Spoiler warning for the episode aired on Tuesday 29th August 2023, which was released on BBC iPlayer at 6am.


EastEnders fans who have watched tonight's episode early on BBC iPlayer have hailed the "genius" return of fan-favourite character Arthur "Fatboy" Chubb (Ricky Norwood).

Norwood originally played Fatboy from 2010 until the character's death in 2015, and his unexpected return comes in flashback scenes that take place in 2014.

In the scene, he briefly interrupts a conversation between Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) and her witness protection handler DCI Mary Nicholls (Penny Layden) to talk about meeting his friends – also referencing his friendship with landlady and housemate Dorothy "Dot" Branning (the late June Brown).

And viewers were delighted to see Fatboy back on their screens, with one fan calling it "an utterly genius move" on Twitter (which has recently been rebranded as X).

"Had a genuine smile when that character appeared, always a favourite of mine," wrote another fan.

Another wrote, "I gasped when I saw Fatboy. Such a great character," while one simply expressed their excitement by exclaiming "FATBOY AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH".

Meanwhile, one viewer who was delighted to see Fatboy again didn't think the cameo went far enough, writing: "Kinda wish they had the gumption to bring Fatboy back for good instead of just a flashback but I will take what I can get."

Ricky Norwood as Fatboy in EastEnders wearing a blue and orange baseball jacket, looking into camera
Ricky Norwood as Fatboy in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes

And he wasn't the only one who wanted a more permanent return, with one fan writing, "That Fatboy jumpscare omg, never expected that. Bring him baaaack," and another saying, "I know he got squished or whatever but death is never the end in #EastEnders anymore. Bring back Fatboy!"

Since leaving EastEnders, Norwood has appeared in Netflix Christmas films The Princess Switch: Switched Again and The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, while he was a contestant in the 18th season of Celebrity Big Brother in 2016.

In his original run on the soap, he appeared in more than 400 episodes, during which time he won two Inside Soap Awards (for Best Newcomer and Funniest Male) as well as the NTA for Best Newcomer in 2011.

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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. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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