EastEnders’ Sean Mahon on Ray’s double life and wedding to Mel

"The audience will be blown away by what happens next!" promises the star

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EastEnders‘ enigmatic Ray Kelly is living a secret double life, with a wife and son hidden away from partner Mel Owen – only canny Mel has found out but has decided not to let on, presumably so she can plan a long-game of revenge on her deceitful fella.

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Tonight’s episode (Friday 12 October) confirmed what was teased yesterday, that Ray is father to a young boy, Jake, and has a wife called Maddie, glimpsed by Mel when she sneakily followed Mr Kelly to the hospital. Pretending her name was Claire and she was visiting a sick relative, Mel struck up a conversation with Maddie and managed to glean her husband Ray was calling himself ‘Simon Wright’ and the pair had been married for four years.

Seething Mel later lured Ray over for dinner and viewers thought she was about to reveal she’d rumbled him, but instead she asked the undercover cop to move in and proposed they affirm their reignited love for each other and get married again. Ray has no idea he’s being played, but what’s in store for the character following this revelation? Over to Sean Mahon, who plays him…

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Did you always know Ray would have a big secret?
Prior to taking the part, I knew there was a secret life that Ray is living but I didn’t know exactly how it would intertwine into his relationship with Mel. I’ve told nobody – honestly, I’m like a steel trap!

Is Ray aware of Mel’s suspicions?
I think he is always on high alert so it’s not that he’s suspicious of Mel specifically, he’s just very wary of everybody. At the moment I don’t believe he has any inclination that Mel is sniffing him out.

Does he feel guilty?
I can’t really say… guilt will imply there’s empathy and compassion.  The question is, is this a sociopath or is this a person who’s just living a double life? We see his reaction as the story unfolds – there is a lot more to come.

What lengths will Ray go to in order to keep this quiet?
Every length. I think he’s a man who is well rehearsed at keeping secrets and does not want to show his hand. We will see the potential for darkness and the possibility of danger as the situation gets darker for Ray.

Does he genuinely love Mel and Hunter?
I think he absolutely does love them and really sees them as his family.

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How would he react if he knew Mel knew about Maddie and Jake?
Well he would have to find out the extent of what she knows and back-track and spin and do all the things he usually does. We’ll have to wait and see!

Will he go through with marrying Mel again?
I think it throws him initially, but he has such strong feelings for Mel and Hunter. The idea of solidifying that relationship is a good thing for him. 

What’s it like playing a character with such a big secret?
It’s complicated because you always have to be aware of how many steps ahead you are, what your motivations are  and why you’re doing certain things. It just requires that you ask a lot of questions in terms of how you are behaving, so I like the challenge of that. It’s nice to play something unexpected and to not discuss it outside of work and just be able to operate under a blanket of silence!

What can viewers expect from this story?
I can tease it goes in a whole direction that no one expects, and the stakes are going to be so high that people are going to be blown away…

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