EastEnders welcomes back a familiar face on Friday 21 September as formidable legal eagle Ritchie Scott returns to take on Mick Carter’s case in the attempted murder of Stuart Highway, having been asked by Sharon Mitchell to save the day.
The fan favourite, who has appeared on a semi-regular basis since 2005, was last seen in October 2016 when she helped client and close mate Phil Mitchell amend his will as he awaited a life-saving liver transplant.
No-nonsense Ritchie (short for ‘Richmal’), with her power suits, briefcase and symmetrical bob of shock-white barnet, was introduced as the Mitchells’ new solicitor when the family were betrayed by long-time brief Marcus Christie who teamed up with Den and Chrissie Watts to swindle the clan out of the Queen Vic.
Initially advising Phil over a trial for armed robbery, over the years she and the bald-headed bad boy built a bond based mutual respect, and the fact that ruthless Ritchie was more than willing to bend the law to get the faaaaamily out of their many scrapes.
If you’re in trouble with the old bill, and Phil doesn’t hate you, Ritchie’s your girl. She’s popped up in interview rooms alongside the likes of Sonia Fowler when she was accused of murdering mother-in-law Pauline in 2007, Dot Branning for her part in evil son Nick Cotton’s death in 2015, and Bobby Beale when he confessed in 2016 to murdering big sister Lucy the year before, but it’s mainly the Mitchells who’ve kept her in business.
Murder, assault, robbery, blackmail, property purchases, business deals – Ritchie’s seen it all and turned a blind eye to the lot: Sam’s murder of Dirty Den, Ben’s assault on schoolfriend Jordan Johnson and subsequent murder of Heather Trott, and Billy and Jay Brown’s implication in Lucy’s murder are just some of the cases she’s been involved with.
We’d be here all day if we detailed every single misdemeanour she’s come to Phil’s aid about (highlights include trying to get him off for the murders of Kevin Wicks and Stella Crawford when Ben shopped his dad to the cops for historic crimes), but in 2015 relations almost irrevocably broke down between them.
Ritchie refused to help the Mitchells any more when Phil was done for tampering with the brakes on a car that crashed and almost killed cousin Ronnie, as they were behind in paying for her services (imagine that astronomical legal bill). Fuming at the lack of loyalty Phil stole her contact book of criminal clients and threatened to expose her bent practices unless she forgot about the debt.
Backed into a corner, Ritchie reluctantly resumed her role as Phil’s troubleshooter and the following year got his legal affairs in order in case he succumbed to liver failure before finding a donor.
As the Carters found themselves under suspicion for Stuart’s shooting, Ritchie’s name was bandied about as their potential saviour. Now she’s back on the Square, will we learn any more about her rumoured shady past as a stripper? And will her encounters with DI Arthurs match her epic rivalry with former enemies DCI Jill Marsden and DI Samantha Keeble?
Although best known as Ritchie, other screen credits for actress Sian Webber include Holby City, Bad Girls, The Bill and Waterloo Road.
Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news