|Portrayed by||Louisa Lytton|
18 March 2005
Kathleen Hutchison (2005)|
John Yorke (2018)
Ruby Allen is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Louisa Lytton. The character and casting were announced on 3 February 2005, and Ruby made her first appearance in episode 2908, broadcast on 18 March 2005. The character was written out in 2006, making her final appearance on 23 November 2006. Lytton has since expressed a disappointment in her exit, but stated she will always be grateful for the role. It was announced in July 2018 that Lytton would reprise her role during that year, with Ruby returning on 18 September 2018.
Ruby arrives in Walford, having run away from boarding school to look for her father, Johnny Allen (Billy Murray). On her arrival, she is befriended by Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), who grills Ruby about her family. After storming out of the café where they are talking, she is mugged by a vagrant in Bridge Street, who grabs hold of Ruby's coat and steals her mobile phone. She is then almost run over by Tina Stewart's (Charlotte Avery) taxi. Ruby feels that Johnny is pushing her away and reminds him that he only saved her by accident when their house caught fire. He was actually trying to save her sister, Scarlet. Scarlet and their mother, Stephanie, died in the fire in March 2004. Ruby is livid when Johnny introduces her to his mistress Tina, who turns out to be the woman who had almost run her over, but later accepts the relationship. Ruby overhears Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) telling people that Johnny is a violent, murdering bully. Ruby confronts him and he denies it. She knows he is lying and stays with Stacey initially and then Peggy at Pat Evans' (Pam St. Clement) house.
Ruby catches Johnny having an affair with Amy (Nina Fry) while he is engaged to Tina. She tells Tina and Tina leaves. Ruby eventually forgives her father and moves back in with him but later moves in with boyfriend, Juley Smith (Joseph Kpobie), to whom she lost her virginity. Johnny doesn't take kindly to this, as he has already warned Juley about Ruby. Ruby defends Juley and even turns against her dad for him, but she is devastated to learn that Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) has been paying Juley to sleep with her as part of his feud with Johnny. Ruby feels thankful when Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman) helps her things as she moves in with Juley, Ruby drops her things outside her house whilst walking to her flat. She is upset when Johnny is brutally beaten up on New Year's Eve during a clash with Dennis. On New Year's Day 2006, Ruby thinks that Phil attacked him, unless it wasn't him. When Dennis dies on New Year's Eve, Ruby is unaware that Johnny had him killed. She reacts by getting drunk and collapsing on the floor. Phil, who has broken into Johnny's house to have it out with him, takes her to hospital. Juley attempts to get Ruby back, and she eventually agrees to try again. However, she realises that she cannot trust him when she found herself questioning his phone calls.
Ruby discovers that Johnny was an alcoholic in "Get Johnny Week" and she leaves him to Phil. She and Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) have a heart to heart, and Grant discovers that Phil paid Juley to sleep with Ruby. Grant is furious and burst into Johnny's office where Phil is holding Johnny until he confesses to Dennis's murder. This gives Johnny a chance to get away. There is a big chase, which results in Danny Moon (Jake Maskall) handcuffing the brothers and marching them into the forest. He is about to kill Grant when Jake Moon (Joel Beckett) shoots him instead and kills him. Ruby persuades Johnny to hand himself in, and then returns with Jake to Walford. She is furious with him when he reveals he had killed Danny. Jake becomes obsessed with Ruby's welfare, but takes over the running over her club until she turns 18 in October. Ruby withdraws £2000 for a holiday but decides to return it and is mugged by Juley. Ruby then has a relationship with Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky), Stacey's brother, unaware that he is a womanizer who is only dating her for her fortune. Ruby finds out that her father had a heart attack after an argument with Sean in prison. On the day of Johnny's funeral, Ruby goes missing and Sean finds her, slumped behind the desk in the Scarlet office, with a bottle of vodka. Later, she speaks to Pat who made her think, by saying that her father was normally right about people, including Jake and Sean. Sean later proposes to her, stating he has genuine feelings for her, and she accepts. Later, Ruby learns from Stacey that Sean had kissed and slept with several other women while with her, and confronts him. She makes Sean vow to be true to her, but when she tells his mother, Jean Slater (Gillian Wright), that he is back in Walford, he angrily breaks up with her, throwing her father's ashes in her face. Ruby later leaves Walford in the back of a taxi, having fallen out with Stacey once again.
Stacey receives mysterious texts and upon following the instructions, she reunites with Ruby at E20.
