Kathy Beale's upcoming wedding has prompted mentions of classic characters in EastEnders.


In Thursday's episode (15th June 2023) of the BBC One soap, Rocky Cotton (Brian Conley) sought to fulfil Kathy's wish to have her missing son Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) at their wedding.

Speaking to Ian's son Bobby Beale (Clay Milner Russell) in the Queen Vic pub, Rocky revealed he had struggled to find Ian but had gone through Kathy's address book and had spoken to a litany of familiar names.

Rocky mentioned: "Ted, Tony, Michelle. I spent a fortune chatting to Liz and Kenny, they live in New Zealand, but not one of them has heard anything from Ian."

As Bobby noted the difficulty of contacting his father, Rocky also commented on how half of the numbers in Kathy's address book were dead.

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Rocky commented: "Here, look, who the hell is Angie?"

The cheek of it!

So, who exactly were those classic characters that Rocky mentioned in EastEnders? Well, RadioTimes.com has you covered.

Ted Hills (Brian Croucher)

Brian Croucher as Ted Hills in EastEnders.
Brian Croucher as Ted Hills in EastEnders. BBC

Kathy’s older brother Ted Hills appeared in the soap from 1995 to 1997 when he lived on Albert Square with his two children.

The character was last heard to be living in South Africa after having had a disastrous professional and personal period when he returned to his home of Walford in the 1990s.

Ted is the father of son Tony and daughter Sarah (Daniela Denby-Ashe) from his marriage to wife Irene (Roberta Taylor).

Tony Hills (Mark Homer)

Mark Homer as Tony Hills in EastEnders.
Mark Homer as Tony Hills in EastEnders. BBC

Kathy’s nephew and Ted’s son, Tony appeared in the soap from 1995 until his exit in 1999 when he left Walford with his partner Simon Raymond (Andrew Lynford), the brother of iconic character Tiffany Raymond (Martine McCutcheon) who Tony also dated prior to his on-off affair with Simon.

Tony and Simon were last mentioned as having settled in Amsterdam.

Michelle Fowler (Sue Tully, Jenna Russell)

Sue Tully as Michelle Fowler in EastEnders.
Sue Tully as Michelle Fowler in EastEnders. BBC

Kathy’s niece by marriage to first husband Pete Beale, Michelle Fowler was also a close friend and also known for her friendship with Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) and maternal cousin Ian. Michelle is the older sister of Martin Fowler (James Bye).

Michelle was an original cast member in EastEnders from 1985 until 1995 and the centre of multiple significant storylines, including a teenage pregnancy from an affair with Sharon's married father Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) and a typically disastrous love life.

A recast Michelle returned in 2016 and stayed in the soap with until 2018 when the character moved to Australia to be with her children.

Kenny Beale (Michael Attwell)

Michael Attwell as Kenny Beale in EastEnders.
Michael Attwell as Kenny Beale in EastEnders. BBC

Kathy’s former brother-in-law as the older brother of her first husband Pete Beale and his sister Pauline Fowler, Kenny grew up in Walford but was banished by his family after sleeping with Pete’s first wife Pat (Pam St. Clement).

However, Kenny made some guest appearances in 1988 when he reconciled with Pete after it was confirmed that Kenny was not the father of Pat’s son Simon Wicks (Nick Berry.)

After this, Kenny and his daughter Elizabeth returned to New Zealand but he was contacted by Kathy in regards to his mother Lou Beale’s (Anna Wing) death that same year.

Elizabeth Beale (Lucy Bayley)

Lucy Bayley as Elizabeth Beale in EastEnders.
Lucy Bayley as Elizabeth Beale in EastEnders. BBC

Elizabeth is Kathy’s niece by marriage, Ian’s paternal cousin and the daughter of Kenny Beale from his marriage to his unseen wife Barbara.

Having grown up in New Zealand, Elizabeth visited Walford with her father in 1988 and also struck up a regrettable romance with her cousin Ian before eventually returning to New Zealand with Kenny.

Angie Watts (Anita Dobson)

Anita Dobson as Angie Watts in EastEnders.
Anita Dobson as Angie Watts in EastEnders. Radio Times Archive

Kathy’s best friend ever and the adopted mother of Sharon Watts, Angie Watts was the original brassy and bold landlady of the Queen Vic pub.

Angie struggled with alcoholism before departing Walford in 1988 following the collapse of her toxic marriage to Den Watts.

Initially moving to Spain, Angie settled in the US and remarried in 1991 and Sharon joined her there for a few years from 1995.

In 2002, a recently returned Sharon learned her mother had died and brought her back to Walford to be buried there, revealing that years of struggling with alcoholism had claimed Angie’s life following cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol-related dementia.

Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt)

Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale in EastEnders.
Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale in EastEnders. BBC

Of course, the main person that Kathy wants to see at her wedding is her eldest son, Ian Beale.

Last seen making a short and secret appearance at Dot Cotton's funeral in December 2022, Ian has been missing from Walford since January 2021 after his marriage to former best pal Sharon Watts was revealed to be a sham as she sought revenge on him for the accidental death of her son Dennis Rickman Jr. (Bleu Landau).

Where Ian has been since remains a mystery but we do know he will be returning to the soap alongside his presumed dead first wife, Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins).

Will it be Kathy's wedding that brings about Ian's return?

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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.

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