Jane Beale is to arrive back in Walford in a traumatised state after young Bobby disappears. Jane – who left with Bobby earlier this year in the wake of Lucy’s death – will tell Ian the shock news in scenes to be shown next week.
“Jane is really frantic because Bobby has gone missing. She’s all the way up in Birmingham and Bobby has pretended that he’s emailing Ian in London. So she assumes that her little boy must be in London somewhere,” says actress Laurie Brett, who plays Jane.
With Ian and Jane having already suffered the loss of Lucy at Easter, the pair are obviously frantic with worry and call in the police. But it’s Carol Jackson who brings hope when she finds out that Bobby has sent a video message to Tiffany.
Later in the week, Bobby is found alive and well, but Jane is left with fresh concerns when she finds a folder full of press cuttings that her adoptive son has gathered, all of which relate to the death of Lucy.
“Jane took Bobby away when the funeral was going on because Ian was in such a bad place,” continues Brett. “She’s always felt bad about taking him. And when they find this folder full of press clippings, Jane admits that Bobby tried to talk to her about the murder, but that she wasn’t ready. All this time, she thought he’d been playing on his Xbox, when he was collating the evidence. So Jane feels highly responsible for Bobby’s angst.”
Bobby may have fled because he wanted to help with the police investigation, but he’s also been facing pressure in Birmingham. ‘Yes, he’s being bullied quite badly at school for being the brother of a murdered woman. And Jane feels that this is really all her doing, even though she took him away for the best of intentions.”
In the end, Bobby makes a request to stay in Albert Square and Jane decides to remain there too. But will being back in the vicinity of Ian mean a rekindling of romance between him and Jane? “They’ve never stopped loving each other, but there was too much water under the bridge for their relationship to be fixed.
“I’ve been there myself – you love somebody, but just too much stuff has happened and you can’t get past that. But those feelings have never gone away. Even Jane and Ian sleeping together through grief earlier this year wouldn’t have happened if there weren’t feelings there. It all runs quite deep.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of all next week’s drama on EastEnders below: