EastEnders: is Josh the Chairman’s secret son?

Who is Josh's father, and why is he so scared of his him?

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EastEnders’ Josh Hemmings dropped some intriguing hints about his background in last night’s episode, and speculation is now rife about the identity of his father – could it hold the key to the mysterious Weyland plot? 

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Josh turned up in the Square to explain to Lauren Branning why he’d neglected to mention he had a fiancee, after her meddling dad Max accidentally-on-purpose let it slip in the office last week.

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The pair have been fighting their attraction for months, and have shared a kiss and some very furtive moments (including one where Josh was embarrassingly caught in a state of undress), so finding out her boss was spoken for came as quite a shock to Lauren – especially as she secretly aborted her and Steven’s baby because of the doubts she’s been having about their relationship since she met Josh… 

As the Hemmings hunk explained that he only started dating fiancee Imogen because the two families were close and put pressure on them to get together, Lauren questioned why you would only agree to marry someone to please your family – to which a haunted Josh replied: “My dad’s the kind of man you want to please…” 

This is the first mention of Josh’s father, and it feels like this is not just a throwaway remark. What if Daddy Hemmings is actually the enigmatic head of Weyland and Co?

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The shady boss of the company where Josh, Lauren and Max work is played by Simon Williams but is only ever credited as ‘the Chairman’, not even a surname – could that be deliberate? Are the Hemmings a huge dynasty of dastardly rich folk running a ruthless corporation intending to destroy Albert Square?

Another possibility on the identity of Josh’s father is Max’s cellmate. Remember when Mr Branning visited him in prison last month for a cagey conversation about their ‘plan’, which the Chairman is also in on, that the pair of them concocted when Max was wrongly jailed for the murder of Lucy Beale? The Chairman implied the cellmate is the real puppet master behind everything. Is he pulling Josh’s strings and calling all the shots?

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Ex-Holby City star Adam Astill played the character, who again was cryptically credited as simply ‘Man in prison’ – again, no surname…

EastEnders have teased Max’s revenge plot and the whole Weyland storyline could run for years – so it looks like we’ll have to wait to discover whether our theories on Josh’s family are correct. Unless Josh was making the whole thing up about Imogen, in the hope of eventually seducing Lauren…

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below

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And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all of the latest news, interviews and spoilers.