|Portrayed by||Maisie Smith|
|Duration||2008–2014, 2016, 2018–|
1 April 2008
|Last Tango in Walford (2010)|
|Other names||Tiffany Butcher|
Tiffany Butcher (also Dean) is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Maisie Smith. Tiffany is the daughter of established characters Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) and Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen), though originally she was believed to be Bianca's daughter with a man named Nathan Dean. Tiffany's surname was changed in the show's credits from Dean to Butcher, which has also been referenced in the show. Tiffany departed, alongside her half-brother Morgan Butcher (Devon Higgs) and their mother Bianca, in September 2014. Tiffany made an unannounced return on 3 November 2016 when she and Morgan returned for Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) and Lee Carter's (Danny-Boy Hatchard) wedding. On 23 November 2017, it was announced that Smith would be reprising her role as Tiffany full-time and she returned on 8 January 2018.
Tiffany is the product of a one-night stand between Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) and Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer), which was shown on their spin-off show Ricky & Bianca, set in Manchester in 2002. Shortly after leaving their son Liam (James Forde) with Ricky, Bianca began a relationship with a trucker named Nathan Dean, before discovering she was pregnant. Nathan died in a road accident when Bianca was heavily pregnant and she took on the responsibility of Nathan's daughter Whitney. She gave birth to Tiffany, whom she named after her deceased best friend Tiffany Mitchell (Martine McCutcheon), and raised her as Nathan's daughter and Whitney's half-sister, although she still remained uncertain about Tiffany's true paternity. Tiffany grew up believing Nathan was her father.
Tiffany, her mother and siblings Whitney, Liam Butcher (James Forde) and Morgan are evicted by their landlord. After the family sleep at a bus shelter and Bianca assaults a police officer, Tiffany and her siblings spend a week in care, but the family later move to Walford, where they move in with her great-grandmother Pat Evans (Pam St. Clement). Tiffany causes havoc by stealing a top from Stacey Slater's (Lacey Turner) stall for Whitney to wear for a family party and defacing the pavement outside Zainab Masood's (Nina Wadia) house before ruining her primroses by pouring soapy water over them. As a result, Tiffany unwittingly instigates feuds between her mother, Stacey and Zainab. However, she takes to her mother's cousins Bradley (Charlie Clements) and Abi (Lorna Fitzgerald), sharing a common interest in animals.
Tiffany's love of animals leads to Whitney begging Vinnie Monks (Bobby Davro) to give them Wellard, formerly the Jackson family dog that had been sold to Vinnie after his previous owner Gus Smith (Mohammed George) left Walford. Vinnie gives Tiffany Wellard on the condition that Whitney and Liam wash his car every day until he says otherwise. However, tragedy strikes when Wellard has to be euthanised. Tiffany is devastated, and after overhearing a phone conversation, she is convinced that her great-uncle Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) is behind Wellard's demise. However a post-mortem leads to the discovery that Bianca was responsible for Wellard's death because she gave him chocolate. Tiffany eventually forgives her mother after Bianca convinces Pat to give them her dog Terrence. However Tiffany is once again left devastated when her aunt Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) spitefully reclaims Terrence, who was originally her dog.
Tiffany takes to her mother's ex-husband Ricky Butcher, who is also living at Pat's house. Ricky grows fond of Tiffany and, on seeing how close they are becoming, Bianca tries to write Ricky a letter explaining that he could be Tiffany's father, which gets stuck to a picture that Tiffany has drawn to give to Ricky. When Ricky reads the letter he asks for a DNA test and a week later they discover that Tiffany is his daughter. They decide not to tell the family so as not to upset Whitney, who now has no biological family left.
After Tiffany is left in Janine's care, Janine ropes her into one of her schemes when a rich single father wants to buy her sports car. Janine pretends that Tiffany is her daughter and arranges a play-date, only for Bianca to see Tiffany get into the car alone with the stranger. Ricky is furious with Janine and when she questions his loyalty towards Bianca and her children, he tells her the truth. Janine is sworn to secrecy, and begins to bond with her niece. Janine enters Tiffany in a children's talent contest, telling her to think of Wellard's death to make herself cry and gain sympathy from the judges. Tiffany hears Ricky singing The Prodigy's "Firestarter" and he teaches her the song, which she performs in the contests, which she goes on to win.
