The child actor who plays Bobby Beale only found out on Monday that he would be the one to play the killer in EastEnders’ 30th anniversary reveal.
The soap’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said after Friday’s live show that he had only told actor Eliot Carrington earlier this week that Bobby killed Lucy – but that Bobby didn’t realise what he had done.
“I sat him down and said, ‘Bobby’s going to be a naughty boy’ to gauge his reaction and he said it was brilliant,” Treadwell-Collins said.
“I cast a little actor who had emotional depth. Because we are the BBC we had to be overly cautious. I had to let the company manager into the secret to work out the psychological impact it might have.
“We also sat down and had a very long conversation with his father to see if he was OK with it. If he had said ‘no’ we would have had to recast. I told Eliot on Monday and he immediately beamed.”
On Thursday we finally found out that Bobby had killed Lucy – but it wasn’t until the full live episode on Friday that viewers realised that Bobby didn’t know what he had done.
“I told him [Eliot] that Bobby didn’t know and he said, ‘Oh that makes sense as well,'” said the exec producer.
“He’s a very intelligent little boy and very emotionally mature, Treadwell-Collins added. “The fact Bobby doesn’t know he did it is very important, I wouldn’t lumber a little boy with that. We were incredibly cautious. It was a conscious decision not to screen the actual attack. That would have been too much, especially for a child.”
The scene where Cindy reads Lucy’s last letter before Bobby comes downstairs shows that Bobby doesn’t know what has happened.
Adam Woodyatt was praised on Twitter for his live performance, but Treadwell-Collins reserved special praise for Eliot Carrington’s performance as Bobby.
Last night EastEnders star Ben Hardy (who plays Bobby’s brother Peter Beale) also said that his character’s exit from the show would be linked to the revelation about Bobby.