EastEnders airs twist unannounced return in early BBC iPlayer release
Spoiler alert for the episode released on BBC iPlayer on Tuesday morning.
Spoiler warning for the episode aired on Tuesday 29th August 2023 which was released on BBC iPlayer at 6am.
EastEnders has aired the surprise guest return of fan-favourite Arthur "Fatboy" Chubb (Ricky Norwood) during flashback scenes set in 2014.
The episode released on Tuesday (29th August 2023) saw the recently 'resurrected' Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) forced to explain herself to her long-lost husband George Knight (Colin Salmon) after sharing a surprise reunion outside the Queen Vic pub.
However, she mysteriously abandoned them in 2014 and the family never saw her again.
In scenes in tonight's episode, Cindy finally told George the truth and viewers were treated to flashback scenes set in Marbella in Spain in 2014.
An unhappy Cindy was drinking and paranoid about George's fidelity when she got a call from her witness protection handler DCI Mary Nicholls (Penny Layden), informing her of the death of her daughter Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) back in Walford.
This prompted Cindy to abruptly flee Marbella and an angry but ignorant George told her not to return if she left.
Back in Walford, Cindy arrived and - in scenes intercut with archive footage from the original 2014 episode - watched from afar in Albert Square as her ex-husband Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) left his home and walked over to the Queen Vic - in scenes which viewers may recall were to see him inform his son Peter Beale (then played by Ben Hardy) that Lucy was dead.
A heartbroken Cindy was then approached by Mary who forced her to get in her car and they spoke in a nearby street where Mary told her it was a mistake to come back as it put her Beale children in danger but also meant that she could be followed by the Ford crime family back to her new life in Marbella - meaning she was now left on her own.
The cries of Peter after Ian told him that Lucy was dead could also be heard outside.
However, during this discussion, Cindy and Mary were briefly interrupted when a chirpy Arthur "Fatboy" Chubb, once again played by actor Ricky Norwood, interrupted them to ask for the time and began speaking a mile a minute about meeting his friends and also referenced his friendship with landlady and housemate Dorothy "Dot" Branning (the late June Brown).
Once Mary gave him the time, Fatboy politely went on his way.
Fans will recall that Fatboy appeared to meet a grisly end back in 2015 when he was mistakenly kidnapped by henchmen working for Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) who believed him to be Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood). Fatboy was then locked in the boot of the car and it appeared the car was then crushed with him inside, with Vincent later racing to the car and recovering Fatboy's locket. Vincent kept Fatboy's fate from Ronnie and also forged postcards to Dot from Fatboy that made it seem like he had left the country.
However, an episode surrounding the funeral of Dot in December saw fans notice a card sharing warm wishes to Dot which was signed by Arthur and used Fatboy's nickname for her, 'Mrs B'.
Written in black ink, the card said: "Mrs B - forever in my heart. Arthur x."
This left fans to speculate that Fatboy could be alive.
So, could Fatboy's surprise appearance here be the first of more to come? We'll have to wait and see.
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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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