Tiffany is bullied by her cousin Bobby Beale (Alex Francis). Whitney advises her to bully him back, but this only makes things worse. Whitney shouts at Ricky and Bianca for not protecting her and tells Ricky that Tiffany is her sister. This makes Ricky angry and he is fed up of lying about Tiffany's true paternity. He tells Bianca that once Tony King's (Chris Coghill) trial is over, he will come clean about Tiffany's paternity. When Tiffany breaks Whitney's phone and shouts at her, Ricky and Whitney get into an argument. Whitney tells Ricky to leave her and Tiffany alone as she is nothing to do with him, but he reveals that Tiffany is his daughter. Whitney begins to ignore Tiffany so Bianca and Ricky tell her the truth and she is happy. After Whitney gives evidence at Tony's trial, she says she is still Whitney's sister and they hug. On Christmas Eve, Tiffany reads out a letter to Santa, wishing him to bring happiness to Whitney. Bianca later sees the letter, seeing that Tiffany wishes her mother and father to get married. Bianca and Ricky get engaged to Tiffany's delight.
When Dotty Cotton (Molly Conlin) has a birthday party, Tiffany refuses to go, asking Ricky to lie for her. The next day, Tiffany tells Dotty she is not invited to her birthday party, but Bianca later invites her. On Tiffany's birthday, she stays at home without her parents knowing with Dotty. After an argument, Dotty runs off with Tiffany's bridesmaid's dress and throws her MP3 player into a bin. When Tiffany cannot reach to get it out, Dotty pushes her in and flees. Tiffany's uncle Billie Jackson (Devon Anderson) saves her from being crushed by the dustbin lorry. The day before Ricky and Bianca's wedding, Bianca's mother Carol (Lindsey Coulson) arrives looking for Billie. Bianca and Carol do not get on so Carol decides not to stay, even though Tiffany and Liam want her to. Tiffany's uncle Robbie (Dean Gaffney) also attends the wedding and looks forward to seeing Wellard but is unaware that Wellard is dead until Tiffany tells him. After the wedding Carol and Bianca make up and Carol later moves in. Tiffany is very upset when Billie dies. In December 2010, Bianca explains that they cannot afford a lot for Christmas. Tiffany and Liam see their mother using money-making schemes in the café, so they steal perfume from the market, ultimately leading to Bianca being arrested for assaulting a police officer. When Tiffany drops off a card she made for Carol, she sees her kissing Connor Stanley (Arinze Kene) through the letter box. The next day she acts strangely and crosses Carol out of a family photograph with a pen. Bianca worries about her behaviour, so gets Liam to ask her what is wrong. Tiffany tells Liam of what she saw. Although she wants to tell Bianca, Liam says not to tell anyone as it may cause an argument and they may end up in care homes. However, Tiffany witnesses Connor and Carol embracing and has trouble controlling herself, finally snapping at Carol and calling her a bad person for doing things with "Whitney's boyfriend", prompting Carol to try and persuade her to keep her quiet. Tiffany gets into a fight at school and tells her teacher that she saw Carol die under a bus. She is suspended for two days. She refuses to speak to Bianca, and Bianca suspects she is being abused. Carol is then forced to reveal the truth and Bianca realises Carol was silencing Tiffany. The events lead to Bianca attacking Connor and going to prison.
When Whitney disappears, Tiffany helps to find her as she has kept a diary of everything she hears. Whitney is then found and comes back home. Tiffany, Liam and Morgan are left devastated when Ricky leaves for a job in Dubai. Tiffany and her friends tease Janine when she is forced to clean Ian Beale's chip shop floor on her hands and knees. Janine buys presents for Liam and Morgan and upsets Tiffany by leaving her out because of the incident in the chip shop. Tiffany is devastated when Ricky leaves again for six months in Dubai. When Janine later buys her some presents, Tiffany rejects them. Tiffany makes friends with Shenice Quinn (Lily Harvey) and is delighted when Shenice is enrolled at her school. Tiffany is excited when Bianca is due to be released from prison in time for her Christmas concert. However, Ricky receives news that there is a delay and that Bianca will not be out in time. Tiffany is upset and does not put much effort into her performance, until Bianca appears halfway through, and Tiffany is overjoyed. She is then devastated when Pat dies, and when Ricky leaves again. Bianca is soon forced to reveal that she and Ricky have split up and he will not be returning. She then worries that Morgan's father Ray Dixon (Chucky Venn) will get into a relationship with Bianca after seeing them hugging, as she does not want any more changes, and Bianca has to explain there is nothing between them. Realising that Bianca is having some difficulties with her money, Tiffany and Morgan go to see Dot Branning (June Brown) at the laundrette. She tells them that when she had problems as a child, she felt better after being given a bath. Tiffany and Morgan then decide to run a bath for Bianca but accidentally leave the taps on when they go out. When they get home, the bath has overflowed and is leaking into the living room. They also find a kitten, which their great uncle Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) helps to look after, and he encourages them to keep it a secret from the rest of the family and names it Joey. Bianca is later caught stealing money and returns to prison, but this time located in Suffolk. Tiffany then moves to Suffolk with the rest of her family to be near her mother. She returns for Janine's wedding to Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd), along with Ricky, Morgan and her aunt Diane Butcher (Sophie Lawrence). She then moves back to Walford with her family for when her mother is released from prison.
Bobby and Tiffany begin a relationship and get each other walkie talkies. When Bianca trashes Ian's new restaurant, Ian agrees not to go to the police in exchange for Bobby and Tiffany not seeing each other any more. Tiffany is upset when Bobby does not call her on the walkie talkie. Tiffany and Bobby then start meeting in secret. However she is not pleased when Bianca returns from a trip to Manchester announces that her new boyfriend, Terry Spraggan (Terry Alderton), and his children, TJ (George Sargeant) and Rosie (Jerzey Swingler), are moving in. Tiffany and Morgan are later upset when they discover that their grandmother Carol has breast cancer, though she makes a full recovery. Tiffany's last day of primary school was ruined when she accidentally brought brownies containing drugs into school. Bianca agrees to move to Milton Keynes with Terry, taking Tiffany and Morgan with her.
Tiffany and Morgan return for Whitney's wedding to Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard) and she tries on her bridesmaid dress. Tiffany acts as bridesmaid with Whitney's niece, Lily Fowler (Aine Garvey). She and Morgan leave again shortly after the reception.
Tiffany returns to Walford, visiting Whitney, who is planning to move to Wakefield. Whitney postpones her plans and Tiffany manipulates her into letting her stay by lying that Bianca has attempted suicide and faking panic attacks. Whitney cancels her plans when Tiffany is almost hit by a car. TJ visits and reveals Tiffany's lies about Bianca, so Tiffany runs off to meet some older boys to whom she has lied about her age. They smoke drugs and talk about having sex with her, then lock her in their car but she manages to escape and is rescued by her family. Tiffany is allowed to stay when she explains that TJ had sex with random girls when he was supposed to be caring for her in Bianca and Terry's absence. Tiffany then sets Whitney up on a date with Halfway (Tony Clay) and befriends Bernadette Taylor (Clair Norris). To get revenge on Louise Mitchell (Tilly Keeper) for being horrible to Bernadette, she posts a photo of Louise and her boyfriend Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter) in a compromising position, which leads a public argument between Tiffany, Louise and their families. Tiffany overhears Whitney discussing sending her back to Milton Keynes. Tiffany decides to return to Milton Keynes when Masood confronts her over a selfie of her and his family's foster son, Harley, which leads to his kidnap by his birth parents, but Whitney is persuaded to allow Tiffany to remain by Bernadette and Harley's foster father, Arshad Ahmed (Madhav Sharma).
After Shakil Kazemi (Shaheen Jafargholi) dies from being stabbed, the teenagers spend time at E20 and during spin the bottle, Tiffany kisses both Bernadette and her half-brother, Keegan Baker (Zack Morris), which leads Bernadette to confusion about her feelings, though Tiffany tells Bernadette she likes Keegan. Despite avoidance from Bernadette, Tiffany understands how Bernadette feels.
Character creation and development
In November 2007, it was announced that Patsy Palmer would be reprising her role as Bianca Jackson in EastEnders. A popular character who originally appeared in the serial between 1993 and 1999, Bianca was reintroduced in April 2008. Along with Bianca came four children, three of whom had not been seen in the serial before. They included Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), the fifteen-year-old daughter of Bianca's deceased partner; Liam Butcher (James Forde), Bianca and Ricky's son who previously appeared in the serial; Tiffany Dean (Maisie Smith), Bianca's five-year-old daughter, named after her friend Tiffany Mitchell; and Morgan Jackson-King (Devon Higgs), Bianca's two-year-old son, "the most [spoilt] out of all of the kids".
Tiffany is described as having a "cute, butter-wouldn’t-melt exterior", which "masks her somewhat mature understanding of adult matters. She sees all, hears all and knows all, and even at five years old has blackmailed her elder sister." She is also described as "a troublesome and cheeky lass" with a "feisty, red-head personality, which she no doubt inherits from screenmum [sic] Bianca". Actress Maisie Smith, aged 6 at the time of her casting, began filming for EastEnders four days a week from January 2008 and, according to her mother, shares traits with the character she plays: "The role is an exaggeration of her own personality, she's a little madam. A lively character both on and off screen. The difference is, she's told to pronounce her t's at home!"
To promote the family's introduction, the BBC began airing trailers across the BBC network in March 2008. One trailer saw Bianca singing The Jackson 5 hit "I Want You Back" and performing a dance routine along with her four children. The promo uses the tag line "Introducing The Jackson 5". Within three days of being posted on the video sharing website YouTube, the promo had been viewed 52,000 times.
In April 2014, Palmer announced she was leaving EastEnders and in July 2014, the departure of Smith and Higgs was announced. Show bosses said that whilst they are "sad" about them leaving after six years, the decision "was right for the Butcher family as Bianca would never leave her youngest children behind." Vicky Prior from Metro commented that losing Smith was a "real shame" as she "is a star in the making and despite her young age, has proved adept at both comedy and tragedy." She also stated that Morgan "recently proved an excellent comedy partner for Tiffany" and was "looking forward to seeing these two grow in character and also as actors."
Returns (2016 and 2018)
Smith made an unannounced return in 2016 alongside Higgs, though she confirmed it was only for two episodes. Smith was uncertain if she would return on a full-time basis, but called her time there "incredible" and said that she "loved it." In November 2017, Smith's return to the serial was announced. Smith said she found it "great to be back" and "lovely" to see and meet her co-stars. Tiffany will have transformed on her return and Smith added she "can't wait to show everyone how much Tiffany has changed." A show spokesperson added that Tiffany's return "will certainly not be quiet" as Tiffany will "instantly cause trouble" for Whitney. Billed as "mischievous" on her return, Tiffany puts on a "chirpy" front, but cannot "conceal how desperate she is to stay" and her arrival puts Whitney's career opportunity "on hold" as she does best to stop Whitney moving to Wakefield. When a pregnancy test is found by Whitney, Tiffany "is about to get her way" as she is confronted by Whitney and reasons that brought her back to Walford come out.
Upon her 2018 return, Laura Morgan from Digital Spy compared Tiffany's return to Stacey Fowler's (Lacey Turner) arrival in 2004 due to her "brattish behaviour." She describes Tiffany as a "young woman with a healthy appetite for misbehaviour" and a "manipulative madam" who has Bianca's "streetwise attitude", though Tiffany could get into trouble. Morgan opined Tiffany's return will provide storylines for Whitney and lead to the potential reintroduction of the Butcher family, especially Janine. Tiffany is also compared to Bianca from her golden bomber jacket that is a "little nod to the past" and with her fashion sense, it is the viewers being in 1995, "watching young Bianca in action again." Morgan later gave reasons for Tiffany to have a relationship with newcomer Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter), stating that although "cheeky Tiff thinks the handsome teen is anything but" and despite setting him up with Louise Mitchell (Tilly Keeper), she could indeed want him "for herself", though she may be "a little bit too young."
Whitney "contemplate[s]" Tiffany's future in Walford when she "takes revenge" against Louise over the way she treats Bernadette Taylor (Clair Norris) by posting a photo of Louise and Hunter in a "compromising position." Despite "already treading on rocky ground, life gets even worse" for Tiffany when she is confronted by the Ahmeds about photos posted online of her and their new foster child, Harley, who is kidnapped by his biological parents.
Digital Spy's Kris Green has said Maisie Smith is "brilliant" and "one...to watch", comparing her to Ellis Hollins, the award-winning child actor who plays Tom Cunningham in the Channel 4 teen soap opera Hollyoaks. She has also been praised by stage school teacher Sandra Singer, who said: "Maisie has the most incredible memory and when it comes to script work she is fantastic. It is often very difficult for a six-year-old to act, but she handles it really well and adores it." In May 2009 Smith won 'Best Dramatic Performance from a young actor or actress' at the British Soap Awards. She was nominated again in 2011 for 'Best Young Performance'. Smith was nominated again in 2018 for 'Best Young Actor', but lost out to Isobel Steele who plays Liv Flaherty in Emmerdale.
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