James Willmott-Brown returns to EastEnders – as big family secrets are revealed

Actor William Boyde made his comeback to the BBC1 soap tonight

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Notorious EastEnders rapist James Willmott-Brown has returned to the BBC1 soap in cliffhanger scenes just broadcast tonight.

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Actor William Boyde – who has been away from Walford since 1992 – reprised the role, with Willmott-Brown glimpsed making the acquaintance of Max Branning (Jake Wood) at the climax of Friday’s episode.

It was also revealed that Fi Browning (Lisa Faulkner), Josh Hemmings (Eddie Eyre) and Max’s former cellmate Luke Browning (Adam Astill) are all Willmott-Brown’s children.

The shadowy ‘Chairman’ of the Weyland corporation (Simon Williams) also now has a name – Hugo Browning being the uncle of Fi, Josh and Luke.

The character of James Willmott-Brown became one of Albert Square’s most infamous characters when he raped Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) in 1988 and was later sentenced to three years in prison.

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He later returned in 1992, only to be forced to flee when Kathy and her friends and neighbours made their feelings known.

Now, though, the evildoer has made a comeback with a plan to take over the Square. As fans witnessed, Willmot-Brown’s immediate aim is to turf the Carters out of the Queen Vic and onto the street.

But this will just be the start of his nefarious scheme. A spokesperson said tonight of the upcoming drama:

“With the help of his family, Willmott-Brown will continue in his mission to slowly take over Albert Square.

“A story of power, control, money and revenge will unfold as he and his family attempt to destroy everything and anyone in their way.  What remains to be seen is how much each of those involved knows, and how far each will go.

“And of course, there is one other person on Willmott-Brown’s agenda – the woman he believes ruined his life – Kathy Beale…”

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As viewers know, Max has been working for Weyland and Co since his release from prison. However, as will soon become evident, Max has no idea of Willmott-Brown’s history or connections to Walford, only that he claims – like Max – to be a wronged man.

Now, family loyalties look set to be tested as the likes of Fi, Josh and Luke start to wonder whether any of them can trust each other as ruthless Willmott-Brown ups the ante.

Speaking about his return to EastEnders, William Boyde said tonight: “I’m delighted to immerse myself once more in the fascinating world of soap land.”

How are Willmott-Brown’s family all related?

James Willmott-Brown has three children. Fi (or Sophie) and Luke Browning, played by Lisa Faulkner and Adam Astill are the children of Elizabeth Browning, Willmott Brown’s first wife and who was recently revealed to have committed suicide.

Josh Hemmings (Eddie Eyre) is their half-brother from Willmott-Brown’s later relationship with Wendy Hemmings.

Hugo Browning, played by Simon Williams, is the Chairman of Weyland and Co, which is owned by James Willmott-Brown. Hugo is the brother of Elizabeth Browning, Willmott-Brown’s first wife.

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 the latest news, interviews and spoilers.