There was an unexpected moment of delight for EastEnders fans this week, as Arthur "Fatboy" Chubb (Ricky Norwood) made a surprise cameo during a flashback centred on Cindy Beale's (Michelle Collins) time in witness protection.
The popular, much-missed Fatboy was killed off back in 2015, although we never actually saw his lifeless body at the time. So, as we recover from his brief, welcome return, our wish for the cheeky character to be brought back to life is stronger than ever – providing of course that star Norwood is available.
Fatboy was forced to flee when Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood) threatened his beloved friend Dot Branning (the late June Brown). But Vincent regretted his treatment of 'Fats' when he found the latter's phone and necklace among some blood in the boot of a crushed car.
Instigated by Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack), Vincent had been the intended target of this killing until his ruthless mother Claudette Hubbard (Ellen Thomas) claimed to have ordered Fatboy into the car instead. But perhaps he escaped, opting to stay hidden after Vincent's warnings.
With this in mind, there's no reason why Fatboy can't be the next persona the BBC soap brings back from the dead. Given that we're right in the midst of Cindy's aforementioned resurrection, and we've also seen Dirty Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) and Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) return from the grave before, why not do the same with one of the most joyous EastEnders characters in its history?
Back in 2010, Fatboy found a home with Dot, who he lived with until his death. They formed an unlikely but lasting bond as Fatboy brightened up lonely Dot's life, and she kept him in line.
When news of Dot's death reached Albert Square, a wake was held in her house, and a card could be seen, reading: "Mrs B - forever in my heart. Arthur x."
We all know that Fatboy affectionately called Dot 'Mrs B', while she called him by his Christian name, Arthur. At the time, this sparked hope and speculation that Fatboy might be alive. While Dot was never told that her lodger had died, at the time Vincent sent her notes in Fatboy's name to protect her.
Vincent is now said to be dead too, so either someone else is keeping up the ruse – despite the fact that Dot is sadly no longer there to get the messages – or Fatboy is indeed alive and well, and out there somewhere just waiting for his very own reunion with the Walford locals.
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There was, after all, so much more to explore with Fatboy. Before being caught in the crossfire of Vincent's drama, Fatboy confided the origins of his nickname. He admitted that as a child, his mother locked him up for long periods of time, and so he kept himself entertained by inventing a comedic personality.
Viewers had already fallen in love with Fatboy, but the chance to get to know the real character in Arthur was ripped away just weeks after his backstory was revealed.
Years have passed, but we have never forgotten Fatboy, and executive producer Chris Clenshaw and the EastEnders team haven't either, or that glorious scene with Cindy would never have existed.
There are plenty of characters still around to recognise Fatboy, so there's certainly still room for him. He could even move back into Dot's place with Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy)!
And imagine Cindy spotting him and potentially recalling the fateful night during which Fatboy approached her with his epic one-sided conversation! Cindy had wondered whether he was dangerous, but she would soon realise that he was simply a harmless wanderer, and another odd yet fun friendship could be born.
Of all off-screen soap deaths, Fatboy's has to be one of the most gruesome, but there's an opportunity to change history once more and deliver some much-needed fun and joy to the locals.
The soap is at the very top of its game right now, but there's a Fatboy-shaped hole in EastEnders, and our campaign to revive one of our favourite characters of all time starts here.
- EastEnders' Ricky Norwood reacts to epic Fatboy return: "Absolutely thrilled"
- EastEnders addresses major character absence amid Cindy Beale return
- EastEnders icon teases return of Cindy Beale's "bad" side in love triangle
- EastEnders' Michelle Collins on Cindy Beale meeting Lucy’s killer Bobby
- Michelle Collins almost played another iconic EastEnders character
- EastEnders boss Chris Clenshaw promises “big” Christmas for the Beales
- EastEnders' Michelle Collins teases Cindy’s scenes with love rival Elaine
- Will Jacqueline Jossa return full-time to EastEnders as Lauren Branning?
- EastEnders' Michelle Collins confirms flashbacks and Cindy Beale breakdown
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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