealous of Jay in
Sonia Fowler is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera, EastEnders, played by Natalie Cassidy. Her first appearance was on 2 December 1993 and she departed on 2 February 2007, she returned in 2010 along with other members of the Jackson family, re-appeared in the soap from 8 to 18 February 2010 and again in January 2011. Sonia returned as a permanent character on 14 January 2014, as part of a storyline that saw her mother Carol develop breast cancer. Sonia is the first character in soap opera history to tackle the issue of the BRCA gene. Cassidy took maternity leave in 2016 and Sonia left on 20 September 2016 for her dream job in Kettering. Cassidy made two guest stints during her maternity leave, on 25 December 2016 via webcam and for a three episode arc from 14 to 18 April 2017, she returned full-time on 27 June 2017. Sonia and her family move to Albert Square, she is the third of Carol Jackson's four children and the result of her mother's one-night stand with Terry Cant, whom Sonia never knew.
During her childhood, she becomes close friends with Clare Tyler and the two are inseparable until Clare falls in with the wrong crowd at school and starts bullying Sonia but they reconcile before Clare leaves in 1998. Sonia starts dating Jamie Mitchell. Not knowing she is pregnant, Sonia gives birth to Martin's daughter. Baby Chloe is subsequently given up for adoption, despite protests from Martin's mother Pauline Fowler. However, Sonia becomes obsessed with her daughter and abducts her, locking herself in her house with the baby. Despite pleas from Rebecca's adoptive parents, it is Sonia's step-grandmother, Dot Cotton, that persuades Sonia to return the baby. Sonia and Jamie get engaged, but due to Jamie's fling with Zoe Slater and constant rowing, the relationship ends. Sonia dates Gus Smith, who plans to propose, but he is devastated when Sonia reconciles with Jamie after he is brutally assaulted by Phil Mitchell. Sonia helps him, nursing him through his injuries and they decide to marry but their happiness is short-lived as Martin accidentally hits Jamie with his vehicle.
Sonia is with Jamie when he dies. Sonia forgives Martin and as they grow closer, they fall in love and elope. Sonia begins nursing training and she and Martin live with Pauline but struggle to cope with her interference. Martin gets unwittingly involved with Sarah Cairns, who tries to ruin his marriage; this culminates in Sarah holding Sonia and Martin hostage and stabbing Martin, until Sonia knocks her unconscious. Sonia and Martin face further upset when they discover that their daughter's adoptive parents have died in a car crash, they visit Rebecca's guardian, Margaret Wilson, hiding their true identity but when Margaret realises who they are, she asks them to leave. Pauline interferes and visits Rebecca with Martin. Sonia is furious when she learns this and animosity in the Fowlers' home puts a strain on Martin and Sonia's relationship so she spends her time with a colleague, Naomi Julien. Martin is heartbroken when his marriage ends and the situation is complicated further by Rebecca, who, on Margaret's request, is spending more time at the Fowlers'.
Margaret decides to make the Fowlers' Rebecca's legal guardians but does not include Sonia when she finds out about her lesbian fling. Margaret dies and Martin takes custody of Rebecca and Pauline tries to stop Sonia having any contact with Rebecca; this makes Sonia preoccupied with Rebecca. Feeling neglected, Naomi ends their relationship. Sonia becomes depressed and begins to neglect her work and drink alcohol, until Gus helps her straighten her life out. Sonia and Gus begin a second romance. Sonia and Martin receive their divorce papers. However, both regret getting divorced and they reconcile. Pauline finds out and tells Martin that she is dying from a brain tumour to stop him moving in with Sonia. Just as Pauline intends, Martin ends his relationship with Sonia in order to care for her, but when the truth comes out, a furious Martin moves out anyway. Pauline responds with ire. Sonia tries to build bridges with Pauline but an argument ends with Sonia slapping Pauline; when Pauline is found dead that day, Sonia fears that she caused her death.
She discovers that Rebecca witnessed the slap and tries to silence her daughter, but Rebecca tells Dot at Pauline's funeral. Appalled, Martin refuses Sonia access to Rebecca. Fearing imprisonment Sonia goes on the run. Martin is frantic, but days Sonia returns and she is arrested on a murder charge. Sonia decides to leave Walford for Manchester. After making peace with Martin, she takes a taxi and is about to leave Walford when she sees Martin and Rebecca obstructing the road; the Fowlers leave as a family. They spend time touring the USA before settling in Manchester. Bianca invites Sonia to her wedding to Ricky and Sonia attends alone, she rejects a phone call from Martin and gets drunk. The following day, Sonia walks in on Dot slapping her granddaughter Dotty Cotton across the legs, leading to Dot's arrest, though she is rele
Kathy Beale is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Gillian Taylforth. Portrayed as "an attractive, bright and moral woman", Kathy is one of the serial's original characters, appearing in the first episode of EastEnders on 19 February 1985. Taylforth was dismissed for the role of Kathy due to her young age, but was reconsidered when she impressed show bosses. Kathy remained in a prominent role throughout her original stint on the serial, featuring in high-profiled storylines involving her rape at the hands of James Willmott-Brown and the discovery of a long-lost daughter, Donna Ludlow, following her rape as a teenager. In 1993, the character developed a romance with Phil Mitchell and they had a son, Ben Mitchell, who caused Kathy turmoil when he contracted a rare form of meningitis; the relationship between alcohol abuse and domestic violence was explored through Kathy and Phil in 1997, which led to their separation. Taylforth opted to leave the serial in 1997 and Kathy departed on 10 April 1998 after deciding to move to South Africa with Ben.
The character returned for two separate guest stints in 1999, making her departure on 6 January 2000. Despite reports that Taylforth would be returning to the serial, Kathy was killed off-screen in a road collision in 2006 to facilitate Ben's reintroduction to the serial. Taylforth reprised the role for a charity special in 2014. In the episode broadcast on 19 February 2015, the character made a surprise return to the serial, despite being presumed dead, it was confirmed that the character would be making a permanent return, after a guest appearance on 19 May 2015, Kathy returned on 17 August 2015. Taylforth was hesitant about her reintroduction storyline, inspired by the John Darwin disappearance. Kathy's husband, Gavin Sullivan, was introduced following her return and their abusive marriage was explored; the character had an affair with Buster Briggs. Kathy and her husband Pete Beale are financially stable. Kathy works as a barmaid in The Queen Victoria pub with her best friend, Angie Watts, whilst helping Pete on their fruit and veg stall.
Kathy feels she has put her troubled past behind her but Nick Cotton breaks into Dr Harold Legg's surgery and reads Kathy's medical records. He discovers that she gave a child, Donna Ludlow, the product of rape when Kathy was 14, up for adoption. Nick uses this to blackmail her, which forces her to tell Pete her secret and he reacts badly, she starts a knitting business. Mehmet Osman asks Kathy to knit a batch of jumpers for him. Kathy finds out from Ali Osman that she was conned when Mehmet disappears with the jumpers and money. Kathy learns that Donna, now an adult, wants to meet her but she refuses. Undeterred, Donna moves to Walford. To get closer to Kathy, Donna calls her workplace at The Samaritans and grows close to Kathy's son Ian Beale, who becomes attracted to his half-sister; when Kathy tells Donna to stay away from Ian, Donna reveals. Donna thinks Kathy will be pleased but Kathy is horrified and demands she leave Walford. Donna causes various problems for Kathy. Kathy tells Donna that she is the product of rape.
Donna spends the rest of the year in a downward spiral. James Willmott-Brown employs Kathy at The Dagmar wine bar, angering Pete, the rift worsens when it becomes clear that James is romantically interested in Kathy. After work, James invites Kathy upstairs to his flat, but when he attempts to seduce her, Kathy tries to leave. James refuses to let her leave and his attempted seduction becomes rape. James is formally charged with rape. In the aftermath, Kathy becomes depressed and isolated from Pete, who never believes she is blameless so Kathy leaves him. James tries bribing Kathy to withdraw her statement. Kathy tells the police so a listening DI tapes the conversation, she is forced to relive the rape for the trial, where a skillful barrister presents a good case for James. For a time it seems James could be acquitted, but to Kathy's relief, he is convicted and imprisoned for three years. During this time, Kathy finds unexpected support from Pete's first wife, whom she had despised and they become close friends.
Donna, whom Kathy still refuses to accept, sinks into depression and overdoses on heroin and dies, leaving Kathy wrestling with guilt. Kathy begins a relationship with market trader Laurie Bates, their relationship manages to survive the interference of Julie Cooper, who tries but fails to claim Laurie for herself. However, when Laurie begins buying Kathy extravagant clothing and jewellery, she questions his motives, thinking he's trying to make her look like his late wife, loses interest. Laurie takes her rejection badly and some tactless comments regarding her sexual abstinence makes Kathy believe he has deceived her of his true nature, she ends the relationship. In the year, Kathy begins dating Eddie Royle, he patiently pursues her, but after a few dates, she becomes hesitant and after she sees him kissing Eibhlin O'Donnell - his former girlfriend visiting from Ireland - their lukewarm romance ends. Kathy persuades The Samaritans to take her back as a volunteer, on the condition she is shadowed following her previous stint.
Disa O'Brien phones The Samaritans and t