Creation and development
Ruby and her casting were announced on 3 February 2005. Louisa Lytton was cast in the role. Speaking of her casting, Lytton commented "I'm nervous and excited all at the same time to be joining EastEnders. This is an amazing opportunity and I can't believe that I'm going to be working alongside some of my favourite actors and actresses." On 8 July 2006, Daniel Saney of Digital Spy reported Lytton would be written out of EastEnders following a mutual decision between the producers and the actress herself. It was decided that the character had no further purpose after the departure of her on-screen father, Johnny Allen (Billy Murray). A spokesperson said "The way the storylines pan out means there's not really much scope for Louisa's character any more." Lytton revealed that she had enjoyed her time at EastEnders, and called it a great experience. She added that she was looking forward to trying new things. Executive producer Kate Harwood stated that Lytton was popular with fans and her character would get a "dramatic" exit.
In December 2009, Lytton said she would have liked her EastEnders exit to have been more dramatic. Speaking to an FHM writer, Lytton explained that her exit, which saw Ruby leave in a black cab with her father's ashes, would have been better if it was something "massive" and "dramatic". In August 2011, Lytton said that she would love to return to the show. She stated that she would immediately cause trouble and come back as a "hard-faced bitch", as Ruby often let people walk over her and constantly cried. Lytton also said that she will always be grateful for the part of Ruby. Speaking to a writer from OK Magazine, Lytton admitted that the experience was brilliant and helped give an insight of what she wanted to do in her career. She added "But there is so much I still want to do at home, like theatre, and build myself up, because I have missed out on things like drama schools. It's funny because when I was there they thought I was a huge star back in Britain!."
Lytton's return to the series was announced on 18 July 2018, twelve years after her departure. Lytton returns to filming in Summer 2018 and Ruby will return later in the year. While most of Ruby's return details were embargoed, it was confirmed that Ruby would reconcile with Stacey upon her return. John Yorke, the show's executive consultant, approached Lytton with a return, which surprised her, although she quickly accepted the offer. Lytton expressed her excitement to reprise the role and explore the character. She commented, "We last saw her twelve years ago as a young girl and now she is returning as a woman with scope for major change and some brilliantly challenging storylines." Yorke expressed his delight at Ruby's return and described the character as "much more mature and confident".
Further details about Ruby's reintroduction were released on 11 September. It was revealed that Ruby would anonymously contact Stacey and arrange to meet her at the E20 nightclub, leaving Stacey stunned when she realises that she is meeting Ruby. Lytton thought that while it appears that she is visiting a friend as she passes Walford, Ruby is actually "quite lonely". She commented, "I think it's a thing of going back to what she knows and recreating that friendship with her old friend." Stacey wants to reestablish a friendship with Ruby and prepares for their night out. Lytton hoped that her and Turner's bond came across well on screen and confirmed that they would recommence the friendship started in her first stint. She added that it was "surreal" to reprise the role and described the character as "older and more confident" following her reintroduction. Ruby returns in episode 5779, first broadcast on 18 September.
Yorke confirmed that when Ruby returns, she would be involved in one of the show's "biggest storylines". Two months later, it was announced that Ruby would be raped as part of a sexual consent storyline. The plot begins when Ruby and Stacey attend a party together following her return. The following day, Ruby confides in Stacey that she has been raped, although the perpetrator has an alternative view of the night. Duncan Lindsay of the Metro confirmed that the perpetrator would not be a regular character. It was reported that the attack would not be shown, but the show's research team worked with charity Rape Crisis England and Wales to accurately portray the storyline. Yorke said that the story would "challenge the stereotyping and myths that can surround sexual violence and consent". He described the plot as challenging and emotional and added, "we hope that by EastEnders tackling this issue we can raise awareness about an incredibly important issue." Lytton was aware of the responsibility attached to the storyline and felt proud to portray the issue. She hoped to "end the many misconceptions surrounding sexual violence." Yvonne Traynor, the CEO of Rape Crisis South London, commented, "EastEnders have taken this responsibility very seriously and ensured that their portrayal of sexual violence has been thoroughly researched and is based on realism which is, sadly, so prevalent in our country today."
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- Dainty, Sophie (11 September 2018). "EastEnders reveals Ruby Allen's return story as she contacts Stacey next week". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
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- Dainty, Sophie (13 September 2018). "EastEnders confirms rape story for Ruby Allen after she returns to Walford". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Lindsay, Duncan [@DuncanLindsay] (13 September 2018). "It's not a character we have met yet, no" (Tweet). Retrieved 13 September 2018 – via Twitter.