His name cropped up just before EastEnders aired its game-changing flashforward scene of a murder on the way; and we've not been able to forget about Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) since.


The evil character departed the soap in 2016, after evading justice for raping Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) and attempting to rape Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons).

Then in October 2023, Linda got a horrible surprise on Halloween when Dean returned to Walford and revealed he was moving back to the area as the new business partner of the Beales at Beale's Eels.

Adamant he was innocent of previous accusations against him, Dean has tormented Linda with his presence ever since.

Is Dean Wicks the dead body in EastEnders at Christmas?

Well, there are few reasons he could be...

More like this

Timely on-screen mention and return

Matt Di Angelo as Dean Wicks in EastEnders.
Matt Di Angelo returned as Dean Wicks in 2023. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Just before we were given that memorable glimpse of EastEnders at Christmas 2023, Linda was in distress in the present, telling Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) that she had seen a photo of Shirley Carter (Linda Henry), posted by Shirl's daughter Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley).

The image featured Dean in the background, despite Shirley having previously disowned Dean for everything he's done. Linda couldn't believe what she was seeing, and it seemed intentional that in the same episode, Linda was seen toasting that men who hurt women should "get what they deserve".

Then, just two months before the big Christmas death, Dean returned to Walford and has been tormenting Linda ever since.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, executive producer Chris Clenshaw confirmed that one reason Dean was throughout back was his lack of comeuppance during his last stint.

Clenshaw revealed: "Yeah, we always kind of knew we were going to bring him back for Linda's story this year.

"You know, he's a character that has such a historical connection to the show. As we know, he didn't get his comeuppance.

"Yeah, I think Linda's going to really struggle in the kind of wake of his return."

Teasing how long Dean will be around, Chris notes: “I mean, obviously, you know, we've got the Six storyline, and we're kind of building up to quite a spectacular Christmas, and it will probably, therefore, come as no surprise that Dean is a potential body at Christmas.”

Linda's split lip

Kellie Bright as Linda Carter beside a photo of Lola Pearce on the Queen Vic bar in EastEnders.
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter beside a photo of Lola Pearce on the Queen Vic bar in EastEnders. BBC

Linda is seen in the flashforward sequence sporting a split lip, suggesting she has been in a fight or has been attacked. She's also the last of the six women to arrive at the bar, and looks the most frightened when we get a close view of her.

There would certainly be no mourning for Dean amongst viewers, and EastEnders loves to look back on its history and has done a superb job of exploring the long-term effect Dean's actions have had on Linda and his recent actions have certainly gotten everyone talking.

Army of survivors

Kathy's response when Linda confided in her was to assure her that there is an army of supporters backing her all the way. One fan's theory also reminds us why Linda might find such allies here.

The women present on Christmas Day have all been abused - Kathy and Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) are also survivors of rape, while Kathy was coercively controlled by her husband Gavin.

Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her first husband Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp), while Denise Fox (Diane Parish) has also been plagued by abusive husbands.

Meanwhile, Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal) is being abused by her husband Nish (Navin Chowdhry) and was almost raped by Ranveer Gulati (Anil Goutam). So if there's one reason why The Six might band together to cover a murder, it's because of men like Dean.

Connections to The Six

Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater, Balvinder Sopal as Suki Kaur Panesar, Kellie Bright as Linda Carter, Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts, Diane Parish as Denise Fox, and Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale in EastEnders.
The EastEnders Six are the centre of a big whodunit. BBC

Let's not forget that Dean also has links to most of these characters. He used to date Stacey, years after he spiked her drink when she was a teen!

Dean is also the former stepson of Denise, and Sharon has reason to hate him as Linda, the woman he sexually assaulted, is her best friend.

As the viewer's theory points out, it was Kathy who noticed Dean's controlling behaviour towards Roxy, having gone through the experience herself.

So, the majority of the group have connections to Dean...

Candle Wick

Finally, a rather clever clue was uncovered by the same theorist above. "In order to light a candle, you need a wick," they note, showing us an image of several lit candles at The Vic's wedding set up on Christmas Day.

So, is this a clue that Dean is set to pay for his crimes with his death after never suffering the consequences?

Anyone affected by the subjects mentioned above can find support by visiting Rape Crisis, or calling our 24/7 Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Line on 0808 500 2222. You can visit Refuge for more information and contact 0808 2000 247 for support. Help can also be found at The Hideout.

Read more:

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.