EastEnders: Ruby Allen is back – 8 things you’d forgotten about the returnee

Murder, affairs, obsession – she certainly packed a lot in

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Following the announcement Louisa Lytton is returning to EastEnders as Ruby Allen, some of you may be struggling to remember much about the character who has barely been mentioned in the 12 years since she departed under a cloud in a black cab.

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Part of the somewhat shaky mid-2000s era of the show, Ruby was the vulnerable, softly-spoken daughter of dangerous crime boss Johnny who’s womanising and wide boy ways constantly saw him let his daughter down – an attempt perhaps at recreating a young Dirty Den and Sharon dynamic for a new generation.

Johnny’s death rendered Ruby surplus to requirements and she was written out as a mutual decision between Lytton and producers after 20 months. While we speculate about her return storyline, which EastEnders boss John Yorke promises to be “one of the biggest of the year,” here’s a reminder of eight surprising things about Ruby Allen you might have forgotten – and may need to know when she makes her comeback.

She was Stacey’s first BFF
In 2005 Ruby ran away from boarding school to track down her dad in Walford and immediately bonded with gobby teen Stacey Slater. The pair were instant BFFs, despite their chalk and cheese personalities, but it was a volatile friendship that ended in an almighty falling out. Maybe Stace can’t cope with having a mate who isn’t a Slater?

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The E20 club used to be named after her dead sister
Walford’s local night club was recently rebranded as E20 (or should that be re-rebranded as it’s actually an old name?) but in the Allen era it was run by Johnny and named ‘Scarlet’ after Ruby’s dead sister who perished in a house fire, along with her mum Stephanie. More happy memories from the cursed drinking den…

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Walford legend Pat was her surrogate mum
Johnny’s backstory had us believe he was steeped in Walford history having apparently grown up alongside the Beales, the Mitchells and the Watts. Him and Pat Evans also went way back, as he’d been her pimp when she was a teenage prostitute, so the dangly earring-wearing diva kept a maternal eye on Ruby every time relations with her dad hit the skids (which was a lot) and they even lived in the same house at one point.

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Her gangster dad killed Sharon’s late husband
Johnny’s quest for alpha male supremacy of the Square predictably pitted him against Phil Mitchell, but the boys’ feud led to bloodshed. Phil told hot-headed Dennis Rickman that Johnny had threatened his pregnant wife Sharon, so Dirty Den Jnr beat him up. Johnny then ordered a hit on the Rickman rogue as revenge and he was stabbed to death on New Year’s Eve 2005. Makes you wonder how Sharon will react to Ruby’s reappearance…

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Phil paid someone to sleep with her
Phil’s quest to antagonise Johnny resulted in the Mitchell meat head pulling a particularly sick move by paying gormless petty criminal Juley Smith (remember him?) to sleep with Ruby and take her virginity, knowing how angry Johnny would be at the corruption of his little girl. Ruby found out her romance with July was a sham and was devastated.

Phil also saved her life
All was forgiven, kind of, after Phil saved Ruby’s life when he found her unconscious after a booze binge in the wake of pal Dennis’s death and her dad’s beating on that fateful New Year’s Eve, and he took her to hospital. Has Ruby forgotten Phil used her as a pawn in his feud with her father?

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Alfie Moon’s cousin Jake was obsessed with her
Alfie’s forgotten cousins, brothers Jake and Danny Moon, were on Johnny’s payroll and in his pocket – unstable Danny was the hit man forced to kill Dennis, and later tried to shoot Phil and Grant for his boss, only for Jake to turn the gun on his own brother. After Johnny was jailed having finally admitted to his part in Dennis’s death, he paid Jake to watch over Ruby but this grew into an unhealthy obsession. And you thought the Moon men were all floral shirt-wearing cheeky cockney chappies.

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Sean Slater threw her dead dad’s ashes in her face
Stacey’s bad boy big brother Sean seduced Ruby when he realised she stood to inherit her jailed father’s fortune as she was about to turn 18. When Johnny died of a heart attack in prison, after a visit from Sean who taunted him he was going to have his wicked way with Ruby and there was nothing he could do about it, Ms Allen realised the Slater stud didn’t love her and was only after her money. After a massive row, where Sean threw Johnny’s ashes in her face, Ruby left town in November 2006. By the end she and Stacey weren’t even friends – so what kind of reception will she get when she rocks up in her old neighbourhood?

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