The Carter clan continues to grow in the coming weeks as Danny Dyer’s screen dad Stan (Timothy West) and makes his debut. An episode to be screened at the end of January will see the Carters in need of cash and left with no other option but to turn to their father Stan for help. However, it soon becomes clear that all the members of the family have very different relationships with him.
Stan is described by show bosses as a curmudgeonly and opinionated former Billingsgate fishmonger who was abandoned by wife Sylvie over 30 years ago. Once established in Walford, he will waste no time in “manipulating the whole Carter clan from the comfort of his armchair”. But what does actor Timothy West himself make of the character he’s currently playing?
So, what kind of a man is Stan?
He’s quite tough. He lives on his own, he doesn’t go out much, hasn’t got many friends and I think he is a bit lonely. He would probably argue that he’s perfectly happy being self-sufficient, but I think he is a bit lonely and concerned that as he gets older he doesn’t have many people around him.
How does he feel when he finds out that his children are all living together at The Vic? Is he happy or does he feel left out and jealous?
Both actually. He likes the idea of the family being together and is glad they are, but he doesn’t want to be left out and wants to be in control, frankly. That’s his game.
And what’s his relationship with his children like?
He had a very stormy relationship with their mother. He has clearly kept in touch with Tina, so they have the best relationship out of the lot of them. Mick and Stan give each other a wide berth, although Stan is delighted to see him. And there is a lot of tension between him and Shirley – he’s very wary of her. We’ll have to see what happens there…
Why does he give Shirley money for the pub?
He’s got the money to spare and he wants to see them all together in the pub. If he knows where they are, he can use it as a way to get back in to their lives. Also, giving someone money gives you a certain hold over them, which is what Stan wants.
What attracted you to the role of Stan and to joining EastEnders?
It’s nice to be asked and I liked what I saw in the script and the foundation of Stan as a character. It’s a lovely crew and production department and they are very nice people. So I think I will have a wonderful time. I know how popular the show is.
What was it like filming your first scene?
I had to film two quite heavy scenes on the first day, which was very intense, and I also had an awful cold [laughs]. But it was fine!
Have you met any of the rest of the cast before?
I hadn’t met any of the actors playing Stan’s kids before, but I have met Rudolph Walker, Annette Badland, Ann Mitchell and June Brown.
How does playing Stan in EastEnders compare to other roles you’ve had?
I try to make everything I do different. One difference is that when you’re doing a play you know the whole story before you start rehearsals. But in a soap, you just have to take what comes when you get the scripts and see if that turns into something that tells you a little more about the character.
Timothy West makes his EastEnders debut as Stan Carter in the episode airing on Monday 27 January