EastEnders: I’m 100 per cent sure that Ian killed Lucy, says Ben Hardy

"I think it was either manslaughter or an accident," reveals the actor, who plays Peter Beale in the BBC1 soap

Any true EastEnders fan has their theory as to who killed Lucy Beale – but actor Ben Hardy, surely one of the people closest to the drama seeing as he plays Lucy’s brother Peter, reckons that his own screen dad is guilty.

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“My own personal theory is that it’s Ian Beale. I’m 100 per cent sure of that,” says Hardy. “But I’m almost afraid to say it in case I get it right and the writers change it. I think it was either manslaughter or an accident. And our executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has said that the killer doesn’t necessarily have to get caught and go to prison, which is normally a soap law.”

And is there any character who Peter would cover for if turned out that they were guilty of Lucy’s murder? “It depends on what the circumstances were. Whether it was accident or manslaughter – maybe he would show some sympathy. But if was all-out murder, I think he’d want justice no matter who it was. But it’s good that the fans want to know. I want to know more than they do! We all talk about it here and come up with theories.”

The long-running murder mystery is set to reach its climax over the soap’s 30th anniversary in February 2015 with a special live episode. So is Hardy looking forward to the experience?

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to do something a bit different. We did some live stuff for Children in Need and you get all hyped up. But nobody is actually there when you film on the lot, so it does feel less nerve-wracking than being on stage. So, at the moment, I’m not feeling too nervous about it. But I might well be nearer the time!”

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You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below: