EastEnders’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has revealed that viewers can expect major developments in the Lucy Beale murder investigation on New Year’s Day.
What I can tell you about Lucy Beale’s killer is that on New Year’s Day, viewers are going to be very clear on who did not do it,” says the show’s boss. “The list of suspects will become much, much smaller!”
Ian Beale’s daughter was murdered over Easter 2014 and fans of the soap have seen various characters, including Billy Mitchell and Jake Stone, come under suspicion during the subsequent police investigation. But it seems that Treadwell-Collins and his story team have had the actual killer in their sights for a long time now.
“When we first talked about the story, there was one killer – but something didn’t fit right about that person. It was a clever idea but it didn’t come from the heart. So Sharon Batten [series producer], Alex Lamb [story producer] and Manpreet Dosanjh [script producer] and I locked ourselves away in a hotel room to come up with an alternative killer,” he tells Inside Soap. “It feels emotionally right, true and very exciting. From that moment it’s been locked in and we would not cheat the audience by changing it now.”
EastEnders has featured many whodunnits over the years including the ‘Who Killed Archie Mitchell?’ mystery that culminated in a live reveal on EastEnders’s 25th anniversary and the famous ‘Who Shot Phil?’ saga that saw most residents of Albert Square come under suspicion. With viewers no stranger to such guessing games, it appears that eagle-eyed fans are becoming more adept at spotting potential killers:
“The hardest thing for me is when people have thrown their theories at me and they’ve got it right,” says Treadwell-Collins. “It’s so difficult to keep your cool and pretend not to care.”
The executive producer’s interview comes amid comments from Harry Reid – set to debut next week as Phil’s son Ben – who’d very much like to see his character embroiled in the murder case: “Ben can be very conniving, and we all know that he was out when she was murdered. And he was nowhere to be seen. Out of everyone on the Square, you’d probably pick Ben out,” says the Walford newcomer. “He’d be smart about it, so I don’t think he’d get caught if he was to have something to do with it. We’ll see.”
